Saturday, December 22, 2012

Brazil 2014: It's Not Over Yet

In the New Year the History of Goal Nets will begin focusing on our campaign to have FIFA install Brazilian-style L-supports for the games of the Brazil World Cup finals in 2014.

We don't doubt the scale of our task. Of the 12 host stadia, five are being upgraded, five are being rebuilt and two are brand new. We expect all will celebrate their revamped, state of the art status by installing state of the art boxnets and, if unchecked, you won't be able to differentiate a game from the 2014 finals with the finals of 2010 (or 2006, or 2002, or 1998).

But it's not over yet. We take heart that the goals in the Selecao's last home game of 2012 were scored into Brazilian L-supports, at Atletico GO.

We believe that with hard work we can ensure the goals at the 2014 finals are also scored into L-supports.

If you haven't already done so, please sign our Petition.

The History of Goal Nets wishes you and yours the very best for Christmas and the New Year.

Cue Grace.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A-list A-frames - Arbroath FC

The Red Lichties are famous abroad for a 36-0 and their Gayfield Park being the stadium closest to the sea in Britain...

But if you pay your entry money and walk through the gates of history, you'll see Arbroath once played between a set of A-frames as curvy as those at Tynecastle but skinny as QPR.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A-list A-frames - Motherwell FC

Though Motherwell are more popularly recognised for the Continental D's installed at Fir Park in the early 1970's -

The steelworks suspending the nets prior are more culturally appropriate for a club nicknamed the Steelmen and based in Lanarkshire, home to the Ravenscraig steelworks of the time.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A-list A-frames - Dundee FC

In the 1970's and 1980's Dundee and their neighbours Dundee United - separated only by the width of Tannadice Street - sought to differentiate between themselves by installing different systems for suspending the goal nets.

Though United were playing regularly in Europe they stayed with their A-frames, while Dundee, perhaps as a nod to their stellar 1960's European pedigree went all Continental with a pair of D's.

But further back in their History of Goal Nets, when the Dark Blues were themselves regular qualifiers for  Europe, the likes of Anderlecht and AC Milan were beaten between a fine set of A-frames.

Cagliari Calcio

Did Manchester United only start winning the league again when they replaced the Old Trafford A-frames with Continental D's?

For years Cagliari laboured between a pair of A-frames that wouldn't have looked out of place in the Eredivisie.

Then, with the peerless Gigi Riva in transcendent form, the Rossoblu's ditched the Dutch goals for a pair of Iron Man Specials and won their first and only Scudetto.

A-list A-frames - Aberdeen FC

Peculiarly for a club whose crest is designed around an A-frame, Aberdeen's glory days are synonymous with the Pittodrie Continental D's of the time.

But if you go far enough back - and peer through the snow - you see the Dons' History of Goal Nets incorporates a fine set of A-frames.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Off the stanchions at Wembley - Nandor Hidegkuti

In 'The Ball is Round' author David Goldblatt asks, "How long does it take for an empire to die?"

Perplexed by the Mighty Magyars lightweight boots, Ferenc Puskas' beer belly and Nandor Hidegkuti wearing #5 but not playing centre-half - did he play what today is called a false 9? - England were behind within a minute and their record of 52 years unbeaten at home - and their WM formation - on its way to the history books.

UEFA Champions League - AC Milan

Milan have never shied from their English heritage. Founded by two Englishmen, with an Anglicised spelling of their name (despite Mussolini running interference) and an English-style stadium with no running track, the Rossoneri's embrace of their roots extended even to the on-field architecture at San Siro, which was modelled on Wembley's.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

UEFA Champions League - Zenit Saint Petersburg

When Russia was the Soviet Union and Zenit Saint Petersburg were Zenit Leningrad, Zenit played at the Kirov Stadium and the goal nets were a pique of Soviet inefficiency.

Designed for A-frames (such as those at Kyiv) the nets were strewn over the Juventus-like stanchions like a kaftan on Kate Moss.

Like Spinal Tap's mini Stonehenge - supplied exactly to size - Zenit's post Soviet 90's Continental D's look like their goals manufacturer took the Subbuteo dimensions too literally.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Off the stanchions at Wembley - Fabian de Freitas

Fabian de Freitas' late leveller in the 1995 Division 1 Play-off final is not so much off the stanchions as stuck to the stanchions at Wembley.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

UEFA Champions League - RSC Anderlecht

When Anderlecht played in only their second European Cup tournament, they hosted their quarter final opponents with stanchions that looked like Wembley's:

By the time Anderlecht were perennial Cup Winners Cup finalists in the late-70's, the stanchions had undergone a Feyenoord-like reshaping:

Remarkably the Purple and Whites shrugged off the box-net fashion through the 1980's and kept their distinctive curvy stanchions till the 1987-88 season.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

FC Dinamo Bucharest

Wanted to do a Hot Tub Time Machine on Romania's UCL representative CFR Cluj but your local pub team's probably uploaded more of their vintage footage to youtube than most sides in the old Romania Divizia A.

