Quite often you hear that a team must have the top goalscorer to win the league. In fact, it´s almost the opposite. Liverpool is a proof to that.
There are more particulars to corroborate my take on the issue but I start to dismantle the myth with Liverpool as an example.
The Reds claimed their first league victory in the 1900/01 season and have added 17 more through the years. The latest coming in 1989/90. In just two of these 18 seasons the league´s top goalscorer was a Liverpool player. The first was, not surprisingly, Ian Rush in 1983/84. He netted 32 league goals. The surprise is instead that the 14 league titles we won before that was without having the league´s top marksman. The second time Liverpool won both the league and possessed the best goalscorer was just four years later. In 1987/88 John Aldridge found the net 26 times to top the charts.
On four other occasions a Liverpool player was top goalscorer - to no avail. The team didn´t win the league. It happened in 1902/03, 1909/10, 1997/98 and 2013/14. The four strikers were Sam Raybould, 31 goals, Jack Parkinson, 30 goals, Michael Owen (shared with two other players), 18 goals and Luis Suarez, 31 goals.
Here is more facts to strengthen my theory about league wins and top scorers. Since the start of the league in 1888/89 English football champions has been crowned 115 times. Just in 29 of those seasons the champions did boast the best goalscorer. A funny thing is that seven of these seasons came within the first twelve years of league football. Then decade upon decade passed with few top scorers belonging to the winning teams. In recent years it has become more common again and the record from long ago is almost copied. In the last 13 seasons the top goalscorer has represented the league winners seven times.
So between 1900/01 and 2000/01, a 100 year period, the league champions only on 15 occasions also had the top goalscorer. While in the late 19th century and during this century it happens every other season.
If statistics should be trusted then it´s not so bad to have the most prolific striker nowadays if a league win is to be obtained. A look at statistics further back in time another message occurs and says that it´s not necessary.
The question is now how it will pan out in the coming years. But apparently it´s no need to panic if other teams possess the most goal-hungry striker. It is possible to win the league anyhow. With or without the sharpest striker:
We Go Again.