When is a football manager like a controversial ousted ruler?
Arsenal twitterdom has found an innovative way to call for an end to Arsene Wenger’s 21-year tenure as manager: by comparing him to former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.
Comparisons between the two men have been the basis for jokes all season long, but the memes really took off after Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat to Brighton over the weekend. And the heat on Wenger has only continued in advance of Thursday’s Europa League match against AC Milan.
The comparison between Arsenal’s manager and Zimbabwe’s ex-president seems to have originated as far back as 2016, in a sweary YouTube video posted by ArsenalFanTV – a channel unaffiliated with the club but run by Gunners supporters.
But the comparison has reverberated far beyond north London – for instance, last year someone taking part in an anti-Mugabe rally was spotted with a “Wenger Out” placard.
With nearly 22 years under his belt as Arsenal manager, Wenger is often referred to as the most successful manager in the club’s history. But, like Mugabe, is his time up?