Resultology, the term and school of thought, is the immediate overreaction to results of EPL clubs on any particular matchday in a European competition. Of course, resultology exists in all walks of life and all parts of futbol and sports. It is a branch of Utilitarian analysis whereby we focus on results, and then work our way backwards to an explanation. Like all logic, resultology strives to use reason to make sense of the universe.
Here’s the problem: sometimes shit just happens.
European club competitions exist to compare the brightest of the brightest. I get this. I also know that, say, you want your team to win and beat the best. Ideally, your team would win every single game. I also know that, as a freelancer, writers can feel pressure to recycle and tweak old ideas. Who doesn’t love something you can churn out in 20 minutes for a three figure fee? Plus, you can easily ride the Google wave of search results to traffic glory. It’s win-win-win.
Here’s the issue with resultology and utilitarianism: it’s at odds with the scientific method. Rather, the process has to come first, perhaps along with a thesis. In sum, we can make reasonable predictions as to the future based on the past and present. However, taking a result and then looking back is kinda the opposite approach and perilous. For example, how many books take a current World or club champion and ascribe this success to some youth academy tweak? Newsflash: all major teams and clubs have youth academies which they tweak and try to improve every year!
This is simple causation. For example, one journalist wrote about a book (loosely defined as a collection of several papers with words and including the “fanboy genre”) how great Barca was due in large part to their academy La Masia. If La Masia is the cause of their success, though, then shouldn’t it also be the cause of their failures? Should we blow up La Masia when Barca fails to win? Did the trophyless seasons happen due to changes in La Masia’s inner workings?
In reality, youth academies are contributing factors. They can be improved and that has effects years later. However, an academy is only as good as the talent that comes through it. This relies on a scouting network, but also either divine assistance or, if you are an athiest, shit luck. Nobody can control where or when a talented will be born. A brilliant artist can sculpt a David from a boulder, but you need the boulder first.
In the EPL, the flawed logic goes both ways. On the one hand, some fans will look at games on the same day, see that English teams lost, and conclude that the EPL does not produce good teams. Ironically, another group of fans will look at those same results and conclude the EPL is such a superior league that English clubs are too exhausted to give their best in European games. See the problem with resultology?
Of course, I love me a good long read that shines a light up close on a particular club or team. I just don’t like poorly reasoned logic. Unless you have a squirrel-esque toupee. Then I will vote for you for President-elect for life to make America great again. And again. And again.