Wilson’s Wisdom: One man’s mistake is another man’s brilliance

Pompey goalkeeper Paul Jones    Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey goalkeeper Paul Jones Picture: Joe Pepler

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Firstly, an apology.

I do occasionally make the odd error, although my most vociferous critics will argue that they are more than occasional.

Before I joined this fine publication way back in 2007, I called Bournemouth’s caretaker manager by the wrong name in print, which was a bit embarrassing.

I knew exactly who he was – his name was Stuart Murdoch.

For some reason, I just got it into my head for a split second that his name was Stewart Houston.

To this day, I don’t know why.

It was just a moment of supreme chumpery.

But covering the Exeter v Pompey game in midweek, I was a bit flummoxed as to how the second goal had beaten Paul Jones.

Several hours later and with my views already in black and white, I saw a replay of the goal.

It looked rather different to how I had remembered it bobbling into the far corner with no great pace.

From my view in the press box at the time, I didn’t fully appreciate the quality of the finish from Alex Nicholls as he bent it beyond the far post with the outside of his boot to find the net.

My recalibrated opinion is that I was wrong and Jones didn’t have much chance of keeping it out.

So sorry about that, Paul.

Not that he’s likely to care – he’s not a player who indulges the media very often so it’s doubtful he will have read it and he certainly hasn’t been in contact about it.

Even if he did see it, goalkeepers tend to have pretty thick skin and most players shrug off the views of a local hack.

But it prompted a few other memories of run-ins with players who didn’t agree with things they had read – and a few times they had only been told about what was supposedly written about them.

I’m happy to express an honest opinion – it doesn’t mean I’m right.

And the odd crossed word with a manager or a player is part of the job sometimes.

Some will argue that the role of a journalist is to merely report facts. But they are facts as we see them. Others will see things differently.

So even if you try to stick to that rigidly, some opinion still slips in from time to time.

Was it a brilliant long-range strike from 30 yards?

Or did the defence stand off and allow a shot that the keeper should have saved from that distance?

You only have to read a match report on an official website from certain Premier League clubs to get a different slant on a game.

The Chelsea official website’s match report of their recent loss to Manchester City is worth reading if you have five minutes.

It painted a very different tale to the game I watched on TV.

Then again, perhaps the TV coverage influenced my own opinion, even though I considered myself as an impartial observer?

Local newspapers are not immune from some of the same issues, even if we try to be objective.

Let’s face it, we want Pompey to win and to enjoy some success.

But we still have to strike a balance and sometimes, that can pave the way for views to be regarded as inaccurate.

Although you could argue that they are only mistakes from a certain person’s point of view...

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