Arsene Wenger’s demise at Arsenal has been compared by Ian Wright to a fading Muhammad Ali and Brazil icon Ronaldo getting “fat”.
Once considered to be untouchable in north London, as his Gunners side swept to Premier League titles and Champions League finals, the long-serving Frenchman is considered by many to have outstayed his welcome.
Protests against his ongoing presence were staged on a regular basis throughout the 2016-17 campaign, only for another FA Cup triumph to earn Wenger a reprieve and a new two-year contract .
Little has changed since that penning of fresh terms, with Arsenal once again in danger of missing out on a top-four finish and looking to domestic cup competitions to salvage their season, and club legend Wright feels the man at the helm is a fading force who does not know when to walk away.
He told the Sunday Times : “I spoke with Arsene for a few hours during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“He is such a fascinating man to talk to. During our conversation he said he accepts whatever criticism I make comes from a place of love.
“Watching him now is like witnessing the ageing Muhammad Ali against Larry Holmes, or watching Brazil’s Ronaldo when he got fat. You are watching the greats in their demise.
“The problem with Arsene is that there is no one in his corner prepared to throw in the towel.”
Like Ali and Ronaldo before him, Wenger is a proud man clinging to the belief that former glories can be recaptured.
He has a chance to land more silverware in the form of the Carabao Cup on Sunday, as Manchester City lie in wait at Wembley , but he is considered to be papering over the cracks.
Not that he has any intention of quitting his post any time soon, with Wenger having once again stated a desire to see out his current contract during a recent interview with beIN Sports .
He said: “I have always respected my contracts.
“I would like to remind you I said no to all the biggest clubs in the world to respect my contract so that’s always what I try to do.
“After that we have as well to accept in our job that the future is the future but for me that’s to win the next game.”