FOR fear of sounding like disgruntled of Tunbridge Wells, why oh why oh why do football commentators have to keep telling us that what happened last week was the ‘greatest thing ever’?
Apparently no one has ever scored a goal as good as Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick that settled the Manchester derby, and this just seven days after Newcastle United’s Ivorian international Cheik Tioté had been lauded as scoring the greatest ever goal as he bagged the Magpies’ fourth as they recovered from four goals down to draw at home against Arsenal.
In no way am I trying to rubbish the efforts of United’s Shrek-like striker, it takes athleticism and technical ability out of the top drawer to pull off a stunt like that, but the way some of the pundits and portrayers on television, and particularly on radio, reacted you had to wonder if they needed to change their underwear soon after.
The problem with claiming a goal to be the ‘best ever’ is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and every football fan will have a different take on what constitutes a superb goal.
The spectacular individual effort will certainly tick the box for many fans and in that category I would instantly put Trevor Sinclair’s bicycle kick effort from outside the area for QPR against Barnsley in January 1997 ahead of Rooney’s goal.
But then Marco Van Basten’s volley from an acute angle as Holland beat Russia in the 1988 European Championship final is arguably one of the best instant strikes of all-time, if that is what floats your boat.
Personally I would place two other categories ahead of the eye-catching finish – namely the solo run and the team goal.
Surely George Best drifting past what appeared to be the entire Sheffield United defence before producing the perfect finish has to involve more skill than a one-off strike.
And in this category you can start to throw in David Ginola’s goal for Spurs at Oakwell (sorry I seem to be picking on Barnsley) or Ricky Villa’s FA Cup final winner for Tottenham against Manchester City, or even John Barnes waltzing through the Brazilian defence to net at the Maracana.
Then you have to consider the team goals.
Again this is purely my opinion, but really has there ever been a much better goal than the one Argentina scored against Serbia and Montenegro in the 2006 World Cup finals.
Some say it was 26 passes, some say it was 25 and some say 24, but all that matters is that the way the ball was worked through for Esteban Cambiasso to score was simply stunning.
So I will concede that Rooney’s strike was pretty special, but can certain sections of the media get a grip? Come on chaps you know it makes sense – and it could save you a fortune in those laundry bills you must be running up to get your smalls done!