Friday, March 11, 2011

Off the stanchions at Wembley - Bobby Charlton

Forget all that, "is he right-footed or left footed" stuff.

This is simply the most famous goal off the stanchions at Wembley.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Off the stanchions at Wembley - Ian Rush

Looking back, it was amazing how many International and Cup final goals scored at old Wembley hit the stanchions, and how extra memorable those goals are, as a result.

The first goal in this Friday series is Ian Rush's second from the 1986 Cup final versus Everton. This goal was later immortalised when included in BBC Grandstand's opening sequence.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Birmingham City

Last weekend, Birmingham beat Arsenal at Wembley.

Nearly 40 years ago, the goalnets at St Andrews used to hang on stanchions very similar to old Wembley's.

 From 1975/76 the nets at Birmingham shimmered on Continental D's.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ipswich Town

Though Ipswich would prove to be game to try any form of net supports in the 90's - hybrid Continental D's anybody? - simple, classic A-frame stanchions (similar to those at Leeds or Manchester United) served them through the glory years of the mid-70's...

to the UEFA Cup win in 1981.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sutton United

Check out the classic A-frames at Gander Green Lane, as non-League Sutton dismisses Coventry City, the last time a non-league outfit defeated a team from the English top-flight in the FA Cup.

Do these look a little like the mid-70's A-frames at Barcelona?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Newcastle United

In 1968, Newcastle lost 3-4 at home to Man City and the goalnets at St James' hung on distinctive, curved, Continental D's .

Twenty years later, Newcastle and a young Paul Gascoigne humped Swindon in the FA Cup and the nets were still hanging on the same D's.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Manchester City

Manchester City won the League Cup in 1975/76 and finished the season at Maine Road with the old stanchions and light blue nets.

Then, for the UEFA Cup in 76/77 - after Panenka's penalty and Euro '76 - they kept the light blue nets but ditched the stanchions for groovy Continental D's.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Goalnets and Ball Retention #6 - two pile-drivers

You didn't think that was the last word on ball retention, did you?

Two pile-drivers for your consideration. Luis Garcia v Felipe Anderson.

Which do you prefer?

Brazil - Santos

Pele's old team.

Classic white strip.

Classic Latin American L-supported goalnets.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Brazil - Botafogo FR

Botafogo play at the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange.

When the seleção played at the stadium, the exaggerated L-supports were used to frame a box goalnet every bit as sterile as the 0-0 draw with Bolivia.

Contrast this with the rigging - and the style of play - when Botafogo play at the Engenhão.

Brazil - Guarani Futebol Clube

la Princesa might not have had much going on between her ears in 2010 as the Bugre were relegated from Serie A, but on each of those ears - at either end of the field - there hung these wonderful, L-supported earrings.

Why it's important... #2

Not buying the idea of the goal celebration ritual, and the vital part the goalnets play in retaining the ball? Consider the one occasion when the goal celebration is deliberately cut short.

Late in the game, a side that's a goal or two down scores a goal and the goalscorer hurries to retrieve the ball from the net so they can get the game re-started quickly. See Brian McClair in the clip below.

McClair breaks the goal celebration ritual by not allowing the pause that follows the goal.

Without the pause, the goal is not properly celebrated. McClair runs past his colleagues, shaking hands etc.

McClair's goal is not properly celebrated because he has removed the ball from the goalnets.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Why it's important...

Goals are to be celebrated and, like most celebrations, they are steeped in ritual. With the goalkeeper beaten, it's important that the ball hits the net.

(If you're not sure that the ball even needs to hit the net, see the clip below and consider: what if Andy Gray had walked the ball over the line and picked it up, and ran back to the halfway line, ready to re-start the game? It would still have been a goal, Wolves would still have won the Cup, but would it have provoked the same riotous celebrations as him smashing the ball into the net?)

With the ball in the net, the ritual of celebrating a goal insists the game pauses for a few seconds for two reasons:

The fans can celebrate the goal, and;

Because nearly every goal scored turns a game in a new direction - even seemingly meaningless 'consolation' goals like Newcastle's first in the recent 4-4 draw with Arsenal can be a turning point - it is a timely pause while the new equilibrium of the match is realised.

