Press conference

'It's a serious statement, something must change'

Steve Bruce

Mikel Arteta believes football has to change after reading Steve Bruce's comments after he left Newcastle on Wednesday.

The former Magpies boss admitted that the personal abuse he had received had taken its toll and he was not sure if he wanted to manage again.
 
Those words had a profound impact on Arteta, who has total sympathy for his counterpart.
 
"I was really sad after reading that statement from Steve," he said. "First of all, because I know him personally, and secondly, because of what he transmitted in his words.
 
"You're talking about somebody who has been in the game for over 40 years as a player and as a manager. He's managed over 1,000 games and he's telling you, with that experience, with that level of expertise that he has - because you have to to be able to sustain yourself at that level - that he struggles with that kind of situation, with that kind of abuse.
 
"I think we have to reflect. We can't take for granted and accept certain things because they are how they are. No, we are here as well to improve them and change them, like we do with any rules, with any fixture list and we have with anything that we want to improve for our sport, fans, stadium, facilities and broadcasts.
 
"We're going to spend more time and we have an open table to discuss how we're going to do that because I think we have to think about the fact that one of the most experienced managers in England's history is telling you that in a letter. You can't just ignore that, so for me, it's a very serious statement and it's something that has to change and has to start to change."
 
So is this purely down to individual supporters or does the sport need to taken a collective approach?
"No, we can't blame the fans," Arteta said. "No, it's not the fans. Football is in an industry that is that big, that has such a big impact in society that everybody has an opinion and it's great.
 
"To have a strong opinion and be so convinced about what you see and how you judge how people act, you don't have to study. You don't even have to be able to play football. You can just give a strong opinion and that's it.
 
"You talk about chemistry. You don't do that. You talk about law and in law you don't have that opinion because you have to study and then you don't say anything. But you can say anything about that and it's good because it creates debate, it creates opinion and it's great, but when you cross the line, I think it becomes really difficult because it's not [just] a man.
 
"It's a man, it's a family, it's his loved ones, it's the environment and I think we have to reflect. I was really impressed with how he explained openly how he felt and I didn't like it to be fair."

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