In the previous thread, something interesting occurred, something worth a short post that deals with it a bit.
There was a comment stating that suggesting we don’t yet know about Douglas relied on the laziest of fan assertions, that we don’t know as much as the people whose jobs it is to know these sorts of things. The question of whether that is lazy or just common sense is a pertinent part of this discussion.
If I am at work editing a story, and an electrician walks into the newsroom, reads over my shoulder and decides that he knows better than I do what makes a story work and how to edit it, I am going to question that in the same way that he would question my assertion that I know more about circuits and wiring than he does. It ain’t our job.
Does that mean that people don’t possess knowledge that enables them to be a savant at something, or have a skill set that nobody knows about? Yep. That electrician could have been the best copy editor at his paper, but he just liked electronics. I could be an electronics savant. But prima facie, each person has a job.
It is the job of people to look at talent, and decide whether that talent is good enough to warrant consideration for the FC Barcelona first team. They get it wrong. Every team does. But usually, a player has the opportunity to fail before being deemed a failure. A player like Douglas is a special case, however. He isn’t good enough, period, and we don’t even need to see him play. As a matter of fact, him playing has the potential to make fools out of the “Not good enough and never will be crowd.” So playing him is actually a danger when you have something invested in his failure.
Supporters have an investment in themselves, their opinions and further, an investment in failure. Once a player is deemed “inadequate,” every semantic backflip will be used to ensure that said player remains thus. It’s like the people who insisted, based on not much more than their view of a coach and what they thought that coach was doing, that Barça didn’t have a chance against Atleti. Those people were silent when Barça beat Atleti not once, but three times. It’s easy to knee-jerk your way to a close-hugged opinion.
More difficult is to wait. To sit tight and see what a player or team, or anything ACTUALLY does rather than having an opinion and being unwilling to alter that opinion in any way, or evince any sort of flexibility. That is the purest form of intellectual laziness, because it doesn’t even want to make an effort to consider that something might be different.
We see it all the time, and not just with Douglas. We have seen it with Mathieu, Bravo, Neymar, Mascherano, etc, etc. We have seen it in the case of Andoni Zubizarreta, the man who should be, as some suggested, put in jail for signing Bravo over Ochoa or Keylor Navas. Only we don’t know, really, because neither of those inducements to a criminal act is seeing the light of day at their current teams, both of which are below Barça in the league standings.
This investment in failure and intellectual rigidity won’t stop until football supporters develop the kind of intellectual flexibility that allows them to consider other views, to consider the notion that maybe, just maybe, people who are paid large sums to assess talent might have a clue. If you look at the list of players who are making significant contributions to the success of this year’s team, which is in contention for a Treble, and how many of them were signed by the very man so many supporters claim is incompetent, that reality means that somebody, somewhere has gotten something wrong.
The talent assessors aren’t infallible. They get it wrong, or take a punt on a player who has a skill set that might translate into something interesting all the time. Henrique, Keirrison, Caceres, Hleb, Song, Barça has many players like that in its recent history. That kind of stuff happens. Look at what Txiki B and Soriano are doing with a blank checkbook at Manchester City. Does that mean they are incompetent? These are the guys who presided over the transfer period that brought in players crucial to the best period in Barça’s footballing history. You make signings, and you take a shot.
But patience is sometimes required. And I don’t understand writing a player off just because a supporter needs that player to be poor. Mascherano is a no-passing card magnet. Pique is a poker-playing playboy. Alves isn’t committed to the club any longer. Mathieu is a chain-smoking beanpole who isn’t good enough. And supporter have absolutely nothing invested in the situation. If our team wins or loses, if a player doesn’t cut it, we have nothing to lose or gain. Bragging rights ts the pub, the chance to strut around in the shirt, etc, etc, maybe a bit of money placed on a bet. That’s it. Nothing. Our job isn’t on the line, our future in the game isn’t at risk. Nothing. Yet we carp, argue and deem players who are given a shot at the club we support, “unworthy.” “I’ve seen him play. He sucks. Nowhere near good enough.” Got it. But it isn’t logical.
Douglas isn’t as good as Alves. No player in world football is, which is why Alves is in the catbird’s seat. Danilo? I have watched him play, and see talent. But it isn’t my job to say whether he has the potential to be as good as Alves. I don’t know enough to say that. That isn’t “lazy,” that’s just simple reality.
I don’t care about being right or wrong, mostly because except in the objective sense of a scoreline, such things don’t exist. But if Douglas turns out to be a helpful player for FC Barcelona, that would make me happy as a clam because the team has a need at the position he plays. It’s as simple as that. And in the battle to label, the only label I have for such a potential happenstance is, “Cool!”