The best way for the game to pause at this vital time is for the ball to stay in the net (or at least behind the beaten goalkeeper). defines goal as "the terminal point in a race" and net as "anything to catch or ensnare," and for 100 years after goalnets were first erected in 1892, the natural shape of the A-frame goal helped the net ensnare the ball and terminate the action.

As previously posted, the free-hanging box goalnet is not a shape sympathetic to the ritual of celebrating a goal.

This won't stop goals being scored, and goals being celebrated. But the modern box goalnet's inability to retain the ball means the modern game is giving up another of the rituals that have served it since the beginning of time.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Why is it important for the goalnet to retain the ball when a goal is scored? #5

Two great free-kicks are your last example.

The le Tissier goal is probably superior, but would it be even better if the ball didn't rebound round the goals like a pinball?

Why is it important for the goalnet to retain the ball when a goal is scored? #4

Two famous half-volleys.

Is Champagne Charlie's strike enhanced by the ball burying itself in the goalnet?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why is it important for the goalnet to retain the ball when a goal is scored? #3

Two more similar goals for you to compare.

Would England's exclusion from the 1974 World Cup - where Holland's second goal against Argentina rebounded out as if hitting a trampoline - have seemed so final if the ball hadn't been retained in the old Wembley net?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Why is it important for the goalnet to retain the ball when a goal is scored?

Compare these two goals. First, Gerry Francis' excellent goal against Liverpool.

Then Roberto Bettega's against Argentina at the '78 World Cup.

Did you enjoy the Bettega strike more because the goalnet retained the ball after the goal was scored?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Goalnets and Ball Retention #5 - Two diving headers

Two remarkably similar goals which show box goalnets have been ruining great goals long before the present era.

Though the goals John Hewitt heads into look like they've been carried in from the training pitch, is it Wimmer's header for West Germany that looks like it's bounced off a wall in training?

Do the highly-strung nets in Dusseldorf ruin an awesome goal?

Brazil - Palmeiras @ Arena Barueri

When someone refers to the goalnet as The Onion Bag, they don't mean your sterile box goalnet made of trampoline.

They mean these.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Brazil - Gremio Prudente

At first glance, Gremio's goalnets look like your garden variety box goalnets. But look again.

The nets at Prudentao are in fact hanging from the old L-supports and the groundsman has yanked them back with cable ties.

This hybrid L-support joins the hybrid stanchion

and the hybrid Continental D

in the unusual and unnecessary drawer.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Asian Cup 2011

Wasn't ignoring the Asian Cup.

It's just, in respect of the goalnets, what's new to say?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Brazil - SC Internacional

While Inter shoot into distinct, over-large red and white L-supports -

The goalnets at Estádio Beira-Rio when Brazil hosted Peru in WC 2010 qualifying were so timelessly Latin American, they wouldn't look out of place at WC 1978 in Argentina.

Notice the goalnets retain the ball at each of the three goals scored.

Brazil - Cruzeiro Esporte Clube

Check out the L-supported tents at Cruzeiro.

Brazil drew 0-0 with Argentina in WC 2010 qualifiers at their old Mineirão stadium.

Do these nets look like baggy, L-supported, Hampden Park's?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Brazil - SC Corinthians

In a galaxy far, far away, Ronaldo's still rounding the goalie and the nets at Estadio do Pacaembu remain simple L-supports.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Brazil - Sao Paulo FC

Before they installed the box goalnets, the nets at the Morumbi hung from the world's biggest L-supports -

Or were they the world's biggest Subbuteo goals?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Brazil - Estadio do Maracana

You probably heard of the legendary Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro long before you ever saw it. Then, when you saw it, chances are this was your first glimpse.

John Barnes' goal may have been truly Brazilian, but so, it turned out, were the L-supports that held up the goalnets. In the new century, long after every other country in the globalised world has carelessly trashed their architectural heritage and installed generic box goalnets, the goalnets at Maracana remain truly Brazilian.