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September 21, 2015



Wenger said "In every game he has aggravation and he gets away with it because of the weakness of the referee. We knew before the game he is only looking at that."

Surely Wenger is correct in his analysis because he has taken a large sample size and deemed that Costa gets away with it more than he gets sent off, therefore making Costa's approach correct, whereas you have only analysed a single game.

So I suspect this is more an example of the Arsenal bias than the outcome bias. I appreciate you've pointed this out in your last sentence.

Matt M

Yes, not only that but many decisions like a CEOs are taken spur of the moment. In which case, a person's instinctive decision making isn't a reflection on much either way.

Best to look at long term results. That is, Costa got a guy sent off but will he turn into Torres or bite someone?

Likewise, Osborne has his private credit/housing boom going, but the bust will come before the end of the next government perhaps.

The lesson in government seems to be to stim the economy through credit expansion and hopefully get out before the house falls down by the time the next one gets in. Carney and Osborne sitting in a tree - deregulation, buy to let and QE QE.

Igor Belanov

How much does Costa really differ from the widely maligned Luis Suarez except in that he seems to get away with it? By my count (and just watching highlights on MOTD) he committed at least half-a-dozen bookable offences and one that should have got a straight red. And I'm not an Arsenal fan.

Dave Timoney

I think this is less the outcome bias and more the influence of dominant media narratives. I recall when Costa arrived last season he was feted as both "ideal for the English game" (i.e. thuggish) and "ideal for Chelsea" (i.e. manipulative). Journos admiring his gamesmanship is of a piece with their admiration for Mourinho's mind-games.

I suspect these narratives do subliminally influence the officials. While Chelsea as a team are assumed to be calculating, leading to repeated warnings, Arsenal have a reputation for petulance, leading to quick cards. While we're pretty average in terms of fouls, our ratio of fouls to yellow cards is low, while we now have the joint record of most reds in EPL history. That Santo Cazorla, eh? Bloody psycho.

Igor Belanov

Referees have odd attitudes when it comes to players (and teams) with 'reputations'. They were very indulgent with Robbie Savage, who usually had to commit a dozen fouls before getting booked, while Lee Cattermole only has to breath on someone now to get a card. I tend to think that managers who complain about refs a lot do get things their own way eventually, as refs hesitate to make important decisions and err on the side of caution to avoid controversy.

Dave Timoney

Referees avoiding controversy? When will this madness end?


I for one am not happy George Osborne's Chinese investment, the Loan Guarantee and the prospect of a Chinese Nuclear Power Station at Bradwell.

Not to mention the guaranteed Electricity Strike Price for the EDF EPR plant at Hinkley Point.


I am in favour of Nuclear power. But this looks like political/economic lunacy.


Another epic fail (as predicted) for George Osborne.

Help to Buy generates asset price inflation and helps the better off most.


"Mortgage lending is now 8.4 per cent higher than it would have been without the help to buy scheme, Shelter found."

Of course to some this is sucess.


Britain was a world leader in reliable nuclear plants and they have served us well for decades. Lack of UK foresight, perverse market ideology and sustainable investment means we have lost all the skills and know-how once built up. Skills that could have been put to earning substantial profits from design and build of overseas plants. The French who understand that public works are an asset not a liability have kept their skills and advanced them. They are cleaning up as Osborne has no one else to turn to. Even worse he is allowing the Chinese to learn these skills and then supply plants all over the World, whilst we sit idly by milking the public for ever increasing energy costs.


“A decision was wise, even though it led to disastrous consequences, if the evidence at hand indicated it was the best one to make, and a decision was foolish, even though it led to the happiest possible consequences, if it was unreasonable to expect those consequences.” –Herodotus

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