This is obviously not the appropriate forum for discussions on the demise of various tyrants across the Middle East, but President Mubarak, Prime Minister Maliki and recent events in Libya provide a valuable lesson in how quickly things can change; even when a leader has retained his command for a number of years.
Not even his fiercest critics would compare Arsene Wenger to some of the most brutal dictators in history, but there are elements of his time at Arsenal that could (in a particularly fevered imagination) have correlations with the rise and fall of the leader of a military junta.
Following his coming to power at the club he brought the fans an undreamed of number of trophies and somehow managed to ally that success with a style of play that made them the envy of the footballing world.
It was true that at times his players were forced to resort to bouts of brutality to counter balance the beauty, but that was a small price to pay for the riches on offer.
Street parades and celebratory parties were the order of the day with the “Great Satan” of Manchester United helpless against Arsene’s “invincibles”.
Then things slowly began to deteriorate. The style of play may have remained in tact but the rewards were suddenly scarce. Murmurs of discontent began to form on the lips of a small group of followers, but they were swiftly silenced by the overpowering majority who still maintained their seemingly unshakable faith in the dear leader.
Yet there were no more victory parades. Just self-satisfied arguments that proclaimed the Arsenal way to be the best and the urge to mock the more prosaic clubs that relished silverware over style.
Yet those in charge at Arsenal, who still happily wandered the newly marbled halls of the Emirates Stadium, were losing touch with the reality of life on the street; the lot of the average fan was becoming less satisfying month by month and game by game.
Wenger continued to insist that all was for the best in the best of all possible worlds and that the future of the beloved Arsenal was still safe in his hands, but then the boos began in earnest (at first just a smattering that died a swift death in the cold London air) but those few rebels emboldened a few more, and before much longer every bad result, every bad forty-five minutes of football, was greeted with raucous disapproval from virtually all the faithful in attendance.
People were no longer seeing their leader as an infallible demigod; they now saw him as an all too fallible human who was holding the thing that they loved back due to his stubbornness and his reliance on the traditional ways.
The wave of displeasure was developing into a tsunami of unrest.
The explanations for why so many leaders in the Arab world came to lose their grip on power are staggeringly complex and rooted firmly in the individual history of each country, but the way that they lost their grip on power is almost universally the same.
The people who had once followed them without question suddenly saw them as being so much weaker than they had once supposed and began to actively imagine a world without them in it.
Arsenal fans have now begun to imagine a world without their current manager, and once that process is set in motion it can build to an unstoppable force.
The time may soon come when Arsene Wenger has to decide to either leave Arsenal of his own free will with his dignity in tact, or mount a futile rearguard action that could irreversibly damage both his reputation and the club that he so clearly loves.
You can also find other Soccer Report Extra.com contributors on Twitter by following this link.
Please refrain from posting comments that;
The House reserves the right to delete any such comments and to block further participation on the site.