PHIL Foden is officially England’s most popular player at Euro 2020, a new study has revealed.
The Manchester City midfielder has earned rave reviews for his performances on the pitch this season and won the trust of his manager Pep Guardiola as well as breaking into the England side, and his rise to prominence has seen him become a big hit with fans.
A new study by sports data specialists Sportmonks, Player Approval Rankings, has analysed every tweet sent about every squad member of seven major teams competing at Euro 2020 and ranked each player and manager in terms of popularity among fans based on the positive/negative sentiments of each tweet.
Every tweet posted about each player selected for the England, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and Netherlands squads since the beginning of qualification in 2019 has been analysed, with each scored on it’s positive and negative sentiments before being ranked and compared to others to give an accurate ranking of each squad based on popularity.
Mason Mount is another player competing for the midfield positions and after a sticky start to his England career when fans were split on his effectiveness – even labelling him a ‘teacher’s pet’ – he is now the second most popular player in the squad, while Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka and Reece James make up the top five.
Southgate attracted a lot of criticism for originally selecting four right backs in his squad before Trent Alexander-Arnold pulled out through injury, and it’s clear who fans wanted to see make way for the Liverpool man when his place in the squad was originally in doubt.
Kieran Trippier is ranked as the least popular player in the England squad, while Alexander-Arnold himself has also been criticised regularly online with Tyrone Mings to make up the three lowest in popularity, while Jordan Pickford and Sam Johnstone make up the bottom five.
Southgate himself could see his position come under scrutiny if England don’t deliver on the promise of their squad, but he still retains popularity among fans following the success at the 2018 World Cup.
He is the third most popular manager of the top seven nations, with Didier Deschamps and Roberto Mancini the only coaches ahead of him following recent successes and runs of form.
Player Approval Rankings will continue to monitor the number of tweets and sentiment of tweets throughout the European Championships to look at how the popularity of each player/manager fluctuates during the tournament.