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Premiership Hotshots

Michael Owen's 100th Premiership goal last weekend put him among a group of just ten strikers who have achieved a similar feat. LFC-1 takes a look back at all ten of the players who have a century of goals to their name.

1. Alan Shearer

Premiership Games: 344
Premiership Goals: 221
Number of games taken to reach 100 Premiership goals: 124
Current goals/games ratio: 0.642
Premiership Clubs: Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United

Without doubt the most consistent goalscorer in the history of the Premiership, Alan Shearer is currently the only player to achieve a double century of Premiership goals, which included 100 goals for each of the two clubs he has played for since the formation of the Premiership in 1992. The former England captain has been top scorer on three separate occasions, an achievement matched by no other player in the Premiership era, while he also holds the joint record of five goals in a single Premiership game, a record which he equalled in Bobby Robson's first home match in charge of Newcastle when the Magpies won 8-0 against Sheffield Wednesday.

2. Andy Cole

Premiership Games: 300
Premiership Goals: 153
Number of games taken to reach 100 Premiership goals: 184
Current goals/games ratio: 0.51
Premiership Clubs: Newcastle United, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers

Despite often coming under criticism for his finishing, Andy Cole has a record which most strikers would be proud of, with the former Arsenal trainee having broken a number of records on the way to his current total. In the 1993/94 season, Cole scored 34 in the Premiership, a record which has yet to be beaten and which has been equalled only once, which was by Alan Shearer the following year. Cole also set the Premiership record for goals in a game when he netted five times in Man United's 9-0 victory over Ipswich. But his time at United ended soon after the purchase of Ruud van Nistelrooy, and his form has dipped since signing for Blackburn with only 6 goals in 32 appearances so far this season.

3. Les Ferdinand

Premiership Games: 308
Premiership Goals: 136
Number of games taken to reach 100 Premiership goals: 175
Current goals/games ratio: 0.442
Premiership Clubs: Queens Park Rangers, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United

Currently helping West Ham avoid relegation, Les Ferdinand started his Premiership career at QPR, where he was a key member of a side which finished in the top 10 during the first three years of the Premiership, though Ferdinand's importance to the London club became even more apparent when he left to play for Newcastle, with QPR relegated in their first season without him and scoring only 38 goals on their way down into Division 1. Ferdinand proved to be a huge success at Newcastle, where he spent his second season in the North East playing alongside Alan Shearer. Despite forming a great partnership with the England captain though, Ferdinand returned to London the following year, and in his 6 years back in the capital, his best tally of league goals in a season has been just 10.  

4. Robbie Fowler

Premiership Games: 277
Premiership Goals: 136
Number of games taken to reach 100 Premiership goals: 175
Current goals/games ratio: 0.491
Premiership Clubs: Liverpool, Leeds United, Manchester City

Regarded by many as the most natural finisher in the game when he burst onto the scene in 1993, Fowler went on to become a Liverpool legend before moving to Leeds last season. Fowler was second only to Alan Shearer in his first full Premiership season, scoring 25 times, and the 28 goals he scored the following season still remains the highest total of league goals scored by any Liverpool player in a single Premiership season, while he also managed a league hat-trick on 8 occasions during his time at Anfield. 14 goals from 24 starts at Leeds make impressive reading, especially for a player supposedly out of form, though his partnership with Anelka at Man City has yet to show it's potential with only 3 goals scored between the two players during the 11 games that they have so far started together.

5. Teddy Sheringham

Premiership Games: 341
Premiership Goals: 130
Number of games taken to reach 100 Premiership goals: 256
Current goals/games ratio: 0.381
Premiership Clubs: Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United

After making his name as a Millwall player and following a brief spell at Nottingham Forest under the management of Brian Clough, Sheringham went on to become the top scorer in the first ever Premiership season, bagging a total of 22 goals. That season remains his best in the top flight, though including this season, Sheringham's goal total has reached double figures in seven of the eleven Premiership campaigns so far. With twenty seasons already behind him, it remains to be seen how long Sheringham will continue with his playing career, and with suggestions that his Spurs contract won't be renewed, this year could yet be his last in the top flight.

