Last on MOTD: Frequently asked questions

I’VE been keeping records of which teams are shown last on Match of the Day for three seasons now, and barely a day goes by without someone asking: “Mike, what the hell are you doing with your life?”

That’s not the only question I’m asked. (Although it is the main one.) So as another dramatic, nerve-shredding Gubbometer title race draws to a conclusion with Portsmouth finishing on top, I thought it might be a good time to answer a few more of your questions.

Dear Mike,
Why do you keep a tally of the games that are last on Match of the Day. Just… why?
Keith, Northampton

The idea came about because I noticed fans of several different clubs were continually asking: “Why is my team last on Match of the Day?” And I knew they couldn’t all be on last all the time. So I wanted to see who was on last the most. In 2008 it was Derby, last season it was Fulham, this season Portsmouth.

Hi Mike,
Love the blog. Do you really watch MOTD every week just to make a few sarcastic remarks about the final game? It seems a terribly sad existence. What if you want to go out on a Saturday night? Or do you just have no life?
Stefan, Brussels

Yeah, all right, no need to labour the point. Yes, I have seen nearly every edition of MOTD for the last three years. If I’m in, I watch it. If I’m out, I tape it. There was one edition during that time that I missed completely, and had to guess which game was on last using a Derren Brown-esque mixture of cunning mind techniques. No one complained, so I must have guessed correctly. Unless no one was reading the blog, which was more than possible.

Love the blog. When was the last time Manchester United were last on Match of the Day?
Malcolm, Florida

They’ve not been on last in the three years I’ve been keeping records. I’m pretty sure they’ve not been on last at any time during the Premier League era. Which means you have to go back to the days when MOTD only showed two or three games. The records suggest that it last happened on August 27, 1983 – when United’s 3-1 win over QPR played second fiddle to Aston Villa’s 4-3 victory over West Brom.

Love the blog. I’m a big fan. Can you tell me how many times this season has the final game on MOTD featured someone being hit by a corner flag in Birmingham?
Hyacinth, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

Twice. Aston Villa’s John Carew accidentally hit a fan when he kicked a flag into the crowd while celebrating his winner over Stoke in December. And linesman Trevor Massey got hit by a flag during Birmingham’s win over Wigan in February.

Love the blog. Which footballer has the worst fashion sense?
Nikolai, St Petersburg

No idea. Hans Segers?

Love the blog. I always read it, even when your posts are rubbish. Why is my team always last or second last on Match of the Day?
Alan, Merseyside

They’re not. No team was in the last two every week. Bolton came closest to that honour, as they were on last six times and next-to-last eight times. The two teams on second last most often were Hull and Birmingham, who both managed it nine times.

Love the blog. Which footballer is longest in the shower?
Nikolai, St Petersburg

Erm, I really don’t know. Hans Segers?

Love the blog, despite the lack of speedway posts. I know it’s called the Gubbometer, but does Tony Gubba really always commentate on the final match?
Mr. R. Flambard, Krakow

No he doesn’t. No fewer than 17 people described the final game on MOTD this season, and Gubba only did it twice. The commentator who was last on MOTD most often this season was Steve Bower, with five appearances.

Hello Mr. W,
Love the blog. Why don’t you include Match of the Day 2 in your so-called league table? It hardly seems fair. Do you not believe in fairness?
Robert M, Harare

Generally, there aren’t enough games on a Sunday to justify it. And because I can’t be bothered updating the table twice each weekend. And because it’s about who is last on MOTD, not who is last on MOTD2. And because I make the rules.

Who would you least like to be trapped in a lift with?
Nikolai, St Petersburg

Erm, oh, pffff… I don’t know. Hans Segers. Are you sure you’re sending these questions to the right person?

Love the blog, even during its plentiful bad moments. Which score was most common in the final MOTD game this season?
Gillian, Bogota

Fourteen of the 38 games that featured last on MOTD this season finished 0-0. The next most common scoreline was 1-1, which cropped up six times. There were a couple of 2-2s and 3-1s, but none of the games had more than four goals. There were 22 draws, 11 home wins and only five away wins.

Love the blog, but I can’t help but feel you’ve made all of this questions up yourself, including this one. Isn’t that the case? Oh, come on.
Jeremy, Westminster

I agree with the letter above.

Will the Gubbometer return next season?
Hans Segers

Enough questions.

