MIKEL ARTETA is demanding football changes its ways after being sickened by Steve Bruce’s revelations of personal abuse.
But Arteta declined to blame supporters, instead pointing a finger at the culture of football and society as a whole.
And Bruce said: “By the time I got to Newcastle, I thought I could handle everything thrown at me but it has been very, very tough.
“To never really be wanted, to feel that people wanted me to fail, to read people constantly saying I would fail, that I was useless, a fat waste of space, a stupid, tactically inept cabbage-head or whatever. And it was from day one.
“When we were doing ok results wise, it was ‘yeah but the style of football is rubbish’ or I was just ‘lucky.’ It was ridiculous and persistent, even when the results were good.
“I tried to enjoy it and, you know, I did. I’ve always enjoyed the fight, proving people wrong, but that’s all it ever seemed to be. A fight, a battle.”
Arteta responded by saying: “I was really sad after reading that statement from Steve.
“You’re talking about somebody who has been in the game for over 40 years as a player and as a manager.
“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.”
The Spaniard added: “We can’t blame 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.
“But when you cross the line, I think it becomes really difficult.”
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