BGK is back to talk about his team philosophy and why the word ‘and’ is always a better choice
Best Goalkeeper in the world, Adriano Patrick, welcome back to The Sewers.
Thank you very much, hello.
How have you been? Sorry about Monaco being out of the Champions League.
It’s OK, you really shouldn’t be upset.
Oh I’m alright, of course. How are you?
We’re OK. we have other things to put our focus on.
Right, but you?
I asked about you, and you answered with ‘we’.
I see, the we and me in a team is something I think about very often. It’s integral to the way I see things, so I answer like this sometimes, and I think like this sometimes.
How strong is the ‘we’ aspect for a goalie, as opposed to field players?
It is exactly the same, exactly the same. I would be ashamed to even think different.
But it’s not really the same.
It is the same. I cannot say: defense was bad so there was a goal. This was me outside the picture. I cannot say: defense did their best but I failed to catch the ball. This is also only me in the picture. The right thing to say is: defense was bad, or good, and I did not prevent a goal. Do you understand?
You mean taking responsibility for actions that are not only your own, instead of throwing it on others, that although involved, aren’t to be held exclusively responsible.
Yes, OK. But the most important word I used that you don’t use enough is the word ‘and’. This word is always not about cause and effect. That is why it is a we word.
Linguistically, of course it’s the most ‘we’ word possible.
I think it is a word people are scared to use because it makes things simpler than what people want to think.
What do you mean?
And is word to describe the most simple perception. A simple example is: there were clouds.
You complete the sentence.
Right. There were clouds and then it rained.
You didn’t even need the word ‘then’ in there. But it is the most simple way of seeing.
But when I say ‘there were clouds and it rained’ it’s very obvious I’m talking about cause and effect, the mere adjacency of the two phenomena already renders my acknowledgment that they are connected. Also, the temporarily of the sentence makes it clear that it’s cause and effect.
Of course, it is your thinking that is behind it. But I believe that when you prefer the word ‘and’ to other words you make things become more simple. But I think you need to know how to use it right. I can say: he kicked the ball and scored a goal. This is the most simple thing that you can see. In this word, ‘and’, there is a big world of actions and intentions, but they do not change the fact of what really happened. What really happened is that he kicked the ball and scored a goal. In more complicated sentences, the word ‘and’ can hide facts and even deceive and lie. That is why football is a place that is more right for using the word ‘and’. It is never against the facts.
Can you give an example of a complicated sentence where the word ‘and’ is deceptive?
I think about a sentence: he had a bad game and his manager sacked him. This is something that cannot be 100% a fact.
Seems like you’re referring to different levels of complexity regarding cause and effect. The word ‘and’ doesn’t really play such a substantial role in it.
Because it’s just masking the probability of the word ‘because’ being true in a sentence. It’s easier to see that there was a goal because, and perhaps only because, he kicked the ball. It’s less simple to see that he was sacked because he had a bad game.
Masking is a good word. It is a word that is verb and also noun. Very good. And also the word true. The word ‘and’ I think is always closer the truth.
But you just said it can be deceptive!
Yes, very good, exactly!
Perhaps our entire use of language is in its core deceptive.
That is very true always. That is why we need to use less words always. The word ‘and’ is a way to use less words.
Right. This is a bit confusing. Is this how you solved the problem of the me and we in a team?
It is not a problem. It is a fact that there is a me and we in everything and that sometimes there is conflict. I thought about this for many years, and it made me a judge of how good a goalkeeper is. I can tell how good a goalkeeper is if I just see his reaction to a ball in his net.
First, a great goalkeeper always gets up right after his jump, especially if he didn’t catch the ball. I told you about this. He will not stay down on the ground because his spirit rises and he doesn’t want to rise without it. Second, he will not speak after he got up. This silence is the way he takes the responsibility, and it doesn’t matter if the defense was good or bad.
But what if it’s like a passive-aggressive silence? He’d be quiet looking at his team mates like – look what you did, you idiots.
No, there is no place for a thing like that.
I mean he wouldn’t say it, It’d be in his silence. I always thought true goalies are those who encourage their team right after taking a goal, like Neuer from Bayern Munich.
No, it is not the same. Neuer will never clap at his defense when it was bad.
So he’s not a great goalkeeper?
No, I will not say that. He is very good.
Right. So you’re saying that even with the worst defense ever, a goalkeeper is supposed to believe he can prevent a goal, no matter what?
In a way, yes. He is always responsible for a ball in his net.
And what about scoring a goal? Will it be a ‘we moment’ for the striker?
It should be but you understand that a striker is not a goalkeeper.
They are usually dumber, aren’t they?
That is not – there is no place for a thing like that. You need to understand that a goalkeeper’s philosophy is a lonely philosophy. It is a private philosophy. I do not really expect everyone on the pitch to follow my philosophy. And in life also. But the fact that other people do not accept your philosophy does not mean it will stop guiding you. I think that these understandings come with the age. What happens on the field is a formation, a figuration, that does not stop changing for a second. And it is the same in life.
You mean it in a sense that we can never really know what’s the cause to an effect?
Well yes in a way, but it is going a bit too far with it. I mean what happens on the field that leads to a goal in the 89th minute, started to happen in the first minute of the game.
But you said that the formation or figuration on the field changes constantly.
Yes, OK, but the way it changed 60 times in the first minute affected the way it changed in the next 60 times in the second minute.
Right. We haven’t much time left, but would you tell a bit about your history in Germany? Your signing in St. Pauli, at the age of 20, is said to have led to your big breakthrough in Atletico Madrid.
Yes, I was there for three years, until the year 2000. I was injured in August 1999 and sat the bench for a few months but I was still a very proud Pauli player for three years.
One of the Alters here in the Sewers, the Anarchist Philosopher, who is of course a huge Pauli fan, wondered how you had made the switch from a club-owned team, which sometimes even prefers the bundesliga2 for the sake of not compromising its ideals, to huge profiting teams such as Atletico Madrid, and then Chelsea.
This is very funny because Atleti was not such a profiting club in 2000, it was very different than what it is now, and even now it is defiantly a team with a soul and not just about money.
As opposed to – ?
A team with a soul is a team you bring your soul into. That is why I can say that every club I played for had a soul.
But you’ve had some trouble with your manager in Chelsea in the 2005\6 season –
It does not contradict. When you have a soul you also have troubles, you see.
In January 2007 you said that this manager, I quote, “has a very special skill of destroying a goalkeeper’s spirit”. What was that about?
Look, you see, it wasn’t about me and there are no bad feelings in me for all of this that happened.
You were referring to him benching your successor I believe –
I was talking about how he benched some of the best players he had for unprofessional reasons, yes, it’s OK, it’s behind us.
You called him Diablo in the showers –
I never call anyone like this. This is the British papers that always make anything very dramatic and too much. I wish there was a safety word with the British papers.
Right! Well I wish you best of luck on your next Coupe de la Ligue match!
Thank you very much, merci!