Gubbometer – final standings

1. Portsmouth: 9 (GD: 1. 2L: 1.)
2. Everton: 8 (GD: 1. 2L: 2.)
3. Blackburn: 7 (GD: 1. 2L: 4.)
4. West Ham: 7 (GD: 1. 2L: 2.)
5. Stoke: 7 (GD: 0. 2L: 4.)
6. Bolton: 6 (GD: 0. 2L: 8.)
7. Wigan: 5 (GD: 0. 2L: 3.)
8. Hull: 4 (GD: 0. 2L: 9.)
9. Wolves: 4 (GD: 0. 2L: 8.)
10. Fulham: 4 (GD: 0. 2L: 5.)
11. Aston Villa: 4 (GD: 0. 2L: 0.)
12. Birmingham: 3 (GD: 0. 2L: 9.)
13. Burnley: 3 (GD: 0. 2L: 7.)
14. Gubba: 2 (GD: 2. 2L: 3.)
15. Tottenham: 2 (GD: 0. 2L: 3.)
16. Sunderland: 1 (GD: 0. 2L: 7.)
17. Arsenal: 1 (GD: 0. 2L: 1.)
18. Liverpool: 1 (GD: 0. 2L: 0.)
19. Manchester United: 0 (GD: 0. 2L: 2.)
20. Chelsea: 0 (GD: 0. 2L: 1.)
21. Manchester City: 0 (GD: 0. 2L: 0.)

GD = Gubba difference
2L = On second last

Last on MOTD 2009/10: The complete list

May 9: Everton 1 Portsmouth 0 (Commentator: Alistair Mann)
May 1: Birmingham 2 Burnley 1 (Steve Wilson)
Apr 24: Bolton 2 Portsmouth 2 (Paul Mitchell)
Apr 17: Fulham 0 Wolves 0 (Simon Brotherton)
Apr 10: West Ham 1 Sunderland 0 (John Motson)
Apr 3: Portsmouth 0 Blackburn 0 (Steve Wilson)
Mar 27: Wolves 0 Everton 0 (Alistair Mann)
Mar 20: Everton 2 Bolton 0 (John Roder)
Mar 13: Stoke 0 Aston Villa 0 (Simon Brotherton)
Mar 6: West Ham 1 Bolton 2 (Steve Bower)
Feb 27: Birmingham 1 Wigan 0 (Steve Bower)
Feb 20: Portsmouth 1 Stoke 2 (Roger Johnson)
Feb 10: Wigan 1 Stoke 1 (Damian Johnson)
Feb 6: Bolton 0 Fulham 0 (Ian Gwyn Hughes)
Jan 30: West Ham 0 Blackburn 0 (John Motson)
Jan 27: Portsmouth 1 West Ham 1 (Ivan Gaskell)
Jan 16: Tottenham 0 Hull 0 (John Motson)
Jan 9: Arsenal 2 Everton 2 (Jonathan Pearce)
Dec 28: Everton 2 Burnley 0 (Steve Bower)
Dec 26: Fulham 0 Tottenham 0 (Jonathan Pearce)
Dec 19: Aston Villa 1 Stoke 0 (Dan O’Hagan)
Dec 16: Bolton 3 West Ham 1 (Ivan Gaskell)
Dec 12: Hull 0 Blackburn 0 (Steve Bower)
Dec 5: Blackburn 0 Liverpool 0 (Guy Mowbray)
Nov 28: Blackburn 0 Stoke 0 (Dan O’Hagan)
Nov 21: Burnley 1 Aston Villa 1 (Steve Wilson)
Nov 7: Blackburn 3 Portsmouth 1 (Alistair Mann)
Oct 31: Everton 1 Aston Villa 1 (Alistair Mann)
Oct 24: Hull 0 Portsmouth 0 (John Roder)
Oct 17: Everton 1 Wolves 1 (Steve Bower)
Oct 3: Hull 2 Wigan 1 (Dan O’Hagan)
Sep 26: Portsmouth 0 Everton 1 (Tony Gubba)
Sep 19: Bolton 1 Stoke 1 (Ian Gwyn Hughes)
Sep 12: Wigan 1 West Ham 0 (Conor McNamara)
Aug 29: Blackburn 0 West Ham 0 (Tony Gubba)
Aug 22: Birmingham 0 Stoke 0 (Jonathan Pearce)
Aug 19: Wigan 0 Wolves 1 (Ivan Gaskell)
Aug 15: Portsmouth 0 Fulham 1 (Martin Fisher)

For the complete 2008/09 list, click here.
For the complete 2007/08 list, click here.


3 Responses to Last on MOTD: Frequently asked questions

  1. Bad Andy says:

    Hi Mike. Love the blog.

    Good stuff as always.

  2. mikewhalley says:

    Cheers, Andy. Love the comment!

  3. Hmmm. Fulham’s ratio of “lasts” to Saturday games is quite high. We must expect the worst again next season.

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