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Erling Haaland one record out of his reach – set by striker likened to Shakespeare

Erling Haaland one record out of his reach – set by striker likened to Shakespeare

Bill Shankly was a man who spoke his mind and used his words effectively.

It’s hard to say what he would have said about Erling Haaland, but he surely would have been impressed with the young Norwegian’s impressive ability to score goals.

As a manager who had created many legends at Liverpool during the 1960s, Shankly had extensive knowledge about great strikers and had even seen the best of the best during his playing days at Preston North End in the 1930s.

Shankly personally witnessed Dixie Dean’s outstanding performance as an Everton forward, scoring 60 league goals in the 1927-28 season. Dean, who became Shankly’s close friend, left a lasting impression on him.

“Dixie was the greatest centre-forward there will ever be,” said Shankly. “His record of goal scoring is the most amazing thing under the sun. He belongs in the company of the supremely great, like Beethoven, Shakespeare and Rembrandt.”

Dean’s impressive accomplishment was achieved through 39 matches played in the First Division during that season. The current record for the most goals in a Premier League season is shared by Andy Cole and Alan Shearer, who each scored 34 goals in the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons respectively.

Haaland is now only seven goals away from breaking that record. When the league resumes at the end of next week, he will have 11 more games to add to the 28 Premier League goals he has scored in his first season at Manchester City.

However, to surpass Dean’s record – and to put into perspective just how incredible it is – Haaland would need to score three goals in every one of those 11 games. Despite his excellent performances this season, he has only scored less than half of Dean’s 60 goals.

The season of 1927-28 was an unusual one and no other player has been able to match its record since.

However, it would be wrong to assume that Dixie Dean’s success was a one-time fluke. If you examine his statistics, you’ll see that in his first complete season in the highest league, he scored 32 goals.

Two seasons later, he achieved the remarkable feat of scoring 60 goals, and in 1931-32, he scored an impressive 45 goals. Additionally, he scored more than 20 goals in the First Division for Everton on six other occasions.

“To play against Dixie Dean was at once a delight and a nightmare,” said Busby. “He was a perfect specimen of an athlete, beautifully proportioned, with immense strength, adept on the ground but with extraordinary skill in the air.”

No one else can accomplish the task if Haaland fails. Furthermore, Dean had a football career that differed so much from the present era that he only played 16 games for England.

During the interwar period, England only played competitive matches in the Home Internationals and friendly games with other countries. England did not participate in the World Cup until after World War II.

Despite the limited opportunities, Dean was able to excel and score an impressive 18 goals in 16 games. If he had maintained that rate, he would have surpassed the records of Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney, who scored 53 goals for England in 80 and 120 games respectively, in just 48 games.

Dean’s success made him a well-known figure during the 1930s. In fact, he became so famous that during World War II, an Italian soldier who was captured in Egypt’s Western Desert expressed his disdain for Winston Churchill and Dixie Dean to his captors. f* your Winston Churchill and f* your Dixie Dean.”

Unfortunately, during Dean’s era when football didn’t provide much financial stability, he had to seek regular employment after retiring from the game.

He managed a pub and worked as a porter at the Littlewoods Pools offices. Nevertheless, his love for Everton remained strong throughout his life.

He passed away at the age of 73 due to a heart attack while watching the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on March 1, 1980.

Before the match, he had a pleasant lunch with the legendary Liverpool figure, Bill Shankly, whom he had developed a close friendship with during their retirement years.

Presently, both men are honored with statues and appropriate accolades outside Anfield and Goodison, the respective stadiums of their beloved clubs.

The plinth below Shankly’s reads: “He made the people happy” while on Dean’s it says: “Footballer. Gentleman. Evertonian.”

Erling Haaland one record out of his reach – set by striker likened to Shakespeare

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