Team selector: Which fans are the happiest with their squads?

By Jon BarbutiBBC Sport
Team selector

Tottenham fans are the most satisfied with their current squad among Premier League and Scottish Premiership clubs, according to the results of BBC Sport's team selector.

At least 80% of Spurs fans were happy with their options in the starting XI, although elsewhere the picture is not so harmonious.

One club's supporters have issues with nine positions in their starting XI, while the left-back berth at a top Premier League side is of concern to 93% of fans.

Method and general overview

We asked supporters of Premier League and Scottish Premiership clubs to use BBC Sport's team selector to tell us whether they were satisfied with their squad, via a simple tick or cross for each position.

More than 100,000 selections were made, from which we were able to draw some conclusions.

For each position, we looked at what percentage of the picks were positive - for example 94% of Arsenal fans were happy with their options at right-back, compared to only 57% of Manchester United fans for the same position.

What became apparent was that 90% was a good benchmark figure to show when fans had few concerns over a position, while a figure of 75% or below showed that fans at least had some doubts in that area.

The 'happiest' fans

Spurs fans are unique in not having concerns over a single position. At every other club at least one position got approval from fewer than 75% of fans, but at Spurs at least 80% of fans were happy with every slot.

Six positions in the Spurs XI were given the thumbs up by upwards of 90% of fans, the joint most along with Manchester City, Manchester United and Middlesbrough.

At the Manchester clubs, the only concerns were in full-back positions. Only 57% of United fans felt happy with the options at right-back, contrasting with 95% satisfied with left-back. At City, both full-back positions appeared to be a cause for concern, only 62% happy with right-back and 58% with left-back.

Boro fans showed their delight with the defence - the goalkeeper and back four all deemed fine by at least 90% of fans - but there were concerns over three positions further forward.

Chelsea fans were delighted with five positions and only had concerns over one - again at right-back - while Arsenal fans rated five positions at above 90%, but had concerns over two - left-back and centre-forward.

Top 8 happiest fans

Most cause for concern

The findings make grim reading for Swansea, West Brom and Sunderland.

At Swansea, only one position found favour with 90% of fans, while seven scored below the 75% mark. However, at West Brom, while there was again one position with above 90%, nine of the other 10 positions scored below 75%.

At Sunderland, not a single position scored above 80%, let alone 90%, while eight slots fell below 75%, including a dismal 24% for the goalkeeper and 32% for the second striker position.

The only other team to not get a single position above the 90% mark was Bournemouth, the Cherries also having four positions below 75% including alarming figures of 45% and 50% for the two centre-back slots.

The bottom 7

The players who stood out

The highest approval rating for any position at any club was the 98.5% who expressed satisfaction with the goalkeeping strength at Manchester United.

A number of positions at other clubs came close, for instance 96% of Manchester City fans were happy with the left midfield position. At Watford, 97.3% of fans were happy with the left-hand side of the three centre-backs in their 3-5-2 formation. No other outfield position was rated so highly.

But what of the other end? While many positions were in the 40% range and a few lower still, one stood out.

Liverpool fans expressed concerns over a few positions, including goalkeeper, but nothing came close to their concern over left-back. Only 7% of fans felt the squad was adequate in that position, to put the figure into context it was almost four times lower than any other position at any other club.

How different positions fared

The average approval, taking in every position at every club, was 81%. On the whole, fans felt they did not have too much cause concern with their squads.

The highest average approval for any one position was goalkeepers at 86%, only one in every seven fans to send in a selection suggested their club should have strengthened in that area.

Other positions were not too far behind. All midfield positions averaged in the low 80s, as did both central defensive spots.

The full-back positions were a worry across many clubs and this is reflected in their overall approval average - 75% for right-back and 70% for the opposite wing.

Finding averages for attacking positions comes with a caveat as fans chose numerous formations, ranging from one striker to three. What we can say is that for the one spot which was a striker in any formation, approval was a relatively low 73%

Club results in focus

*Below are findings for 23 teams - the 20 Premier League teams plus Aberdeen, Celtic and Rangers - the other nine Scottish Premiership clubs were omitted because of the small sample size of team selections. We've got general findings, and then at least one stat for every team.


Arsenal fans seemed satisfied with most of their team, with one notable exception. Most fans picked a formation with just one striker - and had concerns over that striker, only 45% believing the current squad was sufficiently strong in that position.


Centre-back was the main concern for Cherries fans, with the two slots having approval ratings of 45 and 50% suggesting many fans believe two signings were required at the back.

Perhaps boosted by the arrival of Jack Wilshere, central midfield was the area of least concern, 85% of fans happy with that position.


Every Burnley fan who contributed selected a 4-4-2 formation. Within that formation, the wide midfielders stood out as being a perceived weakness - only 33% happy with right midfield, and 28% with the opposite flank.


Midfield was seen as being the squad's strongest area, with an average in excess of 90% approval across all midfield positions.

Chelsea's strength in goal was evident in a 98% approval rating, but no other defensive position was higher than 85% and the right-back slot was a concern to around a third of fans.

Crystal Palace

Palace's squad was one of the most split, with some positions above 90%, others below 60%. The areas for concern were left-back (55% approval) and both central midfield slots at around 60% - the arrival of the out-of-contract Mathieu Flamini perhaps partly addressing this potential weakness.

Better news was to be found in goal (98% approval) and attack with 93% approval for the front two.


Only the left-back position scored above 90% approval and fans identified major concerns at either end of the pitch.

Only 48% of fans were happy with the strength in goal, and 45% with the options in attack.

