England starting XI – the people's choice

Pick your England starting XI

Does captain Wayne Rooney earn a place? Who starts up front? And who’s the most popular player in the squad?

As of 09:00 BST on Tuesday, more than 500,000 people had selected their side using the BBC Sport’s England XI team selector – less than 24 hours after its launch.

It is thought to be the largest sample of public opinion of its kind on Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad.

Here are the results so far…


The most popular England starting XI

Overall England XI selection<!–


Are we still a nation emotionally tied to a solid 4-4-2 formation? More than a third (36%) of people have gone for that tactic, yet variations used by Hodgson were also popular.

The 4-2-3-1 option has been selected 22% of the time, with a diamond formation of 4-1-2-1-2 getting 21%. The more straightforward 4-3-3 has been used by 12% of people.

Despite the fact that only 5,000 users have picked a five-at-the back formation, the most 11 popular players selected only fit into that more defensive option.

Make sense of that, Roy.

Rooney should play in midfield

Wayne Rooney graphic<!–

The public, like his Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, think Rooney’s best position is now in midfield. They wholeheartedly agree with Alan Shearer that England’s record goalscorer is no longer the country’s top striker.

The stats above are based on the 51% of people that selected Rooney.

But when chosen in a traditional 4-4-2 formation – the most popular shape – just 7% had Rooney as one of their two strikers.

In that same 4-4-2 formation, however, Rooney has got more than 200,000 picks as a midfielder – putting him as the third choice behind certainty Dele Alli and Tottenham team-mate Eric Dier, with Leicester’s Danny Drinkwater fourth choice.

Solving Hodgson’s midfield dilemma

There’s plenty of competition for places in midfield but there’s one player who is the standout choice. Tottenham’s Dele Alli was selected in 88% of teams – more than any other player in the squad, including goalkeeper Joe Hart.

Midfielders graphic<!–

Can we play two right-backs?

England’s defensive dilemma appears to be on the right side of defence. Liverpool’s Nathanial Clyne at almost 290,000 and fellow right-back Kyle Walker at about 215,000 split the vote – with both making the cut for the most popular starting XI, leaving the team with five defenders.

Tottenham’s Danny Rose was the most popular left-back with almost 350,000 selectors.

Manchester City’s 57-cap goalkeeper Hart has been by far the first choice for England’s number one shirt, with nearly eight times the amount of picks as Southampton’s Fraser Forster and Tom Heaton of Burnley combined.

The centre-back pairing of Manchester United’s Chris Smalling and Chelsea’s Gary Cahill are out-and-out favourites among users, with Everton’s John Stones receiving about half the amount of selections and failing to make the team-sheet.

Defoe v Rashford v Deeney – An England squad based on stats

Quotes and reaction: Rashford makes 26-man England squad

Quiz: Remember the previous England squad shocks

Rashford in or out?

Manchester United teenager Marcus Rashford dominated the discussion around the squad announcement on Monday. Is it too early for the 18-year-old striker to be included in the senior squad?

He has been chosen by 38,030 BBC Sport readers in their starting XI, leaving him third-from-bottom on the selection list of 26 players.

Instead, Tottenham’s Harry Kane (87%) and Leicester’s Jamie Vardy (71%) – this season’s top scorers in the Premier League with 49 goals combined – who have come out as your most popular strike duo.

Do you agree with the pundits?

John Cross<!–

Phil McNulty squad<!–

Jermaine Jenas<!–

Chris Waddle team<!–

Henry Winter team<!–

And the funnies

Big Sam<!–


Don’t agree with the teams chosen so far? Have a go below.

Use our new team selector to pick your England team, selecting from the whole squad and slotting them into the formation of your choice.

And after you’ve done that, you can share them with your friends or post them on your social media accounts.

Think you’ve nailed it with England? BBC Sport will be launching a team selector for Wales and Northern Ireland’s Euro 2016 starting XIs in the coming weeks.

My England starting XI

Who do you think should start at Euro 2016? Step into Roy Hodgson’s shoes and pick your XI – and then share it with your friends using our brand new team selector.

Choose goalkeeper

    Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about England | BBC