<% Dim oCs, oTs, sttSQL set oCs = server.createobject("ADODB.Connection") oCs.Open "Driver={Microsoft Excel Driver (*.xls)}; DBQ=" & Server.MapPath("/history/trivia") & "/dean_index.xls;" sttSQL = "SELECT * FROM [Dixie$] ORDER BY Index DESC ;" Set oTs = oCs.Execute(sttSQL) %> ToffeeWeb - History - Dixie Dean Index
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Dixie Dean : How can we rate his 60 goal season?

Trevor Powell provides a Scoring Index for leading goalscorers over the seasons, adjusted to account for the total number of goals scored




Recently, I read the biography of Dixie Dean, Evertons legendary goalscorer and talisman.  Discussion in the book considers Deans place in history and it seems likely that his goal scoring feats will never be equalled.  How can you compare Deans tally with that of modern stars such as Van Nistleroy or Henri as the game has changed so much?




There have been many changes in the goal-scoring potential in the top-flight division: changes in the offside rule, defensive cultures and the like.  The benchmark for any season must then be the total goals scored by the whole division.  It is very clear that the game produced far less goals in the 1980s than in the 1950s.  As I have been working on a percentage basis, the reduction of the league from 22 to 20 teams does not distort the indices calculated.




I have analysed a series of important goal scoring seasons when the top strikers of their day were in their real pomp.  I have then totalled the number of goals scored in the top-flight division of the day for that season.  Dean scored an incredible 3.40% of all the Division one goals scored in the 1927-28 season compared with Thierry Henri, who scored 2.40% of the 2001-02 Premiership goals.  I have also taken into account the reduction of teams in the Premiership.  The number of full time [90 mins] player equivalents (and therefore competition in terms of goal-scoring) is some 91% of the competition that players in a 22 team league experienced!




The Scoring Index equals the players season goal total as a percentage of the league season goal total, multiplied by one hundred.

The Dean Index is calculated by finding Deans record percentage of 3.40% of each seasons league goal total.  Hence, for example, in 2002, if Henri had replicated Deans haul of 3.40% of all the Premiership goals, he would have needed to score 34 goals instead of 24 goals.



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Year Player Club Goals
Dean Index Notes
 <%=oTs("Season")%>  <%=oTs("Player")%>  <%=oTs("Club")%> <%=oTs("Goals")%>  <%=oTs("Total")%>  <%=oTs("Index")%>  <%=oTs("Dean")%>   <%=oTs("Notes")%> 

From this clear analysis, Dean was the outright striker of all time, being the only player to notch up a scoring index of over 300.  Dean, if he had been born in another generation would have been able to outscore any subsequent striker of the era by quite a considerable margin.  We know that Dean trained hard and was very enthusiastic about the game so we can be fairly sure that he would have been able to maintain todays level of fitness.  It seems interesting that his nearest rival, Alan Shearer seems to match Deans attributes and style of play so closely.

The less said about Francis Lee's index score of 284 the better as it seems to rely on the awarding of a significant number of penalty kicks, often reportedly won by dubious means.  I think I would rather have a Shearer than a Lee in my side!

Trevor Powell
31 May 2004


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