In a week in which a winning Scotland side put manager Steve Clarke through the wringer – not once, but twice – one of his predecessors wondered aloud why anyone would bother being a manager.
Craig Levein described his failures during his three years in the role as “soul destroying”, and said he had not been able to really enjoy the successes for worrying about the next game.
While football bosses catch the worst of the flak, players also have to take a ride on the emotional rollercoaster.
Back in June, David Marshall lined up at Hampden Park, ready for the start of the Euros, secure in his status as the hero of the country’s qualifying campaign.
Penalty shoot-outs against Israel and Serbia sent the blood pressure of coaches and fans soaring and, on both occasions, Marshall was the man who came up with the big saves to take Scotland through.
Fast forward to last Saturday, and the keeper was so far out of the picture, he was able to accept an invitation to take on work as a pundit.
That is quite a turnaround, and one that is down to his club, Derby County, and in particular, its manager, Wayne Rooney.
The England icon dropped the 36-year-old down to being The Rams’ third-choice keeper, a demotion that effectively made it impossible for Clarke to pick him for Scotland.
Explaining his stance, the national coach made it clear if Marshall was to get a move or be recalled to action by his club, then he would be straight back into his thoughts.
While there is no reason to doubt he would be true to his word, it does not help the keeper right now.
In fact, the stint of punditry did him more of a favour, given it fixed his focus squarely on a man who should be an inspiration to him in his current situation.
Craig Gordon had to watch on from the sidelines as Marshall started in all three of Scotland’s Euro 2020 matches.
That was a situation familiar to him from club level, as he lost his place at Celtic in the 2019/20 season to Fraser Forster.
In both cases, Gordon bounced back in style.
A switch from the Hoops back to Hearts – who had sold him to Sunderland for a record £9-million – got him playing again for club and country.
Helping Robbie Neilson’s side win the Championship was a solid start to his revival, but he has since kicked on to the point where he has been the best keeper in the top flight this season.
Gordon has been equally good for Scotland, with his stunning first-half stop from Ari Mohr Jonsson as crucial to last Tuesday’s win away to the Faroe Islands as Lyndon Dykes’ goal.
And, at 38, he insists there is more to come.
Naming Tom Brady – the quarterback who still plays in the NFL at 44 – and the equally-effervescent Gianluigi Buffon – still turning out for Parma aged 43, following his 176 caps for Italy – as his inspirations, he has also set his sights on playing into his 40s.
There is a precedent at international level for Scotland.
Jim Leighton was 40 years and 78 days old when he made his 91st and last Scotland appearance.
On the surface, that would appear bad news for Marshall, Gordon’s long-term rival for the jersey.
Yet as both men’s careers show, things change in football. Sometimes very quickly indeed.
If Marshall can get a move away from Derby County in January, be back playing again, and do well for his new club, should Gordon pick up an injury or suffer a massive loss of form, Marshall would be in a position to step up.
Ahead of Rangers’ Jon McLaughlin and Liam Kelly of Motherwell, who were both in the squad for the recent World Cup double-header?
He has done it before. A shut-out hero for Celtic against Barcelona at the Nou Camp as a teenager, he rebuilt his career at Norwich City after being dropped for Artur Boruc.
Achieving it again might not be easy. But if there is a defining characteristic in the Scotland group, it is that they share a fighting spirit.
It is there in Dykes, who has battled his way from playing in the second tier with Queen of the South to the national side.
With Jack Hendry, who was let go by Celtic but is now a Champions League starter for Club Brugge.
And, of course, in Gordon himself.
David Marshall is likewise made of the right stuff.
He wouldn’t wish any ill on Craig Gordon. But he wouldn’t mind another chance to prove it.
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