European football social media report - October

October has rolled around and the leagues across Europe are starting to take shape, with the usual suspects sitting top of the tree in Italy (Juventus) and Spain (Real Madrid). However, it is perhaps fair to say that no one bar Jurgen Klopp expected Liverpool to be leading the way in England, while anyone suggesting that AS Monaco and Nice would sit above PSG in Ligue 1 and RB Leipzig would be three points clear of the mighty Bayern Munich may have been laughed out of the office. However, the question now remains – can all these teams maintain their heat as temperatures begin to drop?

Based on the number of Twitter mentions, this unpredictability is doing nothing to halt the Premier Leagues dominance, with almost the double the amount of mentions of La Liga in second. Interestingly, the interest in the Bundesliga has waned since last month in terms of mentions, while Italy has seen the biggest jump, perhaps due to the managerial issues at Inter Milan with Ronald de Boer sacked within 6 months of taking over and the resurgence of another traditional European powerhouse AC Milan under new coach Vincenzo Montella.

In terms of the hashtags used in October, looking at the Premier League, Arsenal feature prominently, which is likely to be down to Arsenal’s superb form throughout the month. Manchester United and Liverpool were also both prominent, likely to be due to the (ultimately disappointing) game between the great rivals in early October. Interestingly, Red Bull Leipzig do not feature in the Bundesliga list despite their fantastic start to the season. While it may give Leipzig wings, Red Bull’s ownership of the team has not gone done well in Germany with the team largely unpopular, perhaps even more so than the last ‘manufactured team’ in TSG Hoffenheim.

In France, the biggest game in French football dominated the hashtags with many people referencing PSG vs Marseille – shame the game didn’t live up to the hype with the two teams playing out a 0-0 draw. In Italy, AC Milan have proved that Juventus are a mortal team after all, beating them in their first clash of the season and reinforcing the notion that Milan may be a coming force once again.

Looking at the word clouds [1] for October, only in Spain does a team appear more often than the league itself, showing quite clearly the shadow the ‘Big Two’ cast over the rest of the league. In the Premier League, there seems to be a greater parity among tweets mentioning clubs, with numerous different clubs appearing in the world cloud. In Italy, while Milan does not appear as a popular hashtag, there has been plenty of discussion around the seven time European Champions given their resurgence this season.

Given the size of some clubs, such as PSG and Manchester United, they will seemingly always have a social media presence. However, it is important to note that both teams have struggled this season relative to their size and previous historic dominance. What can’t be denied is that while a team struggling is just as interesting a discussion point as a team winning, it is unlikely that sponsors and partners will feel the same way, with the sentiments of that conversation being more negative than positive due to current performance. 

[1] Word clouds are a visual representation of text data, typically used to visualize free form text

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Football word clouds

View the word clouds based on tweets related to each of the European football leagues.