Despite more and more Premier League matches being shown live on TV and the ability to watch goals as soon as they go in, Match of the Day is still as popular as ever.
Being able to watch extended highlights of every game, analysed by the likes of Alan Shearer and Ian Wright is a ritual for many of us.
Hosted by Gary Lineker, the programme doesn’t usually start until around 10:20pm meaning we’ve often resisted the urge to watch all of the goals, saving ourselves for Match of the Day.
Some fans go a step further and attempt to avoid football for an entire day and watch Match of the Day without knowing any of the results.
But there is one aspect of Match of the Day that gets complaints every single week.
Whenever Lineker tweets out the show’s running order an hour or two before it airs, you will get hundreds of fans complaining that their side is towards the end.
“[Insert team name here] are always last!”
But which set of fans are closest to the truth when they bombard Lineker’s mentions with their complaints?
Well, we’ve come across data, per the Liverpool Echo, from the 2019/20 season that shows Brighton supporters should feel the most hard done by as they featured last on Match of the Day 11 times!
Relegated duo Norwich (10 occasions) and Watford (8 occasions) make up the three clubs that appeared last the most often.
Aston Villa, surprisingly, were only on last once along with Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.
Check out the full list of teams who featured last most often:
WHICH TEAMS WERE ON LAST MOST OFTEN?
- Brighton & Hove Albion - 11
- Norwich City - 10
- Watford - 8
- Crystal Palace - 7
- Bournemouth - 6
- Burnley - 5
- Southampton - 5
- Arsenal - 4
- Leicester City - 4
- Newcastle United - 4
- Sheffield United - 4
- Wolverhampton Wanderers - 4
- Everton - 2
- Liverpool - 2
- Tottenham Hotspur - 2
- West Ham United - 2
- Aston Villa - 1
- Chelsea - 1
- Manchester City - 1
- Manchester United - 1
But what about the teams that were shown first?
Well, you won’t be surprised to discover that Liverpool earned that honour as they were on 14 times over the course of the campaign.
Second-place Man City were on first the second most often but four times fewer than Liverpool with 10.
Then came Leicester with seven with Brighton and West Ham level on six.
Remarkably, Newcastle weren’t on first once during the whole season!
WHICH TEAMS WERE ON FIRST MOST OFTEN?
- Liverpool - 14
- Manchester City - 10
- Leicester City - 7
- Brighton & Hove Albion - 6
- West Ham United - 6
- Everton - 5
- Manchester United - 5
- Watford - 5
- Arsenal - 4
- Aston Villa - 4
- Bournemouth - 4
- Norwich City - 4
- Chelsea - 3
- Southampton - 3
- Tottenham Hotspur - 3
- Crystal Palace - 2
- Burnley - 1
- Sheffield United - 1
- Wolverhampton Wanderers - 1
- Newcastle United - 0
A few years ago, Lineker was actually asked about fans' obsession with the Match of the Day running order.
"It’s hilarious," he told Joe. "Everyone’s covered. To be honest, it mostly picks itself. There’s obvious criteria – the big game, which can be superseded if there’s an unbelievably great game that day.
"It’s like any sporting event – you generally focus on the leaders. You don’t watch a horse race and focus on the horses at the back. Or swimming and watch the people in fifth. You focus on the top, if it’s a fairly dull game, then you go to the next most interesting thing - which is obviously the bottom of the table or the Champions League chase.
"If you’re a neutral, like the guys are, it picks itself. But it is quite amusing and I don’t mind putting it out there and putting my tin hat on!"
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