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Mikel Arteta has spoken a lot of sense on social media abuse of players and managers

Mikel Arteta speaks out on social media abuse.

Mikel Arteta has been speaking about social media abuse faced by players and managers and what he thinks can be done to prevent it.

The Arsenal manager has experienced more negative comments than most, given that he is in charge of a traditionally big club that is currently underperforming.

It could be argued though, that Arteta has had it easy compared to Steve Bruce, who spoke out on Wednesday about the insults he received during his spell at Newcastle United, including being referred to as a “useless, a fat waste of space” and a “tactically-inept cabbage head”.

Arteta has now spoken about Bruce’s dismissal from the Newcastle job and his shock and reading the level of vitriol that the 60-year-old has faced.

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta: I was shocked by what Steve Bruce said.

“I was shocked with the way he expressed himself,” Arteta told Sky Sports ahead of his side’s Friday Night Football meeting with Aston Villa.

“He’s one of the most important managers that England has had in the last 100 years, I would say. It’s something to reflect and think about.”

Arteta goes on to speak about how he is trying to teach his own children to avoid being critical of footballers and managers, even if they are just watching a game at home on the TV.

Arteta feels parents have a responsibility.

“I have three kids, we watch football and they support certain teams,” he says.

“Sometimes I see the reaction towards a player or a manager, saying ‘they are so bad, the manager doesn’t have a clue,’ and our obligation as parents is to stop that immediately.

“My kids, in a year or two, they’re going to have a mobile phone and if I allow them to have that kind of reaction, to use that kind of language, they are going to do it on social media.

“Today, they don’t have a clue whether the manager is making the right decision, whether that player is good or not, they can like certain things about a player but they can’t make a judgement based on one moment.

“First of all, you have to explain and say ‘how did you get to that point? You have hate. What has it done to you? What are you trying to do with that, who are you trying to influence with your comments?’ It’s not right.”

Arteta’s appeal to parents to clamp down on their children’s comments probably won’t solve the issue of social media abuse but he speaks a lot of sense about the place from which a lot of this behaviour stems and what can be done to reduce it.

Bruce’s quotes yesterday are a prime example of how negative comments can hurt an individual and their families, and Arteta also expressed hope that players won’t be put off going into management due to the venom that is regularly served online.

Arsenal host Aston Villa at 8pm on Friday, in a match that you can watch live on Sky Sports.

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