The fanbase of Arsenal Football Club is amongst the most sentimentally invested and vocally audacious bunch in English football. When they love one of their own, they love him unconditionally. When the feelings are sour, they let it be known quite evidently. At present, the north London side are currently not the most adventurous and buzzing destination to be in England. But Arsenal were better than this.
Arsenal fans' bitter vibes continue to persist against former players
The proposition of European football for a straight 25 years and contendership for trophies like the FA Cup and Premier League allowed Arsenal to lure some fantastic talent. However, footballers of the greatest caliber thrive not only on affection but on a constant hunger for success.
When success became hard to come by at Arsenal, some of their crucial assets ran out of patience. These players desperately wanted to leave the Emirates and it severed their relationship with the Arsenal faithful.
Here’s a list of five such players who left Arsenal in search of finding glory or money elsewhere:
#5 Alex Song
While Ashley Cole was tired of cleaning up his tainted image after being named “Cashley” by Arsenal supporters, Alex Song was never even bothered.
The midfielder, in his unabashed style, made his stance clear that his move to Barcelona was purely motivated by the money on the table. Song left Arsenal after a seven-year-long stay in 2012. The Cameroonian was not the star of the team for the better part of those years and had little emotional connection with the club.
Song really upped the ante at Arsenal after Cesc Fabregas departed the club. He would no longer play as the defensive destroyer, stopping teams from picking up their tempo. Strong with the ball, Song started clocking impressive stats and was really shining as a playmaker.
So when the news of his departure broke, many assumed that the prospect of getting to play with Xavi and Andres Iniesta was too good for him to pass.
However, the Arsenal fans slowly realized his intentions and that all Song cared about was the figure on the cheque. The midfielder, being candidly honest, accepted that the opportunity to earn more and secure a future for his family was more important to him than Arsenal.
#4 Emiliano Martinez
The most recent name on this list and rightly regretted is that of Emiliano Martinez. The Argentine ended his decade-long stay at Arsenal with the opportunity for regular game time at Aston Villa.
Following his departure, Arsenal have been craving clean sheets and though Bernd Leno is good in his own right, Martinez is certainly a notch above. In his first season for Aston Villa, Martinez got all the game time and more as he kept the goal for Villa in all 38 league games.
Martinez is blameless in this equation for having clearly expressed his terms to Arsenal. The shot stopper was going to stay at Arsenal on one condition and that would be as the first choice goalkeeper.
Mikel Arteta wasn’t ready to commit to his terms and demote Leno so he was sold for 20 million. Ever since his departure, Martinez has been very vocal about how his stay at Arsenal proved quite toxic.
Having been sent on loan consecutively, and six times in a row at that, Martinez says he almost fell out of love with the sport. In almost every second interview Martinez can be heard talking about how he wasn’t given his fair share of chances at Arsenal.
To the Argentina international’s credit, the previous two years have really brought team and individual laurels to the goalkeeper. He won an FA Cup with Arsenal in 2020 before exiting.
More recently, on his national duty for Argentina, Martinez lifted the Copa America and had a particularly memorable penalty shootout triumph against Colombia in the semi-final.