As I might have mentioned before, I live in a Chelsea household; my husband was taken to Stamford Bridge by his father, and he takes our son if ever anyone is kind enough to lend us their season ticket.
It’s great, football is such a shared experience for it’s fans and I love to see my boys watching a match together. But, and here’s the rub, I really struggle with John Terry.
Yes I know the arguments; he’s a great player, he marshals the team on the pitch and loves his country, but really, he’s not role model material is he?
Alongside the assaults, infidelities, gambling and other inappropriate behaviour that have chequered his career, he now faces a court case over alleged racial abuse. For a man who makes a living controlling a ball, it would be great if he could exercise the same discipline over his behaviour occasionally.
I don’t know if Freud was a football fan, (bear with me) but his theories on the structure of the mind explain a lot about how Terry behaves. He postulated that we have three competing forces within our personality, the id, ego and super ego.
We are born with the id, it can be thought of as the life force, in the helplessness of a new born it’s finds expression in that compelling scream for food, comfort, whatever is needed. Left unchecked, the id’s reckless pursuit of satiation has no thought for consequences, affect or others; sounding familiar Mr Terry?
Freud described the ego as the part of the mind that acts as the checking mechanism for the id. As the infant grows, the mind develops and the ego starts to balance the id’s rashness against what is appropriate, and safe. In deciding this balance, the ego is informed by standards of behaviour and moral principles that we learn along the way, mainly from our parents. These rules form the super ego; sometimes the super ego runs away with itself too, hence people like US Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum feels compelled to tell the rest of us that gay relationships destabilise society and contraception should be outlawed. The ego therefore has a tough job balancing the id and super ego into one rounded individual.
In Terry’s case, I’d say the id has the upper hand, (Santorum’s balance is also clearly off) and that’s why he shouldn’t have been reinstated as Captain after the Vanessa Perroncel debacle. Besides, I think Freud supported Arsenal.