Back in the day, a ball once scored used to nestle beautifully in the net -
I reviewed every goal in the Champions League R16 and studied the goals from last weekend's EPL and despaired that not one ball scored into the goalnet stayed in the net.
Stanchions were outlawed and free-hanging box-nets were introduced to put an end to things like this -
But the square box-net design - which has no slope in the back of the net to trap the ball - means the ball nearly always rebounds off the back of the net after a goal's been scored. This doesn't mean there is likely to ever be a Goal That Never Was from a rebound, but it does fly contrary to the manufacturer's assurance that free-hanging net supports are
UEFA/FIFA regulation, designed to suspend the net and eliminate rebounds.
The rebounds also affect the simple but glorious aesthetics of scoring a goal.
A goal may have many pleasing aesthetic qualities: the ball off the boot; the ball swerving in the air; the goalkeeper's despairing dive; but none is more important than the effect the ball has on the back of the net.
At the new Wembley the cavernous nets are stretched taut.
Goals scored in this once legendary stadium are sadly transformed into the aesthetic equals of goals scored into nets chalked on a wall in the schoolyard.
Uniform goalnets are producing uniform goal scoring aesthetics.