England fans are more negative than ever about their World Cup chances – that’s according to research conducted by international digital marketing agency Search Laboratory in collaboration with social media listening tool, Pulsar, into sentiment of fans’ posts before the start of the World Cup.

Analysis of Twitter data by digital marketing experts Search Laboratory and Pulsar revealed that half as many England fans were posting tweets – determined as ‘happy’ by Pulsar’s sentiment analysis tool – about the England team than over the same period leading up to the last tournament.

On top of that, only 787 England fans seem to believe England can win the tournament in 2018 – according to ‘positive’ mentions including the words ‘England’ ‘win’ and ‘World Cup.’

The research also looked at player mentions and found that the most talked about England players two weeks before the tournament were:

Danny Welbeck – 2,579 mentions

Raheem Sterling – 1,275 mention

Harry Kane – 739 mentions

Fabian Delph – 612 mention

Jordan Pickford – 348 mentions

Lionel Messi is the most talked about player in England overall, with 2,586 World Cup Twitter mentions between 28th May and 4th June. Rival Ronaldo just scraped in the top 10, with 269 mentions. The most likely team to win? Germany, according to English Twitter – with the most mentions by far (5,173) compared to Brazil (4,742) and France (3,590).

Niki Lancaster, Head of Social Media at Search Laboratory, commented on the results: “As World Cup fever creeps in it’s good see England fans are as negative as ever, how could we expect anything less? From Sterling’s tattoo to our squad choice, conversations are very much centred around the players. It will be interesting to see how online sentiment and support translates to results throughout the competition.”

It seems that fans were perhaps negative to start with but now that there is already a win under our belts, it could well be that football is coming home. A win against Panama and that belief will only get higher, they couldn’t win the World Cup…..could they?


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