I am no analyst
The other day I came across a loyal reader of this very column. I hope by saying she was beautiful will be interpreted purely as an adjective and not a part of my animalistic instincts. Yes, she was beautiful folks, very. Although I would have loved to have discussed other things not related to the beautiful game, matters like the stock market for example, she was interested in talking football. Of all the things our lady friend spoke none struck me the most by how she constantly referred to me as an “analyst”.
Let me be clear: I am no analyst. A football analyst for that matter. While the use of that term is understandable, locally and overseas, it is one I respectfully wish to disassociate myself with for now. I am not yet worthy to puff out my chest, have access to free food and drinks at events and be addressed on public platforms as an analyst. The reasons are quite simple and they lie in the interrogation of the term itself: analyst.
Who is an analyst? What makes one an analyst? What qualifications should he possess? An analysis in my opinion suggests an in-depth discussion and explanation of a subject matter; in this case our common friend football. Now the latter is a generous guy, he reaches out to anyone and almost everyone has an opinion about him.
Football alternates between being a matter of public interest and being of interest to the public on an everyday. You simply have to dress him in either of these two suits and he would look the part. In short, he is malleable, fluid and perhaps gullible or naïve. My submission here is that to be analyst is an exercise or duty that can be performed by anyone and everyone as long as they find an audience. And how is that a problem? Freedom of expression anyone?
The real problem is that all of us can posit to be analysts without having the necessary credentials. Football is a vocation. It is a profession and like all other professions, one must have certain qualifications that enable him to be an analyst- an expert. When one makes a claim to be an analyst, he certainly stands in the position of an expert, by either or both his qualifications and experience in football.
Writing, being a columnist or pundit, on their own, whether such has been a 10 week or 10 year experience does not warrant one to be an analyst. With the boom of social media, where either fame or ridicule are a button away, the mushrooming of analysts in any form, size and shape has been alarming.
People are certainly within their rights, protected by the Constitution and other legal instruments of course, to air their views, whether such be an agreement or digression. And in that case, we the simpletons, have found a niche where we can unload our “analysis”. On Facebook. Twitter.
YouTube. Ultra-long monologues that admittedly, while rousing renditions, are sometimes wayward. The modern analyst is lazy. He is rash in his criticism, has an acidic tongue that is palatable to an audience that usually bays for blood, in most cases the manager s. He is a rabble rouser, digs for diamonds in a gold mine and when he cannot sufficiently “ analyse” per his duties he finds fault somewhere else rather in him.
Coaches put in the hard work. Years and years of effort and acquire certain qualifications that enable them to manage at some level. That is why they stand on the touchline; they are qualified to do that.
And the analysts? Dololo (Lord forgive me for both the use of this term and not being able to find a suitable English term). Anyone can be an analyst. Every Jack and Jill! Welcome to the free world boys and girls.
So dear beautiful reader you see why I refuse to be called analyst. I am no analyst. My football education does not warrant me to be one. Maybe I am a student of the game but even then I am still in the lower rungs. There are analysts out there and I am not one of theirs.