If you want to learn how to deal with disappointment, then become a West Ham fan. I went to the game against Crystal Palace full of enthusiasm. I left feeling like a sucker, having been drawn in to believe that this season is going to be quite different to any other.
So, how do we deal with disappointment? Firstly, we need to put things in perspective. Many sporting events are decided on the narrowest of margins. A four hour tennis match can end on a single deciding point. A three day golf tournament decided on a single putt. England won the cricket world cup on an incorrect decision by the umpires awarding England six overthrows instead of five. A football hitting an arm because a player got himself in the wrong position. A player judged onside by VAR by a couple of centimetres.
Let’s be constructive and positive. Firstly, we need to congratulate Roberto. We held our breathe every time he touched the ball, but he came through unscathed. He must have been under enormous pressure and perhaps he will settle in quite well in the future. Of the other players, none played badly. Perhaps, Anderson and Lanzini weren’t at their best, but Haller was sharp, the two full backs were pretty good and Rice was solid.
Secondly, try to concentrate on something positive. I went to the game with my eldest son and my grandson and afterwards, we went to a Toby Carvery and it was great to share disappointment with three generations of the family. At the Toby Carvery, you can rely on the meat and vegetables being consistent whichever and whenever you visit a branch. Quite a contrast to the West Ham team. By the way, it would take an average employee at Toby Carvery three years to earn what each West Ham player earn this week . This might be grounds for marching on the Bastille again.
Others would cheer themselves up by reflecting on what is happening to Spurs, where there is a total collapse of confidence. Or Manchester United. Even Manchester City had a hiccup this weekend.
This kind of disappointment is totally beyond our control. We may shout from our seats or even write articles, but you have absolutely no control over events. So, why beat yourself up when a match goes bad?
Then we have hope and that’s how you become a sucker. We are already hoping that we will beat Everton, whose fans are suffering disappointment in spades,their manager hanging on by a thread.
And disappointment doesn’t just affect the fans. There is an article in the latest Sunday Times about Alan Sugar. He rates his biggest disappointment in life to the ten year period he owned Spurs. ‘ My decade as chairman wasn’t a great period for me and my family: it made me a bit of a miserable sod and wary of journalists. I often think that instead of spending 10 years worrying about Carlos Kickaball on the pitch and getting criticised by the fans, I could have done something more lucrative ‘
And our own pornographer owners have suffered exactly the same experience but they keep on going, watching matches behind a glass screen.
So, I have considered taking up knitting or collecting stamps, but I think I shall remain in hope taking the bitter blows of disappointment. COYI.