Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough comes out on top in social media popularity contest

By Gareth Fullerton

Ian Baraclough emerged as the most popular manager on social media during the international break.

Baraclough guided Northern Ireland to wins over Lithuania and Estonia before Wednesday night's spirited 0-0 draw with Switzerland.

BetVictor has analysed social media sentiment around international bosses during the World Cup qualifiers.

Among their findings they discovered:

  • Ian Baraclough was the most popular, with 83% of posts about him positive
  • England's Gareth Southgate was the most unpopular manager, with 62% of posts about him negative
  • Wales’ Robert Page was the second most unpopular and Republic of Ireland's Stephen Kenny was the joint-fourth most unpopular

Baraclough earned praise on social media, with the analysis by BetVictor revealing 83% of all posts mentioning his name were positive, 11% higher than his nearest challenger, Germany boss Hansi Flick (72%).

Incidentally, the three closest managers to Baraclough in terms of popularity were all newly appointed with Flick followed by Netherland’s Louis Van Gaal and Switzerland's Murat Yakin, who both had a positivity rating of 69%.

In contrast, England chief Southgate was officially the most unpopular manager on social media during the international break despite taking the nation to their first Euro final during the summer.

The stats showed 62% of all tweets mentioning the England boss were negative for the period of September 1-8 and for the same time period he was also the second most talked about international manager, only marginally behind France’s Didier Deschamps.


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