An Open Letter to Arouna Koné

Mr. Koné,

Hey buddy! How’s that injured leg? Congratulations on your great season with Levante. I can honestly say, after watching you struggle in basically every opportunity you had to shine with Sevilla over your years here–including missing more impossible-to-miss-sitters than I can count–that it’s been a relief to see you finally succeed in the way Sevilla believed you could when they paid 12 million euros (a princely sum from a decidedly pauper club) for your services. True, I started out being frustrated that you were so inexplicably TERRIBLE every time you wore our jersey, but after awhile I started to just feel bad for you, and your success this season at Levante felt to me like relief and vindication for a truly talented player. Congratulations, for real.

But here’s the thing. I don’t understand why you’re so bitter at Sevilla. I can see why you said in November last year that you’d rather fail to score 18 goals than have to come back to your club–what player doesn’t want to stay where he’s found his form?–and even your many attempts to assure you could avoid a homecoming. It’s your right to go where you want, and obviously Sevilla would be crazy to play you, since you hate the club and apparently can’t score in the shirt. But why are you bitching and moaning and attacking Sevilla every chance you get this summer? What did they do to you, exactly? Was the club somehow preventing you from scoring any more than one single goal in the FORTY Liga games in which you played? Alternatively, was it Sevilla that caused your cruciate knee injury while playing for the Ivory Coast? Because they definitely paid for the surgery and brought you back to health. I don’t know how many chances you feel you’re entitled to, but you came on behind two of the greatest strikers the club has seen (Fabiano and Kanouté); if you wanted to claim a consistent starting spot, you needed to prove yourself with something more than .025 goals per appearance. It’s great to see some vim and vigor in a player, but you’re sounding more and more like the jilted lover who’s trying desperately to hide how bad she feels for being dumped. When she’s still talking about how much better off she is three months after the break-up, it starts to sound a little pathetic, and her friends start trying to change the subject.

Anyway, it’s enough already, Koné. I’m happy for your new success, but I’m also happy you’ll be somewhere else next season, because it seems like this relationship was always doomed to failure. So this is a win for both of us–you’re in a much better place, and we’re freed of an enormous failed investment. I’m not sure why you seem so unhappy to finally have some success away from Sevilla, but I think it’s time for you to move on. Burn your shoebox of Sevilla memories, stop bringing the club up in press conferences, and look forward to your season in Europe with Levante or some other club (who I’m SURE will continue to play you no matter how many goals you don’t score). Move on, buddy. Live well for your revenge. But please stop making me feel bad for you again.