Predicting the Premier League top goal-scorer is never easy. Nobody has dominated the ‘golden boot’ prize like Thierry Henry who won the title 4 times in 8 seasons. Since the departure of Henry (2007) the award has been won by 3 different candidate’s – Cristiano Ronaldo (2008), Nicolas Anelka (2009) and Didier Drogba (2010).
In fact, the only players, other than Henry, who have won the golden boot more than once (since the advent of the FA Premier League), are: Alan Shearer (1995, 1996, and 1997); Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (1999 and 2001); and Drogba (2007 and 2010). Indeed, the exit of Henry (and probably of Cristiano Ronaldo) has left the field wide open.
|2009 – 2010||Didier Drogba|
|2008 – 2009||Nicolas Anelka|
|2007 – 2008||Cristiano Ronaldo|
|2006 – 2007||Didier Drogba|
|2005 – 2006||Thierry Henry|
|2004 – 2005||Thierry Henry|
|2003 – 2004||Thierry Henry|
|2002 – 2003||Ruud Van Nistelrooy|
|2001 – 2002||Thierry Henry|
|2000 – 2001||Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink|
|1999 – 2000||Kevin Phillips|
|1998 – 1999||Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink|
|1997 – 1998||Dion Dublin|
|1996 – 1997||Alan Shearer|
|1995 – 1996||Alan Shearer|
|1994 – 1995||Alan Shearer|
|1993 – 1994||Andrew Cole|
|1992 – 1993||Teddy Sheringham|
As it stands, the top 2 Premier League scorers (as of 22 November 2010) are somewhat surprising – Andrew Carroll (8) and Johan Elmander (8). Carroll has proved himself (in the Championship) but, nevertheless, to transfer his form to the Premier League, to which he has little experience, is impressive. However, I expect the form of Carroll to slump at the back end of the season because of, predominantly, fatigue –the Premier League is far quicker than the Championship and this will show. For me, of less surprise, is the form of Johan Elmander. If you remember my article Bolton – Can Coyle make them a nuisance again I predicted good things for Bolton. Not to blow my own trumpet (but I will), Bolton have only recently been displaced from Champions League territory and are well on track for European qualification. Undoubtedly, Elmander will continue to get excellent service from the likes of Petrov and Davies to bag a few more goals this term. However, the winner, for me, is lurking dangerously in the background – Dimitar Berbatov.
Berbatov has been outstanding this campaign; he is playing with an arrogant swagger we once saw whilst at Spurs. It seems most things are effortless for Dimitar and, dare I say it, Rooney really isn’t being missed through injury at present. When Rooney is fit again, he is likely to replace Javier Hernandez giving the Bulgarian a longer run in the team. For some reason Berbatov is never mentioned in the same sentence as Torres, Drogba and Van Persie yet, for me, he is worth a decent wager to get the top scorer gong. What are your predictions?