Arsenal supporters were left less than impressed by the appearance of their former striker Robin Van Persie as his old boss Arsene Wenger was named a ‘Legend of football’ on Monday night.
Wenger was honoured at the annual Nordoff Robbins awards dinner, and there was a star-studded line-up for the event, which was held at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House in London.
Gunners legends such as Robert Pires, Ray Parlour and David Seaman were in attendance, while Wenger’s old managerial enemy Sir Alex Ferguson sent a classy video tribute.
Many Arsenal fans, however, questioned why Van Persie was involved after he left the club acrimoniously in 2012 to join Premier League rivals Manchester United.
Van Persie posted a message about his former boss on Twitter before the event, saying: “This man who helped me reach wonderful heights during my career, has meant so much to me. Looking forward to joining @GeoffShreeves tonight celebrating Arsene Wenger’s career in London @legendsoffootball. In aid of Nordoff Robbins.”
However, the replies to his tweet were mainly filled with angry Arsenal supporters, who have never forgiven the Dutchman for the manner in which he left the club.
With reference to Wenger, one asked: “Why did you abandon him then?”, while another added: “You’ve got a funny way of thanking him.”
One user said: “Injury after injury after injury….Most player’s careers would of been over. But Wenger didn’t give up on you. He and the club gave you the opportunity and after one good season you gave up on the club that gave you the opportunity to be the best”, while another questioned: “Did you take back the knife you planted in his back first?”
Van Persie, who has now retired from playing, scored 132 goals in eight seasons under Wenger at Arsenal before a £22.5m move to United in 2012, where he went on to win the Premier League the following season.