England overcame World War II buoyed by the bulldog spirit of Winston Churchill, the perfect choice for a war time leader. Yet, it was Clement Atlee who was voted to rebuild an England recovering from the war's aftermath and the decline of empire. 50 years later these two men rank in the list of greatest leaders. Two very different personalities but both provided the proper leadership needed for their country for their times. Those who believe Wenger's departure will be apocalyptic will be well advised to remember this example.
Arsene Wenger led Arsenal to heights never touched before. It led to the cult of AKB for all the right reasons. But something happened on the way. He got too close to the board and co-opted their message. There was no firewall. No separation of pitch from boardroom. Before long he was opining on the shareholding fight and the composition of the board. One doesn't quite know when the shift from managerial duties to a mouthpiece began but the drift has been going for long. It's now a cozy relationship without expectation.
Wenger's present avatar is now one of fiscal responsibility. His transition to an activist has been a natural fit because of the club's own belief in living within its means. It also means putting aside a wishlist which could pose a serious potential conflict of interest with the austerity that is being practiced at the Emirates.
Look at Roberto Mancini's frustration at his board (an entity that can buy the world fifty times over) at their perceived foot dragging on Samir Nasri. Today, Nasri delivered a stinging vindication of Mancini's desire to have him on the board. Manciini's first responsibility is to deliver City's first Premiership title and not a philosophical point. Sir Alex provided Wenger with strong words of support but he's never laboured under the illusion of being any more than the manager of Utd even after a record 20 titles. Juan Mata wasted no time in making an impact after Andre Villa-Boas showed the requisite alarm in not having a wide game. Ditto for Kenny Dalglish with Luis Enrique for Liverpool.
Arsene Knows F**k All (AKFA) might be a bit harsh but there are chinks in the armour.