Voice of the Football Nation: How optimistic are Premier League fans?
A new season is a time for renewed faith and optimism amongst football supporters up and down the land, or at least, that’s the theory. Here at Ladbrokes, we’ve commissioned a survey to find out just how optimistic the fans are at each of the Premier League’s 20 clubs.
We polled 100 supporters from each of the top-flight’s clubs and asked them to rank their optimism for the season ahead on a scale of 1 to 10. Interestingly, no clubs managed to score above a 9 or below a 6, which suggests to us that all supporters are realistic and relatively well-measured in their expectations.
Of course, that’s not to say that some clubs didn’t surprise us with how optimistic or pessimistic they are compared to others. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at just how optimistic Premier League fans are ahead of the new season.
Who are the most optimistic Premier League fans?
The betting suggests that Manchester City and Liverpool are the two most likely clubs to battle it out at the top of the Premier League this season, and our odds are reflected in the optimism of the two clubs’ supporters.
City are 4/5 favourites to reclaim the title this term and their fans polled as the most optimistic bunch in our survey with a rating of 8.7 out of 10. Liverpool are 2/1 to lift a second consecutive top-flight crown and polled as the second-most optimistic set of supporters with a rating of 8.4.
It’s almost impossible for City fans not to be optimistic with Pep Guardiola at the helm and the likes of Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne pulling the strings out on the pitch. But we have to admit to being slightly surprised at Liverpool not being more exuberant about their chances after last season’s heroics.
However, it’s worth noting that our survey was commissioned before the start of the new season. And that means it was filled in before the Reds signed Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich. The Spaniard is a significant upgrade in midfield, and we reckon his addition might make Liverpool fans that bit more optimistic of the season ahead.
Thiago’s capture touches on an important point. Football fans are always that bit more optimistic following a good summer in the transfer market. And on that basis, it’s no surprise to see Chelsea, who are third-favourites for the title at 8/1, rank third in our pre-season optimism survey with a score of 8.2.
Blues boss Frank Lampard hasn’t just raided the piggy bank this summer, he’s opened the chequebook and maxed out his credit card too. The additions of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva are a huge sign of intent as the West London club bid to improve on last season’s fourth-place finish.
Wolves are another club who appear to be going places, and without the distraction of Europa League football this term, their supporters rank as the fourth-most optimistic in our survey. Nuno Espirito Santo has built a fantastic squad of exciting players and with the addition of Joao Felix, there’s every reason for them to look forward to the season ahead.
Sheffield United fans don’t appear to be fearful of second-season syndrome with an optimism score of 7.8, while Arsenal and Manchester United are looking forward to a new dawn for their respective clubs with scores of 7.6 apiece.
Newly-promoted Leeds United have plenty to look forward to after 16 years away, and if their opening day performance against Liverpool is anything to go by, then they have good reason. Marcelo Bielsa’s side look set to be a wonderful addition to the Premier League, and their optimism rating of 7.5 suggests their fans are very much excited about what lies ahead. We have the Whites down at 20/1 to finish in the top-four this term.
Who are the least optimistic Premier League fans?
West Ham fans haven’t had much to cheer about since the club swapped Upton Park for the London Stadium. And that sense of cynicism has continued into this season following the dual sales of top prospects Grady Diangana and Jeremy Ngakia to West Brom and Watford respectively.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Hammers fans are the least optimistic in the entire Premier League with a score of just 6.2. That lack of confidence appears well-placed following a flat opening day defeat to Newcastle which saw our traders cut the odds of relegation for David Moyes’ men to just 11/5.
Newcastle fans ranked only one place above West Ham in our optimism table, but the Magpies look decent under Steve Bruce and are in a good position following the positive additions of Jamal Lewis, Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson. A new survey may show them to be slightly more optimistic after that result at the London Stadium, with a top-half finish now looking more likely than their relegation odds of 4/1.
Elsewhere, the supporters of newly-promoted clubs are usually buoyant ahead of a new campaign, but not West Brom and Fulham. Their fans have seen it all before and know what to expect at this level, which goes a fair way to explaining their ranking as the third and fourth least optimistic set of supporters.
Our traders have the Cottagers down as odds-on shots for relegation at 8/11, with the Baggies not far behind at even-money. Scott Parker and Slaven Bilic have plenty of work to do to defy the expectations of both their own club’s supporters and our number-crunchers on the trading floor.
Tottenham Hotspur fans were equally as negative about their chances this season, but that was before the club announced their intention to re-sign Gareth Bale. The Welshman’s acquisition would boost the excitement all around North London and could be enough to see their top-four odds shorten from the current price of 9/2.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing