Shearer, Henry, Van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo, Drogba: the former Golden Boot winners in the Premier League is a roll call of greats who have played in England. This season the goals have flown in: four players have already bagged a hat-trick. The battle for the Golden Boot is well underway. So will we see a new name at the top of the goal scoring charts come May or will Didier Drogba once again prove to be the most deadly striker in England?
Goal scoring is as much about the team around the striker as anything else. It is no good having a great goal scorer in a team that does not create chances or give the right service. Bearing this in mind, the main contenders for this year’s top scorer crown look like coming from the two clubs who have shared the Premier League trophy since Arsenal’s victory in 2004. Chelsea have been in terrific goal scoring form so far this season hitting the net twenty-one times in five games. In Didier Drogba they have a complete forward. Physical, good in the air, technically gifted and with an excellent set piece, he has all the attributes. Supported by players like Florent Malouda, Frank Lampard and Nicolas Anelka, who themselves will chip in with goals; Drogba can rely on getting the service to add to the five goals he already has this season.
Up at Manchester United, the goal scoring responsibilities have fallen this season to the thirty million pound Bulgarian, Dimitar Berbatov. Folowing his hat-trick against Liverpool he is the joint top league scorer with six. Despite being well supported by the guile of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nani, Berbatov is not an out and out goal scorer; his game is more about creating than finishing. He may well get twenty goals this season, but he will not be able to live with Drogba in terms of pure goal-scoring prowess. Despite his slow start to the season, Wayne Rooney still remains Sir Alex’s best hope of a golden boot winner. Last season Wayne Rooney added a poacher’s element to his game and netted thirty-five goals, and with a return to form, there is no doubt he is capable of repeating the feat.
At Eastland’s Carlos Tevez continues to find the back of the net at an incredible pace. The Argentine hit man scored twenty four times in his last twenty eight league games. Tevez’s work rate and tenacity means that he will create his own chances and if Manchester City’s expensive attacking talent gels then Tevez will find plenty more chances coming his way.
The other main contender for this accolade is Darren Bent at Sunderland. Bent has scored five of Sunderland’s seven goals so far this season, to add to his twenty-five goal haul last year. The signing of Asamoah Gyan has given him a strike partner of international pedigree. If these two can fire as a partnership then Bent could well be an outside bet for the top scorer’s crowd.
So, who will be the League’s top scorer? Even though Carlos Tevez will run him close the smart money has to go on Didier Drogba to make it a hat-trick of Golden boots. Surrounded by players who will create chances for him and looking in top form at this stage of the season it looks likely that only injury can prevent the Ivorian from topping the scoring charts again.