With tonight’s game against Italy looming, here at EPL Index we decided we wanted to find out just how popular are the players Hodgson took to Brazil (and to highlight the popularity of a few that got left behind).
Beat Your Manager! Fantasy Football is a new fantasy football game that is similar to “Football Manager for live football”, where you manage your favourite Club in real-time, picking the lineup, bench, formations for upcoming matches and making substitutions during the live match. The game ran for its first full season of the English Premier League during 2013/4 and has over 15,000 managers playing. When fans play the game, we can get a picture of the popularity of different players, by looking at how frequently they are selected for the lineup.
The data is from the English Premier League and we looked at the popularity ratings of all 23 England squad members that play in the EPL (but does NOT cover fan data for Fraser Forster (who plays for Glasgow Celtic in the SPL)):
- Arsenal (2 players; Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain)
- Chelsea (2 players; Frank Lampard, Gary Cahill)
- Everton (3 players; Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines, Ross Barkley)
- Liverpool (5 players; Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge, Jordan Henderson, Glen Johnson, Raheem Sterling)
- Manchester City (2 players; Joe Hart, James Milner)
- Manchester United (4 players; Wayne Rooney, Phil Jones, Danny Welbeck, Chris Smalling)
- Southampton (3 players; Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert)
- West Bromwich Albion (1 player; Ben Foster)
Who makes the starting 11 with fans?
England fans’ most popular starting 11 so far this season consists of Foster in goal, 3 defenders (Baines, Jagielka, Johnson), 4 midfielders (Gerrard, Henderson, Lampard, Lallana) and 3 forwards (Lambert, Sturridge, Rooney)
Foster ahead of Hart
Foster is England’s most popular goalkeeper and 6th most popular player overall, with a popularity rating of 92%. However, this is probably more likely due to his being West Brom fans’ clear favourite for goal from their squad, while Joe Hart polled a very respectable 83% among Man City fans.
Baines, Jagielka, Johnson in ahead of Cahill, Shaw and Jones
Baines is England’s most popular defender and 2nd most popular player overall, with 97% of Everton fans including him in the lineup. Jagielka (89%) and Johnson (83%) are slightly further behind but similar in popularity. Interestingly, Jagielka is less popular in the 2nd half of season (82%) than before February (94%)
Gerrard, Henderson, Lampard, Lallana in; Wilshere, Barkley, Sterling, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Milner on the bench
Gerrard is England’s most popular midfielder and most 3rd most popular player overall (94%). After Gerrard, Henderson (84%), Lampard (82%) and Lallana (78%) are all grouped closely. Both Henderson and Lallana are more popular in 2nd half of season than before February, while Lampard is less popular in the second half of the season
Forwards: Lambert, Sturridge, Rooney clearly the fan favourites upfront
Lambert (97%) is England’s most popular forward with his Club fans and is England’s most popular player overall. Sturridge (93%) and Rooney (90%) are very close second and third-choice strikers. Both Lambert and Rooney have very consistent approval ratings both pre- and post-January, while Sturridge is slightly more popular since Feb. (97%) than in the 1st half of season (90%). After Rooney, Welbeck is way behind in the popularity stakes, with only 36% of Man United fans selecting him in the lineup.
You can find out more about the game at www.beatyourmanager.ie, follow @beatyourmanager or become a fan at www.facebook.com/beatyourmanager. You can play the game (during the EPL season) by searching for “Beat Your Manager” in the Appstore/Google Playstore or by following the link for Android or iPhone.
All Player Data
Most popular England Fan’s Lineup: