It is a deep-rooted cultural assumption — one from which it is nearly impossible to escape, such weight does it hold in society — that we exist in a moral universe. That is, good things eventually come to good people, and those of suspect moral fibre will at some point receive their comeuppance.
This assumption is partly why the fallacy of the pure meritocracy has such a firm foothold among those who wish to withhold privilege from others, and why films like No Country for Old Men and Unforgiven — in which our heroes die unceremoniously off screen and the villains quip about how deserve’s got nothing to do with it — stand out so starkly from the pack, a pack that largely caters to our innate desire for and belief in moral justice.
While considering these themes will eventually lead to an exploration of the concept of free will — a dark and complex subject from which we will eschew further investigation in this article — and while most people will cognitively accept that a moral universe is unlikely at best, it is difficult to avoid feeling like, say, being really nice and also good at your job should be rewarded, while, for instance, deriving your success from a regime that enslaves and tortures its people should not.
Georginio Wijnaldum — he of the glorious smile that is wont to make one believe in a benevolent higher power — certainly thinks his team deserves something to show for the season they’ve had. Amassing a club-record number of points — the third highest ever recorded in the Premier League — and reaching a second consecutive Champions League final, the Dutchman is adamant that ending the year without a trophy would be deeply, unfair.
“If you look back when you’re on vacation on this season, I think everyone will realise we had a really good season, a wonderful season,” the former Newcastle man told the club’s official site.
”Ninety-seven points, we’d normally be champion with. But in this case, City had one point more and they turned champions. Overall, I think we had a good season and now is the challenge to finish with a title to make the season complete.
”It would be really sad if we finish the season without a title,” he continued. “Especially because I think we were quite consistent this season and we did so good.
”I think this season deserves one.”
One can only hope that Jürgen Klopp can inspire his players to forge their own destiny in Madrid three weeks from now, and that, this once, at least, Little Bill Daggett will be proven wrong.