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The Dean vs Haaland

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Arguably the greatest goalscorer ever to grace the English game, undeniably the greatest Everton player of all-time, William Ralph Dean’s or Dixie Dean’s name was the first installed in the Millennium Giants roster when the original Everton Giants list was formulated in 1999.

Now another football great in the making – Erling Haaland is on his way to shattering all records that come his way. Haaland’s first season will go down as one of the greatest in Premier League history following his explosive arrival at Etihad Stadium. The Norway international has netted an incredible 51 goals in 45 City games in 2022/23, including a record 35 goals in the Premier League.

Haaland’s 35th of the season in the Premier League for Manchester City saw him overtake Alan Shearer and Andy Cole as the top scorer in a single campaign, putting him on 51 in all competitions. He is unlikely to top 60 top-flight league goals in the season, which is the current record set by Dixie Dean in 1928, and there are 18 examples of players scoring more than Haaland in history – although none since 1967.

One record Haaland could own outright, however, is Dean’s record of 63 goals across all competitions in a season from 1927-28. But can the giant from Norway go all the way and surpass Dean’s record?

Who is Dixie Dean?

Everton club legend Dixie Dean remains the benchmark for goal-scoring excellence in English football with the former England international retaining an outrageous pre-WWII record. Dean’s one-season haul has stood for almost a century, after he netted a sensational 60 league goals in 39 First Division games, as the Toffees unsurprisingly clinched the 1927/28 top-flight title.

Signed by Everton from Tranmere Rovers for £3,000 in 1925, he scored 32 League goals in his first full season as an Evertonian. That was just six goals short of the then League record of 38, held by another former Everton centre-forward, Bert Freeman.

But his chances of eventually overtaking the record were severely doubted during the summer of 1926. Indeed his ability to play football ever again was questioned, following a motorcycle accident in which his skull and jaw were fractured.

He continued to score regularly throughout his career. Revered for his sportsmanship as well as his burgeoning talent, he was never once booked or dismissed – despite the kind of provocation which once saw him lose a testicle in a match.

For a man whose life was linked so indelibly with Everton Football Club, it was fitting that he died at Goodison Park in March 1980, minutes after the final whistle of a derby match.

 

Dixie Dean record vs Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland insists he is fully focused on the Cityzen’s treble quest and not his growing list of individual scoring accolades as Dixie Dean’s legendary milestone now moves into view.

Twelve goals in all competitions would see Haaland get perhaps the most impressive record of the lot – Dixie Dean’s record of 63 goals across all competitions in a season by a top-flight player from 1927-28. With a maximum of nine games still to play, Haaland would at least level Dean’s record with 11.9 goals able to be scored at his current rate of a goal every 68 minutes.

That would mean Haaland playing every minute of the remaining games this season, and – frankly – that feels unlikely. Pep Guardiola won’t risk Haaland’s fitness to chase a record with an intense double-header coming up against Real Madrid, plus tough games coming up in the Premier League against Leeds and Everton.

Haaland is also unlikely to break Dean’s record across all competitions that season of 65 goals, although his prolific exploits in the UEFA Champions League mean he has an outside chance if he averages almost two goals a game for the remainder of the campaign.

 

Arnold Lewis
A hardcore Chelsea fan, who is often found playing football on the weekends. He has an exceptional voice and his rendition of old Hindi classic songs will make your heart melt. He is the man with the funky hair.

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