England fans and the ‘expectation myth’

Ben TobinYouGov PR Manager
November 13, 2015, 10:11 AM GMT+0

England fans anticipating an early exit from Euro 2016

Following a premature exit from another international football tournament, we often hear that English players have been weighed down by ‘crushing expectation’ and were inhibited by the pressure exerted by anxious supporters at home.

However, seven months ahead of Euro 2016 in France, a multi-country YouGov Omnibus study shows that English football fans are extremely pessimistic about the team’s chances in the tournament, perhaps highlighting supporters' transformation from hopeful supporters to apathetic spectators.

Among football fans in England, only one in twenty (5%) believe England will lift the trophy in Paris next July. Just under four in ten (38%) think the team will be knocked out at the quarter final stage, while a fifth (22%) reckon the round of 16 is a more realistic result.

One in ten (10%) predict the team will not make it out of its group which highlights the levels of residual pessimism among England fans given the groups have not yet been drawn.

Instead, football fans in England believe Germany will follow its World Cup success with Euro glory (41%), and believe Spain will be runner up (20%). Germany is the favourite among football supporters across Europe, despite its shock loss to the Republic of Ireland in the qualifiers. Only the Italian’s rate their own nation’s chances above those of Germany (17% vs. 16%)

There is an acceptance that the home nations face a tough challenge in the tournament. One in three (32%) Welsh football supporters believe their nation will make it to the round of 16, while 28% think this will be a step too far and they will instead head home after the group stage. Just under one in five (18%) fans in Wales believe the quarter finals are a realistic target for their team. In Northern Ireland, fans seem to be resigned to leaving after three games with over half (52%) believing they will exit at the group stages, while three in ten (29%) back them to get as far as the round of 16 but no further.

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