Perez, Pakistan And Terrible Predictions

As journalists, bloggers, writers, whatever we call ourselves, it’s often fun to try to predict the future, although sometimes we do it hoping that at some point down the line, we’ll be able to turn round and say “I told you so,” adding a “look, it’s there in print (or pixel).”

I’ve had some howlers in my time. Wrote Ian Bell off during the 2009 Ashes series. Advised you to go and back Bangladesh to win the 2011 World Cup after their showing in 2007.

But sometimes, just sometimes, we get it right, or what can seem like a vendetta against an individual, or a team, is later seen in its true context as fair and sometimes reasoned or justifiable.

When the news broke earlier this week that McLaren had decided against offering Sergio Perez a new deal, I was honestly unsurprised.

This is me, on Perez, on a couple of occasions this season.

First, on 24th March:

Some observers, including yours truly, felt that Sauber produced an exceptionally quick car last year and that neither Perez nor Kamui Kobayashi did it justice. Given how racy Hulkenberg was, and where he finished, it looks as if they have produced another good one and that the theory about how quick Perez really is could well be on the money. It’s one to watch, in any case.

Secondly, on 27th May:

Quick and racy he may be, but he still has an awful long way to go to prove himself anything like a complete racing driver.

OK, I was never brave enough to write that he definitely wouldn’t be in a McLaren next year, but I was never convinced. Neither, it seems, are the team at Woking and he joins Stefan Johannsen, Keke Rosberg, Michael Andretti jr., Martin Brundle, Mark Blundell and Fernando Alonso as one-season wonders with McLaren.

The father of the man who replaces him was a one-race wonder at McLaren, although that came as he deputised for Mika Hakkinen in 1995.

Before I get too lost in my own self-congratulation here, I had another look at something I’d written in the last 18 months and it just goes to show that I really don’t get it right too often.

Writing in A Win For The People after the ICC World Twenty20, I had the following to say on Pakistan after their semi-final defeat to Sri Lanka.

…they did what they always do…make the semi-finals…but with the steady hand of Dav Whatmore guiding them forward, we can expect them to continue their progress.

Dav Whatmore decided against staying with Pakistan earlier this week and progress has been slow, but I went on to say that they are still worth a punt on making the semi-finals again next year. Given that they failed to reach 100 in their most recent Twenty20 game, that might seem a bit far-fetched, but Pakistan are nothing if not unpredictable.

Which rather makes predicting what they will do a bit of a waste of time.

John Pennington currently has a part-written Formula One fiction book among his ongoing projects. If you’d like to read the projects he has completed (included the 5-star rated 1,309 Days Later and three cricket books), please click here.

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