The similarities between Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger are frightening.
Both men revolutionized their sports. The height of both their careers came a year apart - the A's won 103 games in 2002 and the Gunners went undefeated for 49 games in a row between 2003 and 2004. And now both are seeing their philosophies come under immense criticisms as neither have claimed success since 2006.
After keeping his team in the top four in England for over a decade and a half, Wenger's Arsenal currently sits just above the relegation zone at 17th place. Beane's A's aren’t much better in Major League Baseball, with a record of 69-85, only four games ahead of the American League West division's last-placed Seattle Mariners.
There are legitimate concerns that both men have lost their touch and need to be replenished by newer, fresher ideas, something that would have been unimaginable just three years ago.
If either were to be relieved of his duties, it would represent a tragic end for an idealists who greatly changed the way that sports are analyzed around the world, especially because neither caught the elusive prize he sought. For Wenger, he was never able to grab a hold of the Champions League crown that elevates a great domestic team to a great international one. And Oakland has never hoisted the MLB title under Beane.