Short of engineering a virus that kills all of the world's puppies, Arsenal defender Andre Santos did just about everything he could do to attract the derision of his club's supporters. His performance on the pitch was bad enough, but by accepting the shirt of Arsenal traitor of the moment Robin van Persie while walking off at halftime of Saturday's 2-1 loss to Man United, he drew a whole new of criticism.
Though two Bayer Leverkusen players got in trouble for fighting over who got Leo Messi's shirt at halftime of a Champions League match last season, there probably wouldn't have been many fans or grizzled old pros who cared about Santos swapping shirts at halftime had it not been with Van Persie. After it took him all of three minutes to score against his former club. To put Man United on top at Old Trafford.
But with those circumstances in place, even Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted that he didn't like it. From the Independent:
"I spoke about that but I don't want to make too much of a big story of that," the Arsenal boss said.
"I believe that was not the right thing to do at all, but that is not an explanation for our bad performance on Saturday."
Chances that Wenger burned the shirt in front of Andre Santos, ate the ashes, then flushed the resulting excrement down a public toilet: Strong to quite strong.
UPDATE: Santos has apologized for taking the shirt. From The Sun:
"I'd like to apologise to supporters who felt aggrieved by it.
"Did I think it would cause such a commotion? Of course I didn't, otherwise I would have told Robin to exchange the shirts away from public view."