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ZOO Magazine Footy Survey Results – Part One

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we all like a bit of gratuitous stattage – as football fans there’s a nerdy statistician hidden in all of us.  But today dear friends, we have something slightly more interesting than the number of throw-ins the first half of Stoke City vs. West Bromwich Albion, we have the condensed, ratified and statified thoughts of the man in the street, the average football fan, the silent supporter.

Those clever chaps at ZOO magazine have compiled some superb super-stats based on the thoughts of 1,000 genuine football fans, so instead of the views of the pompous pundits, we can find out what real fans think. We have selected some of the choicest cuts for your delectation, and there are some surprising results, so, without further ado, let’s delve into the deep sea of stats.

Who would you most/least like to go for a pint with?

MOST                                                                           LEAST

Player                              Percent  Fans                    Player                            Percent  Fans

Jimmy Bullard                22%      239                     Steven Gerrard               14%       152

Wayne Rooney                 9%       98                       Joey Barton                     17%       185

Ryan Giggs                     25%      271                      Andy Carroll                   4%         43

Van der Vaart                   8%      87                       Gary Neville                    25%       272

Kevin Nolan                    13%     141                      Rio Ferdinand                 4%         45

Anyone who’s buying!   23%    250                     El Hadji Diouf                30%       327

So it turns out that the two most popular footballers are Jimmy Bullard and Ryan Giggs.  The impish grin and knockabout stupidity of Bullard, who has the aura of a Dickensian Cockney shoe-shiner, makes him a fan favourite, while Giggs has risen above the general hatred of his club, probably because he’s a great footballer, has had a top career and he just seems to be a nice bloke.

Despite his off-field shenanigans and on-field reputation as a hot-head, Wayne Rooney is still a fairly popular figure as is Rafa Van der Vaart who has earned his position pretty quickly, having only been in England for 7 months.

Entirely predictably, the two least popular footballers are El Hadji Diouf and Gary Neville.  These two desperately unpopular individuals together received 55% of votes, quite a feat.  Loathsome Diouf has a rap list as long as his ego is large, from verbally abusing a ball-boy, to spitting at fans and opponents, to giving abuse to a man lying on the floor with a broken leg – the reasons for his ‘victory’ are clear as day.

Gary ‘Red Nev’ Neville is loathed due to a combination of being very successful and being highly tedious.  The former Manchester United captain’s forthright views, celebrations in front of Liverpool fans, pathetic attempts at a moustache and aggressive nature on the pitch make him a hate figure outside of the red half of Manchester. Joey ‘Nice Guy’ Barton features as you’d expect, probably because you’d imagine going for a pint with him would end up in some bar-room brawl and a night in the cells.

Who would you support if you didn’t support your club?

Club              Percent   Fans

Tottenham      20%     216

Arsenal            19%     214

Liverpool        13%      141

West Ham      12%      131

Man United      7%      76

Chelsea             4%       43

Man City           3%       32

Others            22%      236

Some very interesting results here, that say a lot a about what fans want to see on the pitch.  The two top teams, North London rivals Spurs & Arsenal, are famed for the football they play. Arsenal’s flowing style has been well-known for years and despite their recent lack of success, their style obviously still appeals to the masses.

Spurs have a tradition of paying attractive football, but until recently, that syyle was sorely lacking. Under ‘Appy ‘Arry ‘owever, the good times are back at the Lane. With a team packed with quality, the midfield containing Van der Vaart, Lennon, Bale and Modric, and a swashbuckling style, as well as a leaky defense, Tottenham are good-value entertainment most weeks.

West Ham feature quite highly on the list, probably because there is something innately likeable about a club which is constantly battling relegation, plays ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’ as its song, and has fake turrets on the side of its stadium.

Man. United pay the price of winning, with few fans favouring the Premier League’s most consistent side, equally Chelsea and Manchester City with their big-money owners are widely-despised by other fans jealous of their resources and unimpressed with their insta-bought-success.

Which club do you hate most?

Club                  Percent   Fans

Man. United       35%    378

Chelsea                16%    171

Liverpool              13%    140

Arsenal                  8%      87

Man. City               8%   87

Tottenham            6%      65

Newcastle             2%      21

Everton                  1%      13

Bolton                    1%     10

Other                    10%   109

Quelle surprise, Manchester United are the most hated club in the country, even my grandma knew that, but the true scale of the dislike of the Mancunian giants becomes clear here; United took over a third of the votes – over twice as many as nearest ‘challengers’, Chelsea. Man United then are the Millwall of the Premier League – no-one likes them, they don’t care (as long as they keep winning).

Success breeds contempt as can be seen by the high positions of Man United and Chelsea; Liverpool remain unpopular as one England’s big two, yet Arsenal have drifted down the offensiveness scale – probably due to a combination of their football and their lack of trophies.

So there it is, an insight into the minds of the country’s football fans – some surprises and some obvious conclusions – but if you’re a fan of flagrant stattage, look out for more results from the survey later today.

For more stattage, rumours, thoughts and theories, follow me on Twitter: @stuartcfootball

MEET THE ZOO GIRLS by clicking on the image below…

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Article title: ZOO Magazine Footy Survey Results – Part One

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