Why Vicente del Bosque is staying sane despite Chelsea row
When someone has a fixed departure date in mind, any kind of job-related torment is possible to overcome and sometimes embrace. Even the mayhem created by José Mourinho, although that would push the patience of any sane human being.
If Vicente del Bosque hadn’t set the end of the 2016 European Championship as a time to leave his role as Spain boss – although that date must seem a very long way away – then the mustachioed maestro may well have downed tools this week in a huge “stuff this!” fit of pique.
In Monday’s press conference, yet more questions were hurled at him about Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, and whether the manager thought they were faking their injuries.
If not, was José Mourinho behind everything? And if he wasn’t, were the Chelsea pair going to be welcomed back into the starting XI? And if they weren’t, was it a punishment?
This comes on the top of previous post-World Cup mini-dramas, like the form of Iker Casillas, and if David de Gea plays instead of the Real Madrid captain is it a snub? Or whether Gerard Piqué deserves his place in the team, and so on, and so on and so on.
Indeed, the sight of José Callejón on the bench or even on the pitch against Germany on Tuesday may really make Del Bosque wonder if the whole shooting match is worth bothering with.
Still, things could be worse – Del Bosque could be a club manager at the Camp Nou. Luis Enrique is just a Leo Messi knack against Portugal away from having his monthus horribilus (sic) rumbling on.
The latest off-field rumblings are that their transfer ban could see some unhappy campers like Martín Montoya being stuck at the club and kicking up a fuss until a deal can be struck with FIFA to let Barça off.
It's the same ban that will see Piqué as the football equivalent of a crash test dummy for 18 months until being moved on to Old Trafford. And don’t get Enrique started on the fitness (or lack of) of Thomas Vermaelen.
Then there’s Joan Laporta causing trouble by suggesting he hasn't ruled out the idea of running against Josep Maria Bartomeu at the next presidential elections. The former boss totally will, just for the record.
Throw in the news of another former president, José Núñez, starting a jail sentence at the age of 83 after being found guilty of bribing tax inspectors, and everything looks even worse for Barcelona.
At least the two years and two months sentence will go by a little easier – his cellmate is his son, also found guilty of the same charges. Oh, and not forgetting Messi’s tax fraud case, and Neymar’s contract kerfuffle.
LLL suspects it has stumbled on how Del Bosque stays sane. The Spain manager knows when he is leaving his role. And he knows he is not poor Luis Enrique.