There's plenty of Dinamo Bucharest, however. About the same time as Nadia Comaneci was setting a new standard in shape as a form of human expression, the Red Dogs were cutting a groove in stanchions shape.

Not as curvy as Anderlecht or Real Madrid, but not as straight as any A-frames A-lister, would the closest match be the old Heysel Stadium?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A-list A-frames - Bradford City AFC

A football ground in one guise or another has stood on the Valley Parade site since 1886, a long history sadly distilled for many into the 10 minutes it took to burn down live on TV in 1985.

Ten years earlier in the old ground's history, Bradford were shooting into a classic set of no-nonsense A-frames.

Despite renovations to the stadium as late as 2001, the Bantams have resisted the homogenous urge for box nets and kept faith with a set of stylish Continental D's (that bear a resemblance to those once at Newcastle).

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A-list A-frames - Blackburn Rovers FC


As late as 1995, when Blackburn, Kenny Dalglish and the SAS won the Premier League, Rovers hadn't yet embraced the standard box net and were instead shooting into a fairly standard pair of Continental D's.


Prior to the Continental D's, the regular on-field architecture at Ewood Park was a classic pair of A-frames.

Friday, November 16, 2012

UEFA Champions League - Valencia CF

Like so many other clubs wishing to increase revenue, Valencia are leaving the old Mestalla for the new Mestalla in 2013. There'll be 20,000 more seats and it'll clear the debt at the bank, but you doubt Nou Mestalla will have on-field architecture anywhere near as glamorous as the A-list A-frames which hosted Mario Kempes and the club as they emerged onto the major European stage in the late 70's and early 80's.

What do you think - a touch of the Manchester United?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

FC Carl Zeiss Jena

Preparing a UCL post for Valencia and the Mestalla, we came across the once reasonably well known Carl Zeiss Jena.

A lot of bad things might have come out of the old East Germany. These ultra-cool Continental D's don't number among them.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

UEFA Champions League - S.C. Braga

Continuing our series looking at this season's Champions League participants' History of Goalnets with Portugal's SC Braga.

Known as the Arsenalistas because of their Arsenal strips, in the mid-80's Braga's goal nets hung from A-frames that on first glance look not dissimilar from those at Highbury.

On closer inspection you'll notice the additional and unique L-support protruding from the middle of the cross bar.

A couple of years later Braga did away the legs of the A-frames and left three L-supports from which to suspend the nets.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

UEFA Champions League - Juventus FC

Juventus are commonly known as La Vecchia Signora, the Old Lady.

Check out theses curves at the old Stadio Comunale.

Shouldn't  Juve be named la vecchia signora con le gambe curve?

Monday, November 5, 2012

UEFA Champions League - Galatasary SK

About the time of Manchester United and Welcome To Hell, the goal nets at Ali Sami Yen Stadi hung from a pretty nondescript pair of Continental D's like those below. Welcome to where?

But in the next season or so, Galatasary installed these wonderful square stanchions that left you in no doubt you were playing in Istanbul.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Budapest Honved FC

To stand out from the crowd, some clubs go for brightly coloured nets.

While other clubs choose fancy-schmancy stanchions.

But nobody - NOBODY - ever painted the crossbar and goal posts.

Except Budapest Honved.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Total Goalnets - PEC Zwolle

The result of a merger between two local rivals PEC and the excellently named Zwolche Boys - think the Montague and Capulet families in Romeo and Juliet hooking up - PEC Zwolle's biggest rivals are the nearby Go Ahead Eagles (dig those names!).

But whereas the Eagle's net suspension preference was for Continental D's (like Ajax)

PEC installed classic Dutch skinny A-frames. This is a clip of their goalie scoring against Ajax.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

UEFA Champions League - FC Schalke 04

You may have read references on this site comparing the goal nets of today to trampolines, but it's a metaphor to describe nets stretched square and so taut they cannot retain the ball. No club actually installed trampolines for goal nets. Except Schalke...

In the mid 70's they rigged a system to suspend the goal nets at the Parkstadion by installing a full goal-sized frame behind the goals and attaching the nets to the frame with trampoline springs.

