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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Tim Heads The List

by Andy Lewis @efc_andylewis

If the law of averages prevails then the corner flag at the Stadium of Light will be in for a serious beating in a few weeks’ time.

In theory, Blues midfielder Tim Cahill would have just maintained his ratio of notching a headed goal every 6.4 Premier League games and the Aussie will be celebrating in familiar style.

Following his headed goal in the dying moments at Birmingham City last month, Cahill now has 27 headed goals in 174 appearances in the top flight. 

And that ratio of one every 6.4 games makes him officially the most lethal header of a ball since the Premier League began in 1992.

Not even famed exponents of the booming header like Alan Shearer or Blues legend Duncan Ferguson found the net with their head as regularly as the 5ft 10ins hitman.

“It came as a bit of a surprise to me to find out, but it is something I am very, very proud of,” Cahill told the Evertonian. "It is massive honour, but it isn’t something that happens on its own.

Name

Headed
Goals/Games

Ratio

Tim Cahill

27/174

6.44

Dion Dublin

45/312

6.93

Duncan Ferguson

35/270

7.71

Les Ferdinand

43/351

8.16

Gustavo Poyet

22/187

8.50

Peter Crouch

27/238

8.81

Chris Armstrong

23/216

9.39

Alan Shearer

46/441

9.59

Niall Quinn

26/250

9.62

Dwight Yorke

38/375

9.87

 

“It happens with the help of the players I have around me. I always talk about Bainesy, and he is very important to me, but it is the whole team as well.

"Players like Phil Neville and Mikel Arteta, the whole team in fact – they all provide me with the opportunities to score. So as long as I can keep doing it, great.”

A glance at the top 10 shows that not only is Cahill is the only midfielder, he is one of only two on the list who are under six-foot tall.

He puts his aerial excellence down to two things - footballing intelligence and, more importantly, practice. 

“I suppose I started young and scored a lot of headed goals as a youngster and I worked hard. I was scoring goals with my head long before I was at Everton, even before Millwall, when I was back in Australia.

“Working on my technique, doing basic training with Steve Round, getting crosses in with Bainesy, Phil Neville, Seamus or whoever, these are all things which help me.

“Working hard on your fitness is important too to keep you going and to make sure you keep making the runs when someone else is tired and blowing.

“It is all about timing also,” he added. “You watch the greats like Lineker, Shearer and Platt and they were great players who arrived late into the box.

“I think for me, I just never give up. I am always trying to make that run at the right time. People may think I have got no hope of getting there and suddenly the ball hits the back of the net. It is all about making sure I make the right run.”

The earlier mention of Leighton Baines is also telling. Another staggering statistic shows that of Cahill’s last 15 goals for Everton, nine have been supplied by the left back.

Cahill Baines 

It’s a contribution which hasn’t escaped the attention of the grateful recipient.

“Bainesy is an exceptional player,” he says. “I think I'm lucky because I've got a relationship with him where we work together a lot on the pitch to try to make things happen.

“But I think I am lucky as well because he's got that special left foot which can create chances and put those chances on a plate - hopefully for myself to finish.

“He's a great player and someone who is not only effective in defending but going forward as well - he does give us that different dimension.

“I'm very happy to have someone like that on my side because I rely on him a hell of a lot.”

Check out this month’s Evertonian for an exclusive interview with Tim Cahill in which he talks more about his aerial ability and explains exactly why it is the derby brings out the best in him. There’s also an exclusive interview with boxing Blue Tony Bellew, Jermaine Beckford takes on the 20 Question challenge and we look back at a history of Everton’s live appearances on the box. Out Friday. Pick up your copy from Everton One, Everton Two or your local Liverpool newsagent.

*Statistics provided by Daniel Grigg.

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