If there is one thing you can be sure of, it’s that there are some decisions that happen that we as fans won’t like or agree with. It’s par for the course in football, and Wednesday announcing that Sam Hutchinson isn’t being retained really highlights this. There are some who are on board with the decision, others who aren’t keen but understand and then those who are dead against it. And it got me thinking about how we, as fans, consider the decisions that are made.
Using Hutch as an example, it’s fair to say that he’s what you’d describe as a fan’s favourite in the main. Yes, some weren’t necessarily keen on him, but, for the most part, he was liked by a large proportion of the fanbase, and it’s easy to see why. He shone during the better times, was willing to get stuck in, and has repeatedly expressed his love for the club.
So, naturally, when it was officially confirmed that we would not be retaining Hutchinson’s services for next season, there was uproar from some. But the club and Darren have made the decision, and potentially Sam, too. At times, it’s important to consider the nuts and bolts involved in a decision like this and decisions made in general because they’re often overlooked or ignored.
I think the first point to make, and it’s one I have spoken about more times than I care to remember, is that the manager and his staff see a player much more than we as do. We will judge performances on the pitch. But they see them in training and will have all their data. They will know their physical condition and how they are mentally. They will know what they bring to the table daily. I could go on.
Of course, if we can only see a player in games and get to know them through media appearances and the like, that’s the only time really we can judge them. And, it’s the evidence at hand that we will use to generate our feelings about them being at the club, for example. But, while football is a game of opinions, do we really have the vantage point that Darren, his staff and so on have?
Then there is the financial side that influences many decisions in football that we’re not privy to. How much a player is paid and how much they want to be paid is often a hot topic of discussion. But the reality is that we don’t know the figures and more than likely never will. It’s another significant part of the decision-making process that must be considered.
Darren, his staff, the recruitment team, the Chairman, and the Chairman’s people will draw on all the resources and evidence that they have available before coming to a decision. And, if we’re honest, they are going to be in a much better position than us to do that. So, I feel this must be taken into consideration.
Using Hutch as an example to close this piece off with, they will have made the decision to release him based on everything they know to this point. And, would they weaken a department we’re incredibly short in if they didn’t feel it was the right way to go? Would Darren be okay with letting one of his regulars go if he didn’t think he could at least get someone of a similar level of ability who perhaps has more to offer moving forwards?
In football, you live and die by decisions. You can’t predict the future. So the reality is that you make all decisions in good faith, believing they’re the right ones to make at the time, based on what you know. Of course, you’ll get some right and some wrong. But, while we, as fans, may not always agree. If the decisions are taken in good faith and for what are believed to be the right reasons, should we be so eager to lash out and so on? Especially when the manager and club are in a better place to make said decisions in most instances?