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January 25, 2015



This may be unfair to Robbie Savage. He doesn't explicitly consider the alternative, but he may have and just not said so. Perhaps he thinks it obvious that if he says they shouldn't push both fullbacks up, that's because he thinks the alternative - only letting one go - is better.

This kind of thing often happens when the more educated debate the less educated.


Not so Donad. Robbie Savage is forever haunted by the many cultured fillettings he suffered at the hands of Henry, Vieira et al which mercilessly exposed his limitations - his humiliation being the worse for his nemeses' impudent Frenchness. Any opportunity to kick Wenger is one he seizes with relish. Dissing the Arsenal is his therapy. It is balm to the festering wound of his disgraces past.


Another possible common thread between football/sport and economics is disagreement over what figures really matter.

St Arsene has (or had) some (to me) weird idea about "goal efficiency" - could a team win consistently despite a relatively poor goal difference, by not wasting goals in extravagant 5-0 victories. In economics, you have argued that Milliband was perfectly reasonable to forget the deficit (sorry if I have paraphrased incorrectly). Any prizes for the most useless statistic in either realm most fetishised by "experts"?

Dave Timoney

As he proved in today's commentary on the Brighton-Arsenal game, Savage is perfectly capable of considering mutiple and even contradictory points of view, just not at the same time.

All he is actually doing is fulfilling his contractual obligations to act as a sounding brass and thus windup viewers: "X is very poor; Y is brilliant; X is brilliant; Y is very poor" ad infinitum.

You could easily build a Robbie Savage random commentary generator. Just vary the above pattern with a few shouts of "magic", "you just can't do that", and "that was a good foul".

Igor Belanov

Robbie Savage is little different in his opinions to most other pundits, he's just louder and more excitable. Probably a good thing for the BBC though, if they were all as dull as Michael Owen then nobody would bother watching.


Omerod, I'm not defending Savage per se. Just making a general point that quite often parts of arguments are left unspoken. I think the more educated often assume unspoken means not thought, when debating the less educated.


"Any prizes for the most useless statistic in either realm most fetishised by "experts"?"

In Germany this is clear. All the journalists have a fetish about "Zweikämpfe gewonnen" (approximately 1 versus 1 contest victories). But the statistics are always about even by the end of the match and don't correlate with results at all. My guess is that you mostly win in modern football by avoiding "Zweikämpfe" (since losing one is inviting a counter attack).


"One implication of the multiverse hypothesis is that there are an infinite number of Robbie Savages"

And in one of them maybe, just maybe, he plays like Lionel Messi. But we'll never know.


I reject the idea of the mutliverse on the grounds that if there were an infinite number of me I would know about it! If I don't know about them then how can they be me?

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