Van Persie jokes dominate Twitter
News that football star Robin van Persie was moving from Arsenal to Manchester United was met with near wailing and gnashing of teeth on Twitter when the announcement was made on Wednesday.
Well, not quite. Some didn't understand what the big deal was. "I'm not a fan of RVP myself," said @abbasridz, referring to Van Persie by his initials. "I see him as an injury-prone striker who had an outstanding campaign last season."
Indeed, for every heart-broken fan there were those lining up on Twitter to take pot shots at Van Persie, Arsenal and anything else in view.
"The Sun's headline this morning was good," noted a gleeful @UnitedsRedArmy before quoting the headline: "Man Utd RVP Arsenal RIP".
It wasn't long before most keywords to do with the story were trending on Twitter – both globally and in South Africa.
Ahead of Van Persie's Manchester possible debut on Monday evening, we take stock of the tweets that made us LOL … if only in the social media sense of the phrase.
A parody Twitter account dedicated to Manchester City footballer, and diva extraordinaire, Mario Balotelli made the evening's most popular quip, tweeting: "Robin Van Persie has failed a medical at Manchester United. He has a severely damaged back after carrying a full squad last season."
To which KHALIDKhan91 retorted: "How can supporters from other clubs say that RVP carried us the last seven years? The man spent most of his time in the treatment room. #morons."
The rather delicate Van Persie has something of a reputation for being injury-prone.
One Arsenal fan was actually relieved to see him go. "Remember that 'hold your breath' moment we took every time RvP went down last season?" asked @AlexFortyNine. "Yeh we won't be the ones doing that this season."
And still the Arsenal jokes flowed thick and fast with parody John Terry account @BigJohnTerry, dedicated to Chelsea's captain, tweeting: "At this rate I don't know which will be more empty, Arsenal's changing room or their trophy cabinet."
But the biggest butt of the jokes was perhaps Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who forked out a whopping £24-million for the player, the most expensive deal United have done since Dimitar Berbatov's club record £30.75-million move from Tottenham in 2008. This even though Van Persie's contract with Arsenal was due to expire within a year and he had announced he would not be renewing it and thus in the market for a new clubanyway.
@10Mar1905 called it "mental money".
"A year left on his contract left, 29 years old & one fully fit season in seven seasons #CanHaveHim," tweeted the account, while @TheChelseaWay said: "RvP will enjoy £235k per-week wages at Man. United. If Fergie complains about any other player's fee or salary, he'll be slapped by God."
But the harshest slap-down of all came from @Zane_K, who quipped: "Did you guys hear this? #Wenger has been arrested for stealing £22m from a befuddled old age pensioner LOL."
Van Persie joined Arsenal in May 2004 from Dutch club Feyenoord.
He made a total of 278 appearances for the Club, scoring 132 goals, including 37 from his 48 appearances last season.