Midfield was a strength, with both central positions around the 85% mark


Given Hull's shortage of players, their stats in this squad selector could have made for ugly reading. However, fans seem generally fairly satisfied, overall they were 17th happiest- not amazing, but above both Liverpool and Bournemouth.

Right-back is the main concern, just 42% happy with the options there, while only 62% are happy with the second centre-back and second striker spots.


Fans of the reigning champions were only the 11th most satisfied out of the 23 teams to return sufficient data.

Some 32% of fans felt another central midfielder was required and 40% were less than impressed with the options at right-back. A quarter of fans even wanted another centre-back too. However, goalkeeper (95%) and the two centre-forward positions (91 and 93%) were viewed more positively.


The left-back stat is the one which jumps out, only 7% of fans happy with the choices in that position.

However, approval ratings were also low for keeper (62%), second centre-back (67%), and one of the central midfield positions (66%). Only a number 10 type position did particularly well, with 92% approval.

The lowest-rated positions

Manchester City

Bar the low scores for full-backs as mentioned above, City fans appeared happy with their squad.

Across the midfield, approval was in excess of 90% and the two centre-back positions also received 89% approval, highlighting how well John Stones has settled in following his move from Everton.

The goalkeeping position received a decent 85% approval - though it's worth noting this is well below the rating for many rivals, with the keepers at United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs all in excess of 95% and the average for keepers across all clubs was 86% approval.

Manchester United

The goalkeeper's 99% approval is the highest of any position at any club, while left-back (95%), centre-forward (94%) and left-wing/attacking midfield (94%) were also given heavy approval.

Right-back was a concern, and the data also suggested fans feel United might be a centre-back light - the first centre-back position had a 90% approval rating, the second down at 78%


Defence - sorted. That's the view from the fans, with the average approval across the goalkeeper and back four just shy of 95%.

Inevitably the figures drop off further forward, and it's in the attacking midfield slots that confidence seems the lowest. Most fans picked formations with one striker and while the 80% approved of the options for the centre forward position, only around two thirds were happy with the options for attacking midfield.


Fans were delighted with the strength in goal, giving a 96% approval rating. However, while stopping goals might be in good hands, there was concern over scoring them.

Most fans picked a formation with two strikers - and gave a 60% approval rating for the first striker and just 42% for the second; fans clearly wishing they had at least one more striker on the books, and many wanting two more.

Stoke City

Stoke fans seemed happy with their options in midfield, especially the attacking midfield and wide positions - the two slots typically supporting the striker having approval percentages of 91 and 93%.

However, the centre-forward position itself was a bigger concern, with 74% approval and left-back, seemingly a concern at so many clubs, only being satisfactorily covered according to 62% of supporters.


Sunderland fans demonstrated a lot of concern about their squad and presumably the coming season.

Only 24% were happy with the goalkeeping options, and 32% with the second striker spot. If there were concerns at either end of the field, the middle wasn't much better - no position in midfield getting above 68% approval. The centre-backs were the closest thing to a positive, both getting 80% approval.


Ninety-seven percent of fans were happy with the strength in goal - which is just as well as the centre-back figures suggest the goalkeeper might be busy. Neither centre-back got above 50% approval, suggesting fans perhaps doubt the wisdom of allowing Ashley Williams to leave.

Goals could be a problem too, one of the centre-forward spots having only 38% approval.


Spurs fans are pretty happy - they came top overall for fan satisfaction. Defence is seen as the greatest strength, the goalkeeper and entire back four all having approval in excess of 93%.

If there is a concern it is in attack, the three most attacking positions all having a decent, if unspectacular rating of 80% - this compares badly with the likes of the two Manchester clubs.


A team of two halves at Watford - with the goalkeeper and defence averaging around 92% approval, but the rest of the team hovering in the high 70s.

It might be a tad surprising that the defence rates so highly when Watford have conceded the joint-most goals in the league, though we are only three games in.

With no position scoring lower than 73% approval it seemed fans did not have any huge concerns over the squad.

West Brom

The Baggies' midfield and attack are of huge concern to fans, with only one of the front six positions getting above 60% approval.

The central midfield positions average 55% approval, attack averages 50%. The one positive is a 96% rating for goalkeeper, though the other figures suggest he's going to be busy.

West Ham

Hammers fans are satisfied with the defence, delighted with the midfield, and worried about the attack.

Approval in defence is around 83% on average, but that jumps to 91% in midfield. Attack though is a different matter with fewer than half of fans satisfied. The data suggests the Hammers are just one top striker away from having a squad fans can feel genuinely excited about.

The view in Scotland

Celtic and Rangers fared similarly in that both had two positions with greater than 90% approval and three with below 75%. However, the concern was greater among Rangers fans as both centre-back positions scored in the 30 - 40% range.

Aberdeen fans were happy with attack and attacking midfield positions, but less enamoured with the options in central midfield.


Aberdeen fans showed concerns over centre-back, with only 42% happy with the second centre-back position, and also attacking midfield, with positions just behind a sole striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation averaging around 60%.

However, centre-forward itself was not seen as an issue, more than 90% of fans happy with the goalscoring options.


For Celtic fans, the biggest concern is in central midfield. With the majority of fans picking formations with two central midfielders, those two positions were seen as fine by just 67 and 57% of users.

The goalkeeping position was also a cause for concern - only 70% satisfied, this against an average of 86% for goalkeepers across all clubs.

Only 5% of fans felt left-back was a cause for concern.


Rangers fans were also extremely positive about their strength at left-back, 95% saying they were satisfied with this position.

However, there the similarities with Celtic end. Central midfield was rated positively, all positions receiving more than 85% approval, but central defence was a clear area of concern. Both centre back positions only received positive feedback from just 37% of Rangers fans.

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