Arsenal legend Ian Wright is the most popular football pundit on television while former Liverpool great Phil Thompson ranks bottom, according to a new study.
Wright, a familiar face thanks to his appearances on BT Sport, Match of the Day and ITV's coverage of England internationals, has garnered the most positive attention on Twitter, according to research carried out by bwin. In tracking over 30,000 tweets analysing the performance of English football's most high-profile pundits, the study found 58% of tweets mentioning Wright were in support of his musings.
Former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer, who has been earning improving reviews for his Saturday night reflections in recent seasons, finished second behind Wright, with exactly half of tweets name-dropping him positive ones.
Jamie Carragher (47%), Rio Ferdinand (46%) and Chris Kamara (39%) made up the top five. Somewhat surprisingly, BT Sport's Michael Owen finished in seventh place with 37% of tweets directed at him positive – although 7% of all those were laced with profanity.
Soccer Saturday regular Thompson finished bottom of the table with just 11% of tweets directed at him during September having something good to say about him.
As is now the norm, pundits are constantly on the receiving end of some rather harsh words from viewers furiously sending tweets at half-time. The data showed Sky Sports' prodigal son Gary Neville was called a "muppet" in 3% of tweets mentioning his name over the last month, while the keyword "wonderful hater" was used in 15% of tweets mentioning his partner in crime Carragher.
The former Liverpool centre-half has Mario Balotelli to thank for that label, after the Nice striker called him that in last month's Twitter spat.
Another Soccer Saturday regular in Paul Merson was called a "f*****g be****d" in 4% of tweets thrown his way, while Glen Hoddle's tendency to state what seemingly half the country are already thinking didn't gone unnoticed, with "cheers Glen" used in 3% of tweets.