Who would be a goalie.
While all other footballers can make mistakes without fearing their errors will lead directly to a goal, when it comes to the men between the sticks it is known that their slip-ups can be costly. Screw-up, and the whole team suffers. And sadly for custodians all over Europe, the last seven days have witnessed a host of clangers from those tasked with being the last line of defence.
First up to show off his butter-fingers was Vitoria Setubal’s number 23, Bruno Vale. Playing away against Porto in the cup, Vale was guilty of of howler that consigned the visitors to defeat when the keeper not only misjudged the flight of a soft, lofted ball into the box, but also showed off his lack of handling ability as the ball popped out of his gloves, leaving Ernesto Farias with the simple job of heading into an unguarded net. Defender Auri’s expression (number 15) said it all. (Watch here.)
How did Scott Carson ever play for England? Once again the luckless Carson must have been wishing the ground would open up and swallow him whole when his disastrous error on the stroke of halftime at Villa Park on Saturday condemned the Baggies to another defeat. Agbonlahor’s weak shot was not even going on target until the lummox Carson diverted the ball in the net in his effort to get down to the ball. It was harsh, it was cruel, and it added to the belief that Carson is simply crap. (Watch here.)
And then there is Artur Boruc, who wins this week’s award as the “schmuck of the week.” There is nothing more embarrassing in football than the air-shot, but completing missing the ball is made to look that much more stupid when it is the keeper who is at fault. And so it proved for Boruc against Dundee on Saturday, with the tubby goalie racing out of his goal only to strike thin air, gifting Colin McMenamin with the simple job of scoring into the empty net. (Watch here.) As the Polish keeper continues to pile on the pounds, his reputation appears to be plummeting under his heavy midriff.
But the return of football across Europe also brought with it some moments of magic, and attention should be focused on those deserving individuals.
Goals 1 and 2 make the list not just for the finishes themselves but also for the superb skill in the build up that created the goal-scoring opportunities.
Goals 6, 9 and 11 satisfy the obligatory dead-ball entries, while on the acrobatic front goal 7 provides a fine overhead volley.
There were a host of unstoppable drives including goals 3, 4, 8 and 12 while slightly more cultivated goals were provided by goals 5 and 14.
Technically though, while goal 10 was good, goal 13 was simply awesome.
As always, all we ask is that you sit back and enjoy!
1. Lionel Messi (v Atletico Madrid, Jan. 6, 2009) (assist Danny Alves)
2. Carlos Ochoa (v Atlas, Jan. 6, 2009) (1.00 minute in) (assist Sergio Avila)
3. Chico (v Espanyol, Jan. 7, 2009)
4. Kris Commons (v Manchester United, Jan. 7, 2009)
5. Sehmus Ozer (v Galatasaray, Jan. 8, 2009)
6. Mikel Arteta (v Hull, Jan. 10, 2009)
7. Francisco Zuela (v Olympiakos, Jan. 10, 2009)
8. Moussa Sow (v Grenoble, Jan. 10, 2009)
9. Roberto De Zerbi (v Modena, Jan. 10, 2009) (1.14 minute in)
10. Alexandre Pato (v Roma, Jan. 11, 2009)
11. Alessandro del Piero (v Siena, Jan. 11, 2009)
12. Lionel Messi (v Osasuna, Jan. 11, 2009)
13. Yoann Gourcuff (v PSG, Jan. 11, 2009)
14. Modou Sougou (v Associacao Naval, Jan. 11, 2009)