6. Dwight Yorke

Premiership Games: 306
Premiership Goals: 115
Number of games taken to reach 100 Premiership goals: 249
Current goals/games ratio: 0.376
Premiership Clubs: Aston Villa, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers

Despite spending 10 years at Villa Park, Dwight Yorke will be equally remembered for his time spent as a Man United player, which is where he went on to win numerous trophies during a relatively short stay at Old Trafford. Following a 12.6million move from Villa, Yorke quickly formed a fantastic partnership with Andy Cole, which was crucial to United's treble success of 1999. It was at Villa where he has scored most of his Premiership goals so far though, netting the first 60 of his current total of 115 whilst wearing a claret and blue shirt. Now at Blackburn, where he is again partnering Andy Cole, though the partnership has shown few signs of being quite as successful as that of the players' time at Old Trafford.

7. Ian Wright

Premiership Games: 213
Premiership Goals: 113
Number of games taken to reach 100 Premiership goals: 173
Current goals/games ratio: 0.531
Premiership Clubs: Arsenal, West Ham United

After a successful 6 year spell at Crystal Palace in the late 80's, it was with Arsenal that Ian Wright really made his name as he went on to become a Highbury legend and although he fell some way short of beating Cliff Bastin's goalscoring record in the league, Wright did manage to finish his Arsenal career having broken the club's all time goalscoring record in all competitions. A prolific scorer at Premiership level, only Alan Shearer was quicker to 100 Premiership goals which Ian Wright achieved in style, with a hat-trick in a 4-1 win for Arsenal over Bolton in the 1997/8 season. Wright's final Premiership games came in a West Ham shirt, before he finished his playing career with short stays at Celtic and Burnley during at the end of the 1999/2000 season.

8. Dion Dublin

Premiership Games: 287
Premiership Goals: 108
Number of games taken to reach 100 Premiership goals: 271
Current goals/games ratio: 0.376
Premiership Clubs: Manchester United, Coventry City, Aston Villa

After ending the 1997/98 campaign as the Premiership's joint leading scorer, finishing alongside Michael Owen and Chris Sutton with 18 goals, Dublin earned himself a move to Aston Villa early into the following season. It was with Man United that Dublin began life in the Premiership though, making 12 appearances and scoring twice over the first two seasons, in which United were crowned champions on each occasion. After making so few appearances, which was partly down to injury, Dublin made the move to Coventry and during his four full seasons with the Sky Blues, Dublin's goals were instrumental in helping Coventry preserve their Premiership status. The big striker netted his 100th Premiership goal earlier this season and he is presently just two goals short of equalling his highest league total for Villa.

9. Michael Owen

Premiership Games: 185
Premiership Goals: 102
Number of games taken to reach 100 Premiership goals: 185
Current goals/games ratio:  0.551
Premiership Clubs: Liverpool

After being joint top scorer in his first two seasons either side of the 1998 World Cup with 18 goals in each, it wasn't until last season when Owen managed to better that total, having had a number of lengthy absences due to injuries. Having struck 19 Premiership goals last season though, and a similar amount this season with two matches still to play, Owen appears to be back to his best. The four goals at West Brom last week saw Owen take his tally of Premiership hat-tricks to 7, and it was the second time he has netted four in a single Premiership game. Only Alan Shearer currently has a better goals/game ratio of the all time top ten Premiership strikers.

10. Matt Le Tissier

Premiership Games: 270
Premiership Goals: 101
Number of games taken to reach 100 Premiership goals: 254
Current goals/games ratio: 0.374
Premiership Clubs: Southampton

Le Tissier finally hung up his boots last season, following 16 years of top flight football as a Saints player, the club where he spent his years as a trainee. His loyalty to Southampton probably cost him in England caps, with Le Tissier ending his career having played only 8 times for the England senior side, though his place among the greats of the Premiership is assured. As with Dion Dublin during his Coventry days, or Les Ferdinand during his time at QPR, Le Tissier was a priceless member of a side who regularly battled against relegation, and with Southampton surviving in the top flight after finishing within a point of the relegation zone on three occasions, including the 1995-6 season when only goal difference kept them up, Le Tissier's contribution during such relegation fights was surely the difference between Southampton playing Premiership or Division 1 football the following seasons. Of all of Le Tissier's 101 Premiership goals, which included a whole host of spectacular strikes, the were perhaps none as dramatic as his final Saints' goal, which came in the final minute of the last ever game to be played at The Dell, and was also the winning goal against Arsenal on the last day of the 2000-2001 season.

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