With the start of 2009 we wave goodbye to the first half of the season, with teams knowing the the real business starts now. It’s time to stop making mistakes, start concentrating and begin churning out those results week in, week out to ensure that this current campaign ends on a high.
Unfortunately, some have been reluctant to give up their jolly holiday spirit.
The award for the biggest collective cock-up of the week goes to the entire Reading backline. Losing 2-nil to Cardiff in the FA Cup, Steve Coppell’s side gave away a disastrous first goal with no less then 8 players defending a set-play uniformly stepping up, leaving Ross McCormack the freedom of the box to calmly pick his spot and score. (Watch here.)
Manchester City are also having a tough time of it of late, but it’s easy to have sympathy with Mark Hughes when his players defend as pathetically as Dietmar Hamann. Already losing 2-nil to Nottingham Forest, you may have expected that an old, experienced-head of a player who has won the Champions League, UEFA Cup, League Cup, FA Cup and played in the World Cup final as a defensive midfielder, may know a thing or two about keeping possession. Wrong.
The “schmuck of the week” prize however can only have one rightful winner this week, and for that we have to go to France.
Giants Olympique Marseille were sent to fourth division, amateur side Besancon RC in the French Cup, and defender Ronaldo Zubar came within a whisker of seeing his greatest/worst own goal knock-out the Ligue 1 side out. With the game goalless heading into the final 20 minutes, Besancon’s lone striker Yohann Rangdet did fantastically well to get himself into a goalscoring position. Looking to make the saving tackle as the striker was pulling the trigger, Zubar, full of enthusiasm, came storming into the action with the intention of nicking the ball away. But to his horror, this happened.
Onto those worthy of praise.
This week’s list is the perfect tonic against the dreaded return back to work, with a superb selection of goals from the last seven days. Volleys and half-volleys have been all the rage, accounting for goals 5, 7, 8 and 12, while others have comfortably struck stunners from distance, including goals 1, 4, 6, 9 and 14.
Goals 2 and 3 are text-book free-kicks, and to cap off this week’s offering there were two overhead-volleys in the form of goals 13 and 16.
As always, all we ask is that you sit back and enjoy!
1. John Hutchinson (v Perth Glory, Dec. 31, 2008)
2. Nicos Nicolaou (v Ethnikos, Jan. 3, 2008)
3. Ludovic Clement (v Ergotelis, Jan. 3, 2008)
4. David Silva (v Valencia, Jan. 3, 2008)
5. Hamed Namouchi (v Alencon, Jan. 3, 2008)
6. Amadou Alassane (v Alfortville, Jan. 3, 2008)
7. Jonathan Smith (v Derby, Jan. 3, 2008) (first goal on the video)
8. Leon Osman (v Macclesfield, Jan. 3, 2008)
9. Tommy Spurr (v Fulham, Jan. 3, 2008) (second goal on the video)
10. Albert Riera (v Preston, Jan. 3, 2008)
11. David Foley (v Stoke, Jan. 3, 2008) (0.42 seconds in)
12. Nathan Tyson (v Manchester City, Jan. 3, 2008)
13. Christian Rodriguez (v Nacional, Jan. 4, 2008)
14. Pedro Mendes (v Inverness CT, Jan. 4, 2008)
15. Arjen Robben (v Villarreal, Jan. 4, 2008)
16. Andoni Iraola (v Espanyol, Jan. 4, 2008)