‘Goals win games’
Generic football pundit, Match of the Day, every season
It’s one of football’s most painful cliches. One of the ones that makes you want to pound your face repeatedly in to a brick wall while Justin Bieber plays on repeat in the background and Danny Dyer repeatedly kicks you in the unmentionables. Of course this is actually fundamentally correct, it’s just the lack of insight or thought needed to be able to deduct that statement shouldn’t result in someone perching themselves on the match Of The Day couch.
Ten of the last 14 Premier League title winners have had a player who has scored at least 20 goals in that season, and a striker who can find the back of the net is equally important at the other end of the table. Just ask Steven Fletcher at Sunderland and Mr Benteke over at Villa.
With that in mind, the Paddy Power Blog (with a generous dollop of help from the lovely Leo in the design team) can present to you the ultimate goal-scoring machine – Frankenstriker!
Robin van Persie is aiming to become the third man in top-flight English football history to top the scoring charts on his own for the third season on the spin, but Thierry Henry was the last golden boot favourite to oblige in the 2004/05 campaign. The Dutchman knocked in 26 last term and 30 the year before to become a key part of our goalscoring machine.
It would be as pointless as commissioning another series of Miranda to leave Cristiano Ronaldo out of our creation. The midfielder had a strike rate of 0.91 in the 2007/08 season and was in the top three league scorers from 2007 to 2009. Didier Drogba should have been contemplating a quiet life in his slippers by an open fire celebrating his free bus pass in 2010, but his 29 goal haul made him the oldest player to top the scoring charts.
Thierry Henry racked up four golden boots at Arsenal with totals of 24, 30, 25 and 27 and was as short as 23/10 when he was the top scorer in 2006. However nobody has managed to better Alan Shearer’s haul of 34 in 1995, although Andy Cole had matched it in 1994. Shearer gets the nod after winning three golden boots.
38 per cent of top scorers have been English but there hasn’t been an English winner since Kevin Phillips in 2000 which might put paid to Wayne Rooney’s chances. Sitting on the bench at Old Trafford throwing a hissy fit won’t do him any favours either.
Playing for the Champions that year certainly isn’t a necessity which will give Benteke and Daniel Sturridge a slice of confidence, while Robin van Persie tries to defy a painful trend of flopping favourites.