You can guess at the aesthetic affect...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

UEFA Champions League - Arsenal FC

A club with great traditions, it's heartening to see Arsenal's embrace of the sturdy English A-frame dates back to at least the end of the Great War, as the Highbury clip below demonstrates.

Monday, October 22, 2012

UEFA Champions League - Olympiacos FC

Of all this year's Champions League participants, Olympiacos provides one of the most colourful recent History of Goal Nets.

Their nets were suspended from A-frames like Arsenal's in the mid 60's -

 Then they went all Argentina 78 by painting the bottom of the posts black

Then, keeping the black bands, they ditched the A-frames for Continental D's.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Off the stanchions at Wembley - Gordon McQueen

Celebrating the end of International week while looking back at happier times for Scotland (but not the Wembley goals which were infamously broken after the game), here's Gordon McQueen's header off the stanchions at Wembley.

Winning this game won Scotland the 1977 Home International tournament and dialled up the country's World Cup aspirations to fever pitch. In October of the same year qualification for FIFA World Cup 1978 was won against Wales.

Gordon McQueen however would play no part in he Argentina finals after being ruled out by injury.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

UEFA Champions League - Paris Saint-Germain FC

In this era of the homogeneous free-hanging boxnet, full credit to PSG for having identifiable goal nets.

The white tape at the seams of the nets don't specifically identify the Parc des Princes, but you get one glance at Ibra's penalty and you know you're in France...

The white seams were much in evidence at FIFA World Cup 1998 in France, as in Lyon.

Some instantly identifiable French music to finish, courtesy of Saint-Germain...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Off the stanchions at Wembley - Dennis Tueart

Resuming our Friday series with Dennis Tueart's famous goal in the 1976 League Cup final.

A Newcastle fan as a boy, Tueart's overhead kick rebounded off  the stanchions at Wembley and won the cup for City.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

UEFA Champions League - FC Dynamo Kyiv

As noted in the FC Porto post, Kyiv lost home and away to the Portistas in the semis of the 1987 European Cup, their 2012 Group A rivals scoring twice into the big boxes that look like Barcelona's Big Ones with stanchions.

Did you notice how the field has been extended behind the goal to accommodate the stanchions?

Have another look, at this clip of Kyiv beating Rangers.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

UEFA Champions League - GNK Dinamo Zagreb

While the Blues currently boast one of Europe's more elaborate systems for suspending the goal nets - the nets are on the field while the stanchions are behind the boards on the blue-covered running track -

The nets at the Maksimir used to be suspended by compact D's, as when Dinamo became the first Yugoslav side to win a European title in 1967.

For a better look at the Maksimir Stadion's Continental D's, check out the thrilling semi-final of the 1976 European Championships.

Don't these D's look like the old ones at Hillsborough?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

UEFA Champions League - FC Porto

Continuing this season's Champions League participants' History of Goal Nets with the 1987 champions, FC Porto.

On their way to that 1987 title, The Dragons edged out their 2012 Group A opponents Dynamo Kyiv, firing a double into the Continental D's at the old Estadio das Antas.

Three years earlier Porto won the Cup Winners Cup, coming from 0-2 behind to sweep past Shakhtar Donetsk in the quarter-finals.

But these are incidentals, a mere introduction to the 1984 Antas architecure, these stellar L-supports on steroids.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

UEFA Champions League - FC Barcelona

The fourth club in this season's Group G is Barcelona.

What more to say about Barcelona's History of Goal Nets?

Previous posts have highlighted the huge, late-80's tents at Nou Camp, and identified a striking similarity between the previous A-frames and those at Sutton United.

Perhaps what's new is the longevity of those A-frames.

The same way Tito Vilanova has replaced Pep Guardiola and nothing's really changed, so Barca moved from Camp de Les Corts to the Camp Nou, and the A-frames somehow stayed the same.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

UEFA Champions League - Celtic FC

Through the 70's and early 80's big European nights at Celtic Park would be played out between an all too distinctive pair of Continental D's:

But the on-field architecture for the glory glory nights of the late 60's was a long forgotten pair of A-frames:

Friday, October 5, 2012

UEFA Champions League - FC Spartak Moscow

Tanked up on oil money, The Meat are moving out of the Luzhniki to a new stadium for the 2018 World Cup and there should be little doubt what the chosen method of goal net suspension at the Spartak Stadion will be.

But Back in the USSR Spartak Moscow were winning their last Soviet era title with a free-kick as curvy as Luzhniki's old stanchions that look a little like Chelsea's...