June 21, 2024

This is how Switzerland faces coach Nati Yakin before the European Championship

Switzerland is highly critical of one of them, but believes the other will be the star of the European Championship: coach Murat Yakin and captain Granit Xhaka.Photo: Keystone/Watson

The European Football Championship starts on Friday. The Swiss people do not believe in the national team’s achievement and see coach Murat Yakin in particular as a problem. This is shown by a representative Watson scan.

11 June 2024, at 05:13June 11, 2024, 7:44 am

Niklas Helbling
Niklas Helbling

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From Friday at the latest, countless fans and experts in Switzerland will be focusing on football again. Then the European Football Championship begins with the opening match between host Germany and our northern neighbour, Scotland.

Of course, part of such an event is speculating in advance about how the tournament will go. For example, how Switzerland will perform, and who will become European champion. Or more fundamentally: Is Murat Yakin the right coach for Switzerland?

As the representative Watson poll shows, a clear majority answered the last question in the negative. It is therefore not surprising that about two-thirds of the Swiss population expects to be eliminated in the round of 16 at the latest.

Watson discovered this in collaboration with the social research institute DemoSCOPE. The poll, which represents German- and French-speaking Switzerland, was conducted between May 28 and June 3, with the participation of 2,433 people (more on the methodology at the end of the article).

Switzerland’s performance

In the last European Championship three years ago, Switzerland reached the quarter-finals, and the round of 16 penalty shootout win against France should remain in the minds of all football fans. However, only a minority of all demographic groups in Switzerland believe that the nationalists can repeat this success.

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Significant differences can be observed between those who actively play football and those who do not. It is noted that approximately the same number of people from both groups expect to exit in the preliminary round or in the round of 16. However, compared to the rest of the population, more footballers believe that Switzerland will reach the semi-finals or even become European champions.

Little confidence in Murat Yakin

It seems that one of the reasons why the majority believes that the Swiss national team’s performance in the 2024 European Championship will be worse than in the 2021 European Championship is the coach. When they reached the quarter-finals, which ended in a penalty shootout against Spain, the coach was still called Vladimir Petkovic. But the current Algeria coach then moved to Bordeaux and was replaced by Mourad Yakin.

Nearly three years on, only a quarter of Switzerland’s population is convinced that the 49-year-old is the right man for the job on the bench. The French-speaking Swiss, in particular, criticize Basel.

Coach Murat Yakin, who actively plays football, has a more negative view than the French-speaking population. 74% of them believe that the Swiss Football Association has not currently appointed the right coach.

Scan your favorite trio of titles

Very few people believe that Switzerland is capable of achieving great success. Even with the bets, El Nati are only in the middle of the field when it comes to who will be the European champion. There are three favorites among the Swiss population, who have the best chance of winning the title, based on betting odds. These are England, Germany and France.

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At the other end of the spectrum is Serbia, which has just one vote, as well as Slovakia, Turkey and Georgia, which no one polled believes will win the European Championship. It is also interesting that in German-speaking Switzerland, France is tied with England as favorites, while the French team is only third in French-speaking Switzerland. Conversely, when it comes to title chances, Germany ranks only third among the German-speaking population, while the German Football Association team ranks first among the French-speaking population.

Granit Xhaka, star of the national team

Who will be the best Swiss? Given the large selection of over 30 players – at the time the poll began, Murat Yakin had not yet shortened his squad – this was perhaps the most difficult question to answer. However, 30% of the Swiss population believe that Granit Xhaka will be the standout Swiss player at the European Championship. Considering the incredibly strong season the 31-year-old has had for Leverkusen, this does not seem far-fetched.

Many also believe that goalkeeper Yann Sommer of Inter Milan – especially in French-speaking Switzerland – or centre-back Manuel Akanji of Manchester City will have a strong tournament. Joel Montero was also a popular answer among active footballers, but he fell victim to Murat Yakin’s first cut. This may not have contributed to the coach’s already low popularity among this demographic.

About the methodology

The survey was conducted in cooperation with DemoSCOPE from May 28 to June 3 in German and French. After data cleaning, there were 2433 evaluable interviews. They were adjusted to an unbiased population using propensity score weighting in order to counteract self-selection bias and yield more meaningful results (men surveyed above average). Assuming a random sample, the maximum margin of error for the percentages is 2.6 percent. The survey was conducted online at watson.ch and watson.ch/fr.

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He has been coaching the Swiss national team since 1981


He has been coaching the Swiss national team since 1981

March 24, 1981 to November 13, 1985: Paul Wolfsberg
Nationality: Swiss
51 games/point average: 1.39

Source: Keystone/Karl Mathis

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