The days in which a player can score 40, even 60 goals in one league season are over.
The older amongst us might remember Dixie Dean getting 60 for Everton in there title winning season of 1927-28 (the very old that is), or jimmy greaves’ 41 for Chelsea in 1960-61. And these are not just exceptions picked out of a hat; in fact, I can find a record of over 20 times when a player has scored over 35 goals in a season (to win the golden boot)! However, to find such examples, you have to go back as far as 1966, when Ron Davies of Southampton scored 37 to find such an example. And you have to go back a further few years to 1963 to find an example of a real teams’ player going over this amount (the legendary Jimmy Greaves.)
So why is it, that since the mid 60s, no player has managed to score over 35 goals in one league season? Surely it is not through lack of talent, as you would expect players these days to be possibly more talented, as such large amounts of money flood into scouting, youth football, and academies. And equally, with improved, lightweight footballs, flat, flawless playing surfaces, and much higher wages, you would expect more goals – but it is not to be.
The explanation lies in something that seems to come naturally to the English – the ability to produce some of the best defenders in the world! And as footballing standards have improved, rather than see a rise in goals in the league, we have seen a reduction, as players get better and better at defending. And you only need to look at the national team to see this is true, Ashley Cole, arguably the best left back in the world, John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, arguably the best centre back pairing in the world. Gary Neville (well, not any more) – another legend!
And then look at the defenders trying to get in, Jamie Carragher cant even get a sniff, Micah Richards has been pushed to the right to accommodate him. Glen Johnson, in my opinion, the most impressive right back of the season so far, hasn’t been played since, well, the “Sven” era. Then there is Matty Taylor, Nicky Shorey, Sol Campbell, Joleon Lescott, all waiting for a chance. All capable of getting into almost any national side in the world!
And then add to them the “defensive midfielders” that the country is producing, and you end up with a very defensive squad! Almost to the point of wondering where your goals will come from, with Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney probably the only two respectable forwards the country has to offer!
Last year saw Drogba weigh in with a massive 20 goals, and can we really expect a player to do better than this? Ronaldo is on course, but we can probably expect to see increasingly fewer and fewer goals scored in premiership seasons as time moves on.
Written by pompeycarpet.
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