Hello Traitor, I saw a lot of interesting opinions on the internet regarding your move away to the wonderful footballing paradise that is Turkey so let me add my two cents. I think the impact you had on Arsenal with your departure is multifold. You were bought for a pittance (around £2m) at a young age with a reputation for trouble making.
Arsenal spent good money paying a player who couldn’t manage to play more than half a season for the majority of his Arsenal career, renewing his contract and eventually making him club captain and highest earner. No prizes for guessing that I am talking about you. After years of selling players, Arsenal became a by word for a selling club but crucially, Arsenal never had to sell an integral first team player to Manchester United. Manchester City got Nasri, Clichy, Adebayor and Kolo at a time when none of them were carrying the team on their own. Cesc left but the move had an air of inevitability about it because Barcelona was his hometown. Ashley Cole did move to Chelsea but that was more in the class of Tevez moving to City. One of the finest players but there were more than a few in the team to minimise the damage.
Moving to Man United destroyed all that. In one swoop, you smashed Arsenal’s already shaky foundations, bringing down your price and making sure there was no way Arsenal could retain you for the remaining one year of his contract by releasing a letter publicly condemning the club and the manager. You forced Arsenal to sell you to Man Utd.
Next comes repaying the loyalty your manager showed to you. In 2007/08 Arsenal were in pole position to win the league. People urged Arsene to buy a striker in case something happened to Eduardo but he stuck by you. We know what happened next. In 2006 you spent a night in jail on accusation of rape. You personally acknowledged how the club helped you and stuck by you till your name was cleared when most other clubs in the land would have disowned you on the spot . The difference is most clear when you compare yourself to Cech.
Petr Cech gave arguably his finest years to Chelsea before moving to Arsenal, a move that the majority of Chelsea fans have taken with dignity. You were nursed through season after season of injury by Arsenal and after realizing your potential, left at the first opportunity to the last club any Gooner wanted you to join. So really, if you view it as a professional decision, there is no talk of betrayal but football is not just another profession. It’s also competitive. You left when Arsenal needed you most and left for a club that wouldn’t be Arsenal’s first choice if it was the only one on the list. Betrayal? Dramatic but quite accurate.
Someone more disappointed than angry.