Arsène Wenger has been a dominant and constant presence in my life over the last 22 years.
In his first full season as manager, 1997-98, he led Arsenal to the league and F.A. Cup double. I had just finished my school exams, and I remember celebrating in my local pub as Tony Adams scored that goal against Everton — the exclamation point in the title-sealing win — in the final home game of the season. The previous summer, as Wenger had begun to construct his first champions, the Labour Party had won the general election, heavily defeating the Conservatives after 18 years in power. I was young, and the future seemed full of wondrous possibilities.
The world has changed considerably since then. Wenger and I are much older. We live in the era of Brexit. A home ground once known as Highbury has become Emirates Stadium.
In the cold breeze of Holloway Road last year, I had a sense that this…