The Scot admits he is "disappointed" with the striker's behavior at the Emirates but is backing the Dutchman to be named the PFA Player of the Year.
Wigan Athletic defender Gary Caldwell has branded Robin van Persie a "bad loser" following the Latics' 2-1 triumph over Arsenal on Monday night after the striker appeared to refuse a handshake following the final whistle.
The Scotland international offered his hand after the shock win yet the Dutchman shunned his advances before reluctantly tapping him on the hand.
While Caldwell concedes he can understand the Arsenal forward’s disappointment, he believes the 28-year-old showed a lack of dignity following the altercation.
|ARSENAL 1-2 WIGAN
|Arsene Wenger admits his side were "second best" after shock defeat
"I think to be at a great club like Arsenal you have to be a bad loser - but I also think you need to have a bit of dignity at the end," Caldwell told reporters. "When we got beat 4-0 by Arsenal at the DW Stadium, I shook everybody’s hand and I expect the same back.
"He’s obviously unhappy - when I went to shake his hand, he threw me away and then just gave me a wee pat, which is disappointing."Despite the altercation, Caldwell still believes the Dutchman is a terrific ambassador for the Gunners and has backed him to be named PFA Player of the Year.
"Robin van Persie is a fantastic player because he has that will to win, and you wouldn't want to change that part of him, but it’s just disappointing from my point of view," he added.
"I suppose other greats wouldn’t have done that, but he’s a great player and a fantastic ambassador for Arsenal. These moments happen when you’re disappointed at the performance and the result, but it was much about nothing.
"Actually I voted for him as player of the year, and I’m sure he will go on to win the award."
Wigan’s triumph sees them move five points clear of the drop zone, and Caldwell has hailed his side's recent results along with manager Roberto Martinez.
"We’re at the crucial point of the season where one win is so big down at the bottom," he explained. "We looked at the run of fixtures and everyone gave us no chance. To come out with the points total we’ve got has put us in a fantastic position.
"I think the manager has a real calmness about him in this situation, when you can really start to panic and lose your head a bit. He really keeps the group calm, and focuses on performance rather than result, and I think if you do that then the results come."