Robert Mugabe, the first president of independent Zimbabwe, has passed away at the grand old age of 95, leaving behind a complicated legacy.

The former anti-colonial freedom fighter, jailed for speaking out against the government between 1964 and 1974, was hailed as a national hero when he was swept to power on a wave of euphoria in 1980 but stayed at the helm too long, losing touch with his citizens, presiding over a state rife with corruption and economic mismanagement and notoriously ordering the eviction of white farmers from their land, bringing about a devastating famine.

The last person you might have expected this extraordinary man to be compared to is legendary ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger but such is the world we live in.

Gunners fans really are remembering the "Wenger of Zimbabwe", recalling a time at the height of the "Wenger Out" mania when the Frenchman was often compared to the African leader by the club's less measured supporters.

Wenger led Arsenal between 1996 and 2018, turning them from a defensive-minded team better known for their off-the-field partying than their achievements on the pitch into one of the most exciting attacking forces in world football, home to such international greats as Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Marc Overmars, Freddie Ljungberg and, er, Kim Kallstrom.

But after Premier League and FA Cup glory and the celebrated Invincibles season of 2003/04 in which they never lost a game, the goodwill towards the great man gradually dissipated as the team floundered and he was widely felt to have overstayed his welcome, hence the Mugabe parallel.

It's clearly not going away.

Wenger was finally replaced by current manager Unai Emery last year, with somewhat mixed results so far.

Who knows what that means for Zimbabwe. Probably nothing whatsoever.

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