This week saw the special one return to the scene of his greatest triumphs and further underlined why football has an infinite capacity not to reinvent itself but to endlessly recycle and regurgitate the same plot lines and twists as a daytime soap opera.
This week alone, Mourinho’s return as the spurned lover triumphant was straight out of Eastenders – the depressing East London soap memorably described by a friend’s late father as “a bunch of horrible gits living out their miserable lives in the gutter” – but enough about Ashley Cole. Mourinho is football and Chelsea’s equivalent of Dirty Den – the aging Lothario who left, presumed dead and then returns, swarthier, suntanned and more in love – with himself – than ever. Not only this, but he turns up with a younger, fitter, Italian on his arm that underlines to the blues faithfully that it was Jose/den that they loved all along and suave, nice Carlo is a rebound, as was Gene Hackman (Scolari) and Herbert Lom (Grant) before him.
In the north, Coronation Street, the everyday tale of working class folk reigns supreme – and so it is that Liverpool, the declining dynasty of the street finds itself making the best of its reduced circumstances in the Europa League, telling itself that things will turn up again soon, just as its daughter’s new boyfriend, played by Acquilani, is planning treachery against the family head. At the other end of the East Lancs Road, the Manchester brothers, once friends, now sworn enemies, battle for entry into the private members club. The older brother, It’d, is already in but is worried about younger Cirrhosis, who just won the lottery and is in danger of being led astray by his new fair-weather friends – Adebayor, Toure and Santa Cruz, who are bleeding him dry for little reward.
Over in the north east, the feuding neighbors continues, as the well to do magpies reel from the revelations from their small-time rivals, Boro, that they are not the trophy winning Lotharios they put about to all and sundry but are actually trophy virgins.
What this tells us it that football is cyclical; there are no new stories, just new ways of telling them and new, younger, sexier protagonists for them to happen too.
So if your team is letting you down and the players resolutely acting like total jacklegs, don’t bother getting mad, just wander down to public, get world football magazine and read up on when you’re going to be successful again.
Guy Bailey is a senior writer for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.