Mikel Arteta’s exit from Arsenal was never going to be an acrimonious one.
The Spaniard left the Emirates Stadium at the end of last season after making nearly 150 appearances for the club.
Ok, so the Arsenal faithful probably expected to see more of the injury-hit midfielder. But he captained the Gunners in their FA Cup final win over Hull City in 2014 and was a fine servant.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
The 34-year-old was in tears as he waved goodbye to Arsenal fans following their 4-0 win over Aston Villa on the final day of the season.
Which all makes Arteta’s recent social media activity rather perplexing.
The former Everton midfielder has joined Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Manchester City and, as a possible sign of his loyalty to the new City boss, has deleted all traces of Arsenal from his Instagram account.
Check it out for yourself. All the selfies with former Arsenal teammates are gone.
There are just two images of Arteta on his Instagram, and both are of him during City training sessions. How boring.
This isn’t a dig at Arsenal, but it remains odd. Given how emotional he was after the Villa win, you would imagine Arteta wanted to keep every memory he had of his time in north London.
We imagine that deleting the Arsenal images was a painful experiences. Perhaps a City official asked him to do it.
Arsenal fans aren't happy
Anyway, Arsenal fans have reacted on Twitter and they are less than impressed.
Excited to join City
Quite what Arsene Wenger was doing when Arteta told him of his plans to join a rival is anyone’s guess. The former midfielder would have made a fine addition to Arsenal’s backroom team.
Having spent the majority of his final few seasons on Arsenal’s injury table - Arteta played just 609 minutes of football since August 2014 - perhaps he felt he needed a change of environment
And working with Guardiola will definitely be a great learning experience.
Arteta wrote in a statement: “Coaching is always something I've been keen to go in to and over the past few years I've worked hard on the pitch as well as off it to develop the skills in order to put me in a position to pursue a coaching role once I finished playing.
“I am now looking forward to the challenge ahead with Manchester City. The opportunity to join Pep Guardiola and his team was an amazing opportunity for me and I am incredibly excited for the future.
“I have been lucky enough to play under some amazing coaches and managers during my playing career and I hope to use elements of everything I have learnt from them as well as experience from my own playing career to help City achieve success.”