There is an idea in Zen Buddhism called Shoshin, or Beginner’s Mind.

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities but in the expert’s there are few.”

One of the biggest obstacles for Buddhist monks, sitting hour after hour, day after day, year after year, meditating, is monotony.

For meditating monks, monotony isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. Novelty and distraction are the enemy.

Once pointed out to us, we civilians understand this immediately. A walk around the block is boring when you do it twice a day, every day. But try persuading your dog of that. There’s a chap who has beginner’s mind. In fact, he has puppy’s mind. The best kind. And it’s infectious. Hell, even you’re pumped about the walk because he is.

Your family comes to visit you, and instantly you are the enthusiastic tour guide for a city and its museums and tourist spots that you couldn’t be arsed to visit on your own in the previous 5 years.

Ever watched a movie you think is great too many times to where it’s become a bit meh for you? But then you watch it with your new girlfriend and you see it through her eyes and you drown her in a wave of exuberance as it plays. And then when you’re older, and you’ve wedded that beautiful girl, you’ll inflict all your old favourites on your kids and experience Shoshin once more.

And if you’re smart, like really smart, every now and then you will look in your wife’s eyes and see your girlfriend, your bride, and you will travel in time.

And so it is with football. Ah, the pre-season, when young men’s thoughts turn to…potential. The youths coming through who will almost certainly become worldies this season. The transfers that tantalize and titillate. The incomings and the outgoings. Once again you can feel the blood starting to surge in your footballing loins. And you remember the why. You can look into the eyes of Le Foot and remember why you once fell into them.

But a season like last season, or the season before, or the season before that can beat it out of you by January. Or sooner. If you are not enjoying your football, you may have to take matters into your own hands and adopt Shoshin.

If loving Hector is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Man, that guy knows how to be a footballer. Even when injured he’s loving every minute of the life it gives him and the doors it opens. He’s had a few brilliant moments this summer, popping up in pubs, photo-bombing fans.

Though nothing will ever top the time he went to do one of those PR visits to the young kiddie who was his fan. Shows up at their house with a signed shirt. Chats for a few minutes. They offer him a cup of tea. Instead of making his excuses and buggering off to his cars and his wag and his entourage he says “sure.” 4 hours later he has stayed for dinner, played with the kids and put them to bed. Pretty sure the video ends with Hector sat on the sofa between the husband and wife as they collapse down to watch late night TV before they mention they’d have an early start in the morning and could do with getting to bed soon.

If loving Rob Holding’s Summer Of Love with his best girlie is wrong, and being an equal participant, as the 3 of us travel around Americay, then I don’t want to be right.

These boys know how to do this injury stuff. None of this struggling back from the brink shite that Koscielny was feeding us. (Just kidding. Still love Lolo, the moody bastard.)

If loving Eddie Nketiah shoving that Bayern shit into his next fixture is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

If loving Eddie Nketiah’s bottom lip is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

If loving Tyreece John-Jules solo gegenpressing against whichever unfortunates he’s put up against like a man whose daughter is held for ransom by a bunch of Albanian human traffickers is wrong…

If gushing over the interplay of Saka, Nketiah, John-Jules and Martinelli against the Might of the Colorado Rapids B-team is wrong…

If believing 70 minutes of Willock holding his own in a preseason friendly versus Bayern Munchbastards isn’t absolute proof he’s the midfield Messiah we seek is wrong…

If Ozil dying his hair Albino Assassin White after losing a crossbar challenge to Laca is wrong…

If hearing some foreign fella’s name from the Bolivian 2nd division on Monday, watching youtube vids and hanging on the translated tweets of some Bolivian twitter journo with 354 followers on a Tuesday, and getting hyped cos Kike Marin added “Is possible” on Wednesday is wrong…

Let’s Shoshin the fuck out of this pre-season. It needs to carry us through till May 2020.

Don’t screw this up, Unai. Play the kids. I can forgive you anything after that.