SportsDirect News

Welcome to Sports Direct's News Room

England’s Euro 2016 Starting XI Based On Shirt Sales

It’s a discussion that will take place on television, social media and in workplaces up and down the country. Who should make the England starting eleven in France at Euro 2016? Using our online sales data, we have picked the England team that would start in France based solely on how popular their England shirt is.

Who is the most popular England player? Take a look below to find out.

thumbnail

Player

Percentage of Sales

1. Joe Hart

0.33%

2. Luke Shaw

0.66%

3. Gary Cahill

2.66%

4. John Stones

0.33%

5.Nathaniel Clyne

1.33%

6. Adam Lallana

1.66%

7. Dele Alli

13.30%

8. Ross Barkley

2.33%

9. Harry Kane

9.66%

10. Wayne Rooney

10.40%

11. Jamie Vardy

47%

 

The Formation

In order to fit the most popular players in the team we have gone for a 4-3-3 formation. England recently have tried a few different formations with the 4-4-2 diamond and 4-5-1 being popular with Roy Hodsgon. As we want to focus on the biggest sellers, we have changed it up slightly to accommodate all of the most popular players.

The Most Popular Strikers

thumbnail

Strikers were by far the most popular players with Sturridge, Vardy, Kane and Rooney dictating more than 70% of the total sales. Jamie Vardy was also by far the most popular player, dominating 47% of the overall sales and further cementing his place as an England regular. While Sturridge still captured 3% of the total sales, it was not enough for him to get into the starting eleven. The graphic above shows how the strikers directly compare to one another. Interestingly these were also the only England strikers to sell any shirts. Should these be the four strikers Roy takes to the Euros?

Dele Alli

The rise in popularity of Dele Alli is another pleasant surprise. The Tottenham youngster is the second most popular England player, most likely in thanks to assured performances in a Tottenham and England shirt throughout the season. He also managed to push the top seller from 2015, Wayne Rooney, into third place.

The Midfield

Looking at the midfield three of Barkley, Lallana and Alli, it seems England fans are fond of youth over experience, with the midfield three yet to start a game at a major tournament for England. Lallana and Barkley were both used as substitutes in the opening defeat against Italy at the 2014 World Cup, while Euro 2016 would be Dele Alli’s first appearance at a major tournament.

A Youthful Team

The average age of this starting eleven is just 25. The back four is also one of England’s youngest, with an average age of just 24. For comparison, the back four starting the first England group game at Euro 2012 against France was 29.5 years old and at the 2014 World Cup against Italy, it was 29.25 years. A young team may not be a bad thing. Sky Sports found the youngest team in the Premier League this season is Tottenham Hotspur. They have created the most chances, had the most shots on target and while they may not win the league, they have scored the most goals so far this season.

Luke Shaw

The popularity of Luke Shaw is also a shock. The left back, who after breaking his leg against PSV Einhoven earlier this season, is still to make an appearance for Manchester United this year. England have no shortage of left backs and Shaw was more popular than Leighton Baines who has thirty England caps compared to Luke Shaw’s six appearances.

The Goalkeeper

Joe Hart keeps his place in goal, which is expected considering he has been selected to represent England at the last three major tournaments. He has also been England’s first choice keeper at Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup.

Players Who Didn’t Make It

Some notable absentees from the starting eleven include Sterling, Welbeck, Smalling and Henderson who combined have 100 England caps. Also, while Spurs and Leicester’s great seasons have managed to earn Jamie Vardy, Dele Alli and Harry Kane a place in the top five most popular players, they were not able to create places in the team for Eric Dier or Danny Drinkwater.

Players Who Sold No England Shirts

There were also some players who despite regular call ups in the past, did not manage to sell any shirts at all.

Andy Carroll

Andy Carroll who scored against Sweden during Euro 2012, but in recent years has struggled with injuries. This may could go some way to explain why he was unable to sell any England shirts. Will his recent improved form give him a boost in sales leading up to the tournament? We will have to wait and see.

Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott appeared at the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2012 and with 43 England caps, is one of England’s more experienced players. Could his lack in shirt sales be linked to injuries, or could England fans value form over experience?

Phil Jagielka

Phil Jagielka was another player unable to achieve any sales. Jagielka was included in the Euro 2012 and 2014 World cup squads for England and at present is one of England’s most experienced defenders, earning 39 caps.

James Milner

England’s Mr Reliable James Milner also sold no shirts despite having one of his best seasons currently with Liverpool.

Should Jack Wilshere Go to Euro 2016

Following comments made earlier this year, Roy Hodgson stated he would take Jack Wilshere to Euro 2016 if he was fit. We compared the sales of Jack Wilshere shirts with Danny Drinkwater and Mark Noble, who have both been in contention for England this season. Impressively, Jack Wilshere sold more shirts than both Noble and Drinkwater, without starting any matches for Arsenal so far this season. If Jack Wilshere had managed to make more appearances, would he be amongst the top sellers?

Conclusion

As you can see, the results formed a mix and while it is highly unlikely that Roy Hodgson will factor in shirt sales when making his final choices, the results go some way in revealing the type of team and style of play England fans want.

It seems that those buying shirts online prefer flair players like Barkley and Lallana over the adaptability and pace of players like Walcott and Milner. It also looks as if form plays the largest role in which shirt fans buy online and explains the reason Rooney and Sturridge have slipped in popularity, while Jamie Vardy, Dele Alli and Harry Kane are amongst the top sellers.

Do you agree with this team? Which players do you think should feature in England’s Euro 2016 squad? Let us know in the comments section below.

You can also shop for your personalised England shirt here