Pairing: José Mourinho/Rui Faria
Disclaimer: not true etc.
José always has this ability to sleep well, even after matches. There are times when he is full of nervous energy, agitated, frantic – that’s when he won’t go to bed at all, keeping others awake with him. But when he does, he goes out like a light.
He is never still in his sleep. Tossing around, throwing off the blankets even when it’s cold, messing up the pillows, but all this without waking up. Whatever happens during the day has no meaning when it’s dark outside. When José goes to sleep, he is sleeping.
One more thing to envy when there are so many thoughts running around, keeping awake.
Numbers on the alarm-clock are crawling slowly towards morning.
José says he can have peace at night because during the day he does everything that he can for his team and for his work. That way he knows that nothing more could be done, and as for luck and other things out of his control – he has no power over them, so they are not worth worrying about. There is arrogance hidden somewhere in this way of thinking, and undeniable truth at the same time. So like José.
José looks tired these days, even in his sleep. No wonder – when things are not working out, when something they are doing is not right, when press is feasting on every single bit of news from the team, when even going out without bodyguards is not an option anymore, he has every right to look like that. A bit resigned, a bit fed-up. A bit younger, somehow. But tired.
Only when he’s asleep.
There is no telling with José when he’s awake.
He’s having fits of anger when team is cruising to the win, and when they draw their worst game of the year he tells jokes. He leaves the bench smiling, praises his players in the dressing room and keeps joking on the ride back to the hotel. To those who don’t know him well it all looks random. Some say he’s insane. The logic in his behavior is erratic at best, but at the same time obvious and easily predictable. One just needs to know him.
Rui knows about José more that José does himself. His likes, his dislikes, his reasons, his thoughts, his imperfections. Lately he’s got to know the way José is at night – something he dreamed about and never thought he would get.
He just wishes he knew how to help.
Everything he can do he does on the training pitch and in his office going over the spreadsheets and diagrams. But something is not working. They are doing something wrong, he is doing something wrong, and their trusted methods fail them, like they did already seven years ago. Maybe there is a pattern there somewhere that he doesn’t see, maybe they are just missing something – the season goes to hell and he still hasn’t figured out what is wrong.
He always prided himself on being the best in his work. Failing – it hurts in many ways. He should know what to do. He should’ve solved the problem long ago and showed José ways to improve squad’s performance. He’s working in the best coaching team in the world not because he’s José’s best friend-turned-lover, but because he always can keep all the players at the top of their form for the whole season – or as close to it as possible.
Except that this year he can’t.
Lying awake in the middle of the night chasing these thoughts around won’t change a thing. He’ll be a useless wreck tomorrow, as always when he doesn’t get to sleep at night. His eyes are burning as if there is sand in them, but sleep won’t come. The instant flash of insight, quick solution to everything won’t come too. José will have his arrogance back tomorrow. They will still try to improve things tomorrow and all the days after. Bernabeu will still whistle them next time they appear on the touchline. In two weeks they may be out of another competition. In a month they may be out of Madrid. Maybe it will even be a good thing, but he is not used to giving up. He’d do his best to make everyone shut up. They all will.
Lying awake at 4 a.m. will not help anything.
José turns again, this time throwing one arm around him, pinning him to the bed. As if even sleeping José can feel his restlessness, or never gets out of habit of holding him down when he’s too wound up to be reasonable. Be it on the bench or in a hotel bed.
At least José is able sleep. Everything else can wait till morning.