Round 3 update!

As we move into the knock-out stages of the World Cup and the pressure continues to build, we’re continuing to rate and hate the men and women on the World Cup airwaves with our #PunditWatch league table.

The last round of the group stages had some of the best drama yet (including everyone’s favourite moment so far – Germany getting knocked out) as well as a few dull affairs (who else fell asleep during England v. Beglium?) for our pundits to get their teeth stuck into.

Pundit watch

Pundit watch

Whilst Gary Lineker continues to dominate the top of the table, having posted another record week, the biggest mover of the week was ITV’s own Gary Neville, who has started to make waves from his co-commentary seat after a quiet start, and is now the most talked about pundit on ITV taking that spot from Ian Wright. The biggest riser from the BBC’s side ,surprisingly,  was ever-present pundit Alan Shearer.

Aside from Gary, however, it’s been a relatively bad week for all of ITV’s top pundits with Ian Wright, Roy Keane and Patrice Evra all sliding down the table. Evra’s terrible week on social should be caveated by the fact that he has finished his punditry duties now though.

Further down the table it’s a much rosier affair for ITV with Glenn Hoddle, Lee Dixon, Slaven Bilic and Ryan Giggs all having good weeks and generating more conversation than during round 2.

The race for the wooden spoon has seen a significant change too, as Martin O’Neill has managed to climb one spot, leaving the new Mr. Irrelevant Iain Dowie in his wake.

In the overall race between BBC and ITV, BBC still slightly pip it with six pundits in the top 10 but they’ll need to keep performing well to keep out the likes of Danny Murphy and Jacqui Oatley, who has climbed the table this week, out of the top 10 for much longer.

Make sure you follow all this and more using #PunditWatch on Twitter!


Round 2 update!

Didier Drogba, Patrice Evra and, whisper it, Mark Lawrenson were the big movers in our Pundit Watch league table, following the completion of the second round of World Cup matches.

With plenty of drama on the pitch, there's been loads for the experts to get their teeth in to and, using key social metrics including follower numbers and mentions, as well as sentiment, we're continuing to rate and hate the men and women on the World Cup airwaves.

Gary Lineker has continued his early good-form, dominating the Twittersphere with his witty pronouncements and insightful analysis and remains top of the league with nearly five times the mentions of his closest competitor, Rio Ferdinand.

Elsewhere, ITV’s fan-favourite Patrice Evra continues to grow his follower base. His off-the-wall but his energy and love of the game seems to be appealing to social users and he's also the most talked about man on ITV, judging by the mentions.

Didier Drogba has seen a huge spike in mentions over the last few days, with fans praising his easygoing nature and expertise, while Cesc Fabregas continued his strong performance, shooting up to sixth in the standings.

Perhaps most remarkably though, it’s Mark Lawrenson’s social media profile which has grown the most during the World Cup, with a massive 14% follower rise in the past week and more than 50,000 mentions - who knew the old fart even knew how to operate a mobile phone?!

Twitter-less Ally McCoist continues to earn co-comm rave reviews for his history bulletins alongside the reliable Jon Champion, while ITV's Roy Keane has provided some of the tournament's most memorable punditry moments, including looking like he wanted to kill Slaven Bilic, dampening down Ian Wright's England ebullience and revealing how he was close to ripping Carlos Quieroz's head off. during his time at Man United. 

Elsewhere, some of the top female pundits are certainly showing up the men. Both Alex Scott and Eni Aluko have enjoyed big profile exposure during the tournament, with Scott growing her follower base by a whopping 10%.

The overall battle between ITV and BBC, however, remains tight. At the moment, we’d have to give the prize to BBC as they claim the six out of top 10 pundits but it’s certainly all to play for still as we head into the final round of the group stages.

Make sure you follow all this and more using #PunditWatch on Twitter!

Round 1

A trio of female analysts were among those to make waves during week one of our World Cup Pundit Watch challenge.

We're rating and hating the men and women on our airwaves using key social metrics including follower numbers, mentions and sentiment.

And while prolific Tweeter and nation's favourite Gary Lineker predictably dominated the social scene during the opening round of matches, Alex Scott, Eni Aluko and Jacqui Oatley each saw the biggest increases in their following, comfortably beating higher profile male counterparts like Alan Shearer and Rio Ferdinand.

Pundit Watch 888sport

Another top performer in the first round has been Slaven Bilic, who, despite not having any social media accounts, finds himself in the top 10 most talked about pundits in week 1 with his now infamous ‘I don’t care’ comment even managing to make Roy Keane laugh, something we didn’t know was even possible.

Patrice Evra courted controversy for one exchange with Eni Aluko some thought 'patronising' but was among the topped mentioned pundits on Twitter, while new boy Cesc Fabregas, despite widespread praise for his sharp analysis, attracted mockery for his satorial choice on debut, with his shirt deemed to make him look like a sailor.

Lineker had a whopping 200,000 mentions during week one, with next best Rio Ferdinand streets behind with 47,000. Next came Ian Wright followed by Evra, Shearer and Fabregas.

The likes of Martin Keown, Mark Lawrenson, Henrik Larsson and Ryan Giggs were branded dull by many, while Lineker's counterpart on ITV, Mark Pougatch, has had almost no  social engagement. 

The winner of Pundit Watch will not only receive our gratitude, they’ll also receive our elusive (and totally imaginary) Golden Mic

Follow us on Twitter and look out for the #PunditWatch for more!

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The 888sport blog, based at 888 Towers in the heart of London, employs an army of betting and tipping experts for your daily punting pleasure, as well as an irreverent, and occasionally opinionated, look at the absolute madness that is the world of sport.