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Which Premiership manager gets the most flak on Twitter?

Here's a clue, his team is based in London

In this age of social media scrutiny it is almost inevitable that football managers are getting their fair (and often unfair) share of stick. Everyone’s a critic and thanks to the likes of Twitter and Facebook it is comparatively easy to have your complaints seen and heard.

What’s that saying? Opinions are like arseholes – everyone has one.

The online gaming company BetVictor decided to conduct some research into which Premiership manager is getting the most criticism and abuse. The manager of a London team topped the league no one wants to head. No prizes for guessing who.

Yes, the most negatively Tweeted manager in the Premier League is Arsenal’s Unai Emery!

It seems that getting the Gunners to a European final and fifth in the Premiership last season just isn’t good enough.

Back in the 1930s the legendary manager Herbert Chapman set the bar very high with five league wins in that decade (four of them on the trot). Since then, Arsenal have gone on to win the title a further eight times, making them ranked third in the all-time winners list topped only by Manchester United with 20 and Liverpool (18 though looking increasing like 19). The point I’m trying to make here is that, if you add their record number of FA Cup wins (13), Arsenal fans are very used to following a successful team.

So perhaps it’s understandable that they are not happy with what is being served up at them at the moment. Saturday’s draw at home to Wolves didn’t help Emery’s cause. Before that there was the 2-2 against Crystal Palace, the fallout of the Xhaka incident and last Wednesday night’s elimination from the Carabao Cup, though scoring five at Liverpool certainly merits praise. I’m reading today that Emery has a month to save his job. They are fifth in the table!

In the survey, 75% of all Arsenal fan tweets were recorded as negative in sentiment about Emery who was 48 yesterday. At the other end of the scale Premier League newcomer Chris Wilder is the most positively tweeted manager with 78% of all Sheffield United tweets about him being positive.

The research also found that, based on Twitter volume, Manchester United and Chelsea are the biggest clubs in the league, with more tweets being sent about the two clubs than every other team in the league COMBINED!

With the season getting off to a tough start for a number of Premier League managers, the data team at BetVictor have analysed over a million social media posts to find out which gaffers are the most and least popular with their respective fan bases online.

Everton’s Marco Silva, Spurs’ Mauricio Pochettino and Newcastle’s Steve Bruce complete the top four ‘most hated’ list with their respective fan bases, followed by United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The figures are:

ManagerClubNegative Tweet %
Unai EmeryArsenal75%
Marco SilvaEverton67%
Mauricio PochettinoTottenham Hotspur62%
Steve BruceNewcastle United57%
Ole Gunnar SolskjaerManchester United56%

But which managers are the most loved?

Given last season’s Champions League heroics and sitting clear at the top of the Premier League, you’d think Jurgen Klopp would be the most positively tweeted manager in the league on social media, yet he isn’t.

Sheffield United’s Chris Wilder finished top, closely followed by Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola. Interestingly, when you look at numbers four and five on the positive list, it confirms that being in or close to the top four does not equate to popularity.

Full figures for the top five in the positive column are:

ManagerClubPositive Tweet %
Chris WilderSheffield United78%
Pep GuardiolaManchester City76%
Jurgen KloppLiverpool74%
Graham PotterBrighton and Hove Albion71%
Daniel FarkeNorwich City70%

Which clubs and managers are the biggest based on Tweet volume?

Looking purely at the volume of tweets each manager receives provides insight into which clubs have the biggest fanbases on social media.

We have already stated that Manchester Utd and Chelsea dominate the social conversation, but who follows them?

Despite their hugely impressive performances and achievements so far this season, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has just 15% of the social media volume his counterpart in the red half of Manchester receives and is the least talked about manager out of the ‘big six’ on social media.

Below are the Top 10 most tweeted about managers in the Premier League:

ManagerClubTweet Volume
Ole Gunnar SolskjaerManchester United291,675
Frank LampardChelsea183,987
Jurgen KloppLiverpool143,342
Unai EmeryArsenal100,091
Mauricio PochettinoTottenham Hotspur56,722
Pep GuardiolaManchester City45,998
Steve BruceNewcastle United32,345
Chris WilderSheffield United15,777
Marco SilvaEverton13,651
Brendan RodgersLeicester City11,387

To explore the full dataset please visit the link to view the 2019/20 season data, along with past data from the 2017/18 and the 2018/19 seasons.

How the data was compiled:

Data was pulled directly from Twitter and includes official club hashtags, social accounts (handles), unofficial hashtags, the name and colloquialisms of clubs, manager names, variants on manager names, club location (e.g. Manchester) and keywords commonly associated with each club. All insights data was powered by Crimson Hexagon – one of the most advanced audience sentiment analysis tools utilising artificial intelligence to really understand the emotion behind fan posts. Data was pulled from the start of the 2019/20 season (August 9th) to October 31.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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