Connect in the back of the net

It’s been a phenomenal breakthrough season for Leicester’s Jamie Vardy as he smashed a massive goal scoring record, helped propel his team to Premier League glory and scored his first England goals.

You have to go back over 20 years to the last time an unfancied side won the EPL, when Blackburn held off Man United to win the title.

And there is one massive parallel between that Blackburn side of the 1990s and Leicester’s title-winning team of 2016. Both found a phenomenal striker in the shape of Alan Shearer and Vardy respectively.

Both those strikers were also about to take their phenomenal club form into an international tournament, with Vardy looking certain to be joining the England squad on the plane to Euro 2016. And despite Euro 1996 following a season after Shearer’s title win at Blackburn, he maintained his status as top Premier League scorer the following season.


With Vardy still in the frame to claim the top scorer award this season the parallels are uncanny. So how did the pair’s title-winning seasons compare:

Shearer undoubtedly had a prolific season back in 1994/95, and edges nearly every statistic to compare the two by – although he did play six more games during the season.

This has however only been Vardy’s second season in the top flight of English football, and he has broken the record for the most consecutive EPL games scored in (eleven in row) – which is a massive achievement in itself. But with only 29 Premier League goals in total to his name, Vardy has some distance to go if he is to beat Shearer’s record.

With two players at the top of the scoring charts, in the form of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy, England has the kind of potent strike force that could be a real threat at the Euros. There hasn’t been an English top scorer in the Premier League since Kevin Phillips in 1999/2000 – and now there are two.

Millions of fans are hoping either Vardy or Kane just has to match Shearer’s heroics at Euro 1996 by becoming the tournament’s top goal scorer, a feat he managed with a haul of five goals during the Championships.

Would you bet on Vardy matching his achievement? You’re unlikely to get odds of 5000/1, but it might not be the most uneducated gamble ever.


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