GOAL !!

Originally featured in MEHSTG
Vol. 2 Issue 12 - February 2000

Given his standing within the England goalscoring hierarchy, it seems quite strange that the next new entry in the Spurs Top Twenty League Goalscorers Chart will, pop-pickers, purge Gary Lineker from the table.  Nonetheless when this event does occur, weíll still remember that Linekerís 67 goals came in just 3 seasons, including a magnificent 28 goals in 35 games in a poor, poor 91-92 side.  An average of 22 goals a season ainít bad these days. 

Just as a latter-day hero may soon disappear, looking further up the list, its slightly ironic to see which of the strikers from the great side of the early eighties is present.  Its Mark Falco, and not the men who kept him out of the team for so long, Archibald and Crooks, who figures in the list.  Even further up, Teddy Sheringhamís presence is testament to the fact that a healthy tally of goals is still viable for the modern striker.

While appearance tables are often dominated by players from successful eras (such as the 60s), this is not the case with the League Goalscorers Chart, where there is a fair spread from across the generations.  This reflects that fact that there can only be so many players claiming the goals at any given moment as well as the fact that the game averaged more goals prior to the seventies. 

While other famous strikers with an excellent White Hart Lane goalscoring pedigree (such as Ted Harper, Jurgen Klinsmann, and Clive Allen) join Archibald and Crooks in being missing, the tableís overall make up is unsurprising.  The leading goalscorers throughout the decades are featured, but there are a number of notable entries including Glenn Hoddle, who scored 88 goals from midfield, and Jimmy Dimmock who notched 12 more from the wing.  Even more impressive are the goal grabbing exploits of Cliff Jones, who is 3rd in the table with 135 goals, despite the fact that he was also a winger.  This is not only indicates the manís skill and loyalty, but also the excellence and quality of Bill Nicholsonís side in the 60s.

No article can pass without mention of the man himself, Jimmy Greaves, the greatest goalscorer in the history of British football (let us not forget that every single one of his 357 League goals was scored in top flight football).  Greavesí record of 220 League goals (let alone his overall Spurs tally of 268 goals) trounces the Goonersí embarrassing overall goalscoring record (a meagre 178 in all competitions when Ian Wright broke it in 1998). 

Todayís football is more defensive, and with increasing numbers of European games, squad systems and bigger substituteís benches meaning modern players play fewer League games, itís unlikely that Jimmy Greavesí record will ever be surpassed.  I can live with that.

Paul Lederer

 

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