Thursday, 9 May 2013

All's fair in love and football?

Football can be a cruel mistress... Jose considers going back to the missus...
Ever find yourself daydreaming about the past - those what might have been moments can sometimes haunt us, when we're going through a rocky patch in life, as we long to recapture the security of being loved and appreciated.

This is common when relationships hit challenging times, particularly with relationships which haven't become properly established; little quarrels can bring great distress as our minds go into overdrive, searching for a solution to bring an instant halt to the emotional pain.  We can find ourselves clinging to memories from the past, when we were younger, more attractive, less cynical maybe... the first person we had a crush on... our first lover... the mother or father of our children...  So many blissful moments embedded in our minds, so intoxicatingly beautiful they temporarily make us forget about the other times which weren't so fantastic.  The anxiety, the arguments, the very real reasons which led us to leave those relationships and move onto something better.

And this can happen in our careers too.  If we find ourselves in a job which is futile and thankless and makes us dread getting up every morning, our minds can become preoccupied with a time in the past when things felt much nicer, when we were appreciated.  Human beings are hardwired to love, and to be loved.  Our need for love is probably stronger than the drive to eat, or be safe, or have sex and it's quite natural, when we're feeling deprived of love, to crave it all the more, to regress to a time when that need was being met.

But returning to the ex-wife or the old job seldom solves our problems, in reality.  Usually, we've moved on psychologically, grown up a bit more, and the object of our former affection has moved on too.  Every parting involves loss, and the feelings around the loss are often quite negative: disappointment, regret, anger, loss of trust, loss of respect, loss of love.  That's usually why we went our separate ways.  If things went wrong before, they'll more likely than not, go wrong again, and suddenly we'll experience a heavy dose of reality, old arguments get rekindled all too easily, and a sense of foolishness just exacerbates the humilation we feel.

Jose Mourinho is, without a shadow of a doubt, an exceptional manager any football club would welcome with open arms.

But in football, as in love, going back usually proves to be a mistake...

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