Dein speaks out for old friend Wenger
The former vice-chairman remains close to the man he appointed in 1996.
The pair met when Wenger was manager of Monaco and on a scouting mission at Highbury. Dein invited him for dinner with friends and ended up playing a game of charades with the Frenchman. The pair have been best friends ever since.
When Dein left Arsenal in 2007 having fallen out with the board over his backing of Uzbek steel magnate Alisher Usmanov, Wenger lost his closest ally, but they remain Totteridge neighbours and speak all the time.
Dein remains a die-hard Arsenal fan. He retains his corporate box at the Emirates and an impressive collection of club memorabilia hangs on the walls of his home.
He heard the abuse directed at Wenger by Arsenal's own fans at St James' Park last weekend and is aware that the manager's judgement, especially on transfers, is being openly questioned for the first time. And he knows that Wenger is struggling to deal with the toughest period of his 15-year tenure.
In short, Dein has stepped in because he fears for his friend and thinks he needs some back-up. The trauma of Arsenal's late-season implosion last spring, the loss of Cesc Fabregas and the impending departure of Samir Nasri have taken their toll on the manager. Dein knows that the multilingual Wenger would have no shortage of offers should he grow tired of the Emirates hot-seat, from PSG to the FA, and has stepped in on his behalf.
Many Arsenal fans have reacted angrily to Dein's call-to-arms this morning. Some, infuriated by record ticket price increases and an absent, elusive owner, claim they have every right to criticise a manager who seems increasingly delusional, stubbornly incapable of competing in the transfer market and has won nothing for six seasons.
Some believe the game has moved on, leaving Wenger behind; that the manager is a throwback and his emphasis on young players is out of touch when competing with the petro-dollars of Man City.
Others simply point out that Dein's son, Darren, is the agent of Fabregas and Gael Clichy, politely suggesting Dein should keep his thoughts to himself.
When Dein left Arsenal in 2007, Wenger lost his closest boardroom ally. Photo: Getty
But many Arsenal supporters will also heed Dein's words of caution and note that the club has not won a trophy since the man known as 'Mr Arsenal' left the club. They will also note the complete silence of majority shareholder Stan Kroenke and appreciate that at least someone is issuing a rallying cry at a critical time.
For years, Dein acted as Wenger's right-hand man, dealing with the grubby business of transfers while the Frenchman could concentrate on the actual football side of the club, which is his strength.
Wenger no longer has such assistance and many fans believe the time has come for Dein to be invited back. The suggestion even received a round of applause at a recent meeting of the Arsenal Supporters Trust.
If Dein were to come back, he would certainly have one or two ideas for how Kroenke and Usmanov, two of the richest men in the world, should spend their money. But with opposition from chairman Peter Hill-Wood and chief executive Ivan Gazidis, such a prospect remains unlikely.
Dein misses being involved at Arsenal and would love to return. Whether the man he brought to the club in 1996 is still there when and if he does remains to be seen.