Shearer, Henry, van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo – the English Premier League has been graced with some of the best goal scorers the game has seen, in what is dubbed by some as the most difficult league in the world.
In the previous 10 Premier League seasons, an average of 22.9 goals has earned the Golden Boot, a range of 19 to 31. This season, with 7/8 games to go, Robin van Persie has already amassed more goals than that average, managing a very credible 26 Premier League goals thus far.
What I wanted to know was if there was a pattern to how the goals from the Premier League top scorers over the past 10 seasons were scored. Furthermore, is there a correlation in the time the goals are scored and the area from which they originate?
Who they are…
You can see that Cristiano Ronaldo’s 31 goals is the highlight of the past 10 Premier League seasons, just 3 short of the 34 goal record set by Andy Cole & Alan Shearer. Nicolas Anelka was top dog in a pretty barren season for goals in the 2008/09 season, finishing top scorer with 19 goals, just 1 better than the lowest goal scoring finish in Premier League history – the 1997/98 & 1998/99 seasons, 19 goals.
How they scored…
The graphic shows, quite clearly, the dominance of right footed to left footed players in the scoring stakes, with 187 out of 272 goals scored with the right foot. Robin van Persie is the only left footed player in the list and the one with the most left footed goals, albeit only 4 more than Didier Drogba from the 2009/10 season.
Thierry Henry is the right foot ‘king’. In his 3 top goal scorer seasons, 67 out of his 82 goals were scored via his right foot – only Cristiano Ronaldo has outdone the Frenchman over a season for right-footed goals.
Quite surprisingly, no top scoring player in the last 10 years has notched more than 5 headers of their overall total – Drogba & Ronaldo the leaders in that category and Henry showing his weakness aerially with just 2 headed goals from his 82 in 3 seasons; 2 seasons without a single header.
Next Page: At what time did they score goals? A goal time breakdown and pitch positions (click top right or bottom right).