Are We Guilty Of Judging What Could Be, Based On The Past?

I don’t write too much these days. But, I’m trying to be more consistent with it as it’s something that I enjoy doing, and I believe I bring something a bit different to the table compared to others who cover the goings-on at Wednesday.

After typing up an article on Cam Dawson the other day, which you can read by clicking here, it got me thinking. What’s often the case is I will have an idea for something to write about based on a previous piece, and I think there’s more to explore in terms of players, the past and how it can prevent some from letting there be a present and a future, potentially in a detrimental fashion.

I’m going to start with Dawson because he’s the player who really got me thinking about this. Everyone reading this will know that things haven’t gone to plan for Cam so far. He’s had spells in the side and then been out of the picture again. And, as I mentioned in the piece I wrote on him the other day, there are reasons, in my opinion, not as to why things didn’t work out but why the task was made more difficult.

With Dawson set to return to Wednesday for pre-season, people are wondering whether he will be given the opportunity to stake his claim to be the first choice keeper for us. And while there have been many who feel he deserves the chance, largely based on his excellent loan spell at Exeter, which we will come onto shortly, there are others who suggest he’s not good enough.

But are the comments from those who believe he’s not up to it and so on based on the past? Do they consider the period between October 2020, when Dawson last made his appearance for Wednesday, and now? And in doing so, is it possible that some won’t allow themselves to get behind a keeper who has come through our ranks, is a Wednesdayite, is the right age of 27 and is ready to give their all?

In the piece I did on Cam the other day, I pointed out that if Wednesday need a keeper, and if Dawson wasn’t on our books, he had come off the back of a successful promotion campaign from League 2, with fifty appearances in all competitions and nineteen clean sheets to his name, earning race reviews along the way, many would expect us to have him on our radar.

Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I think many of us can be guilty of letting the past influence the present and the future in terms of our feelings and support for players and others at the club, me included. For example, when Sam Hutchinson returned to Wednesday, I was dead against it. It’s not that I wouldn’t support him, but I felt a prejudice towards him based on what I’d heard during his previous stint at the club.

But, he came back into the building, and I heard from a couple of people he was acquitting himself well and looked to have really grabbed this second chance with us with both hands. But can you see what I mean? I was letting what I felt about Hutch in times gone by influence my feelings in the here and now, neglecting any positives that he could bring to the table in the process.

A potential final example is Nathanial Mendez-Laing. Of course, people are pointing the finger of blame at him for the goal which saw us crash out of the playoffs. And, when there have been suggestions he could end up elsewhere next season, although he has been offered fresh terms with us, there are many who are only focused on the Sunderland game.

And I get it. It’s still raw. There is still disappointment. But, at times, Mendez-Laing showed us what he had to offer last season. His ability to run with the ball and turn defenders is great, especially in League One. But now, will it be a case of some only considering a past misdemeanour?

Is it time we started to look at the here and now? And the future? Instead of looking back at past events and using them as a yardstick and, at times, a stick to beat players with?

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