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October 15, 2007

Comments

Matt Munro

I still think Gareth Barry is crap - how can anyone that plays for Aston bloody Villa be in the England team.

mat

Aren't you guilty of confirmation bias in writing this post about confirmation bias on the basis of one example? As Matt Munro points out, Gareth Barry *is* crap.

dearieme

"disconfirm": I certainly didn't expect to see that abortionate word here.

Online Sports Guy

I'm afraid it is the journalists who have been guilty of confirmation bias. For years they have been talking Frank up as the next big thing but time and time again he has failed on the big stage.

For the first time an England manger has not swayed by the London press.

However, Frank Lamaprd is an average footballer at best and all the press can do is complain.

Paulie

Timely, given Ming's demise. It's worth noting that journalists are not only the agents of this bias - the also exagerate it massively. However, I think you're wrong about Barry. In the Israel game, he really was very effective. I disagree with the consensus about Lampard (I rate him). I watched it alone with the sound turned down, and I drew the same conclusions as the pundits.

Igor Belanov

I think McClaren has been lucky with injuries over the past few months as this has meant he's actually had to think about his best team rather than picking the players that the press tells him to. He deserves some credit for sticking to his selections even when players have recovered from injury or returned from suspension. Barry is a useful player and clearly in much better form than Lampard. Lampard himself has been a bit unfairly abused, but it is a good sign that people make their own minds up occassionally rather than taking 'star' status for granted.

JH

Sports journalists are the worst for confirmation bias. On an almost weekly basis I read reviews of games that I have watched (not just football) which bear no resemblance whatsoever to what actually transpired during play.

Chris Bertram

Indeed. Just about anything is seen as confirming evidence of the herd journos' theory about "Rafa's rotation policy". The team he picked against Tottenham was as close to a first choice as he could get (given injuries to Agger and Alonso) and yet (BBC version):

"... this was a performance that will raise further question marks about Benitez's rotational policy."

cf. also "zonal marking" which was main journo explanation for Liverpool conceding goals for a long time.

Chris Bertram

But on 3. above, I don't think that anyone thinks of Barry as a better player than Lampard. They think that Gerrard - Barry is a better combination than Gerrard - Lampard (and that Gerrard is better than Lampard, which he is.)

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