Johnson’s 38th Goal

Today (4 May) in 1929 the legendary Tommy Johnson netted his 38th League goal of the season at Anfield when City drew 1-1 with Liverpool. This is at the moment (4 May 2023) Manchester City’s record number of goals by a player in a League season. His 38th goal came in the 22nd minute of the final game. Here for subscribers is a detailed look at Tommy’s record (while it stands!) and his life.

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Record Breaker (Again!)

This is beginning to feel like the season Aguero started to break the Manchester City goalscoring records that had stood for decades. Each week there seemed to be a new one. Well, last night it was a privilege being at the Etihad to see Erling Haaland break the Premier League’s seasonal goalscoring record with City’s second in their 3-0 victory over West Ham United. He netted his 35th Premier League goal of the season and then Phil Foden scored the 1000th goal of Pep’s City reign.

Ths South Stand pre-match, City v West Ham 3 May 2023. The new Pep flag.

It is also worth highlighting that only 47 players have scored more competitive goals for City than Haaland has in the club’s entire history – that’s in their entire careers, not in most of one season!

The Norwegian is now on 51 in all competitions, 12 behind Dixie Dean’s all-time English record. Obviously, we’re nearing the end of the season and games are running out but it’s a target I’d love to see challenged further.

Haaland’s already City’s highest goalscorer in all competitions but there’s still one other major seasonal club record to aim for. There is only Tommy Johnson ahead of him as City’s greatest seasonal League scorer of all time. Johnson’s stats are:

Tommy Johnson

38 goals in 39 appearances during 1928-29 (City finished 8th)

Goals per game ratio: 0.9744

Most goals in a single game: 5 v Everton (6-2)

Number of games he scored in: 24

Years at City: 1920 to 1930

Here’s hoping that record goes soon. It’s always great for a historian to experience history being made. Nice work City!

Haaland was given a guard of honour by the City players, boss Pep Guardiola and the club’s backroom staff after the final whistle. Afterwards the player commented: ‘It was a nice feeling scoring that goal, it always is… It was painful when everyone hit me on the back in the guard of honour.’

Manager Pep commented: ‘He’s just 22… and still has five games left. How many games I made the substitution after a hat-trick in 60 minutes, maybe he’d have scored more. But maybe he’d have got injured. He’s special. Congratulations to him.

‘We expected him to score goals but to break Cole and Shearer records… I’m pretty sure what he wants is to win the Premier League.’

‘It’s unbelievable. How many important goals he’s scored to win games, we are so satisfied. He’s a unique person and he’s so special. He deserved the guard of honour because it’s an incredible milestone. Another day he might break his own record. He’s scored a lot of goals!’

Looking towards the South Stand pre-match, City v West Ham 3 May 2023 (West Ham fans unusually did not sell out their allocation)

Haaland’s Strikes

Tomorrow Manchester City face Arsenal in the League and there’s the possibility that national goalscoring records could be broken once again. A few weeks back I calculated that if Erling Haaland maintained a goal a game ratio in the remaining League fixtures for Manchester City he would better Tommy Johnson’s 38 goal tally by a goal. Since then Haaland, who is already City’s seasonal record scorer in all competitions, has indeed kept up that ratio – in fact he has surpassed it – and has now broken another barrier: 30 League goals in a season.

To celebrate this I’ve put together a feature comparing every player who has scored 30 goals or more for City, plus those Premier League goalscorers whose achievements could be bettered by Haaland this season. Here goes….

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Manchester City – Highest Average Attendances in the League

In recent years fans of rival clubs have taunted Manchester City with jibes like ‘Empyhad’ yet evidence shows that, unlike most other clubs, City has been a major crowd-pulling club since first entering the League in the 1890s. Over time I’ll be posting lots of attendance related data on and I start here with a piece listing every occurrence of City topping the League or their division’s attendance charts.

Subscribe to this site to find out more (it costs £20 a year – about £1.67 a month – or £3 a month if subscribing a month at a time. For that you get full access to everything posted on this site and all new posts until your subscription ends. You’ll also be supporting my writing and research – Thanks. It is appreciated).

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