Saturday, March 30, 2013

Argentina - Atletico de Rafaela

Like many sides in the Argentine Primera Division, La Crema are to be congratulated for sticking with their L-supports.

However, if prizes were being handed out for the worst ball retention seen anywhere, would any other club or stadium even get a look in?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A-list A-frames - Coventry City FC

True, by the time the Sky Blues were leaving Highfield Road, their home for more than a century, they were shooting into a generic set of box nets.

True too, that through the club's glory years in the 70's and 80's, Coventry were synonymous with Continental D's.

But go far enough back and you find that, at heart, Coventry were A-listers all along.

Monday, March 18, 2013

UEFA Europa League - Fenerbahce S.K.

Fenerbahce installed the obligatory box nets in the mid 90's and they didn't do things by half.

Eschewing a history of skinny goal nets, they hung huge tents at either end of their Sukru Saracoglu stadium, the enormity of which hadn't been since this side of Mexico '86.

Prior to their rush to homogeneity, Fenerbahce preferred to hang their usually skinny nets from Continental D's...

Though there was one season in the late 80's when the Canaries went all Eredivisie and installed a sensational set of A-frames.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

West Bromwich Albion FC

About the time Big Ron and Regis, Batson and Cunningham were thrashing Man United, the Baggies were matching the glamour of visiting sides such Red Star Belgrade with classic Continental D's at the Hawthorns.

Back a further twenty years and you see West Brom were firm proponents of the Continental D.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Goal Nets and the Gaffer's influence

Previously I've suggested Manchester United's modern-day success was down to changing the goals at Old Trafford from A-frames to Continental D's.

I went as far as to suggest that Sir Alex Ferguson - who'd enjoyed so much success at Aberdeen between a pair of Continental D's - was behind the change.

I've also written about how the decline of Liverpool could be dated back to their changing the Anfield A-frames for Continental D's, and the likelihood of Graeme Souness being the new broom behind such a sweeping move.

You may think it unlikely that a manager would get involved with choosing the goal nets but the re-appearance of red nets at Anfield this season is entirely due to the intervention of the Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers. As posted on Liverpool's website -

When Fabio Borini hammered home his debut Liverpool goal against FC Gomel last Thursday, the Italian became the first to put the ball in the back of Anfield's newly reinstated red goal nets.

Last sighted in L4 in the mid-90s, the distinctive red nets have been restored on the orders of Brendan Rodgers in the same way as the original 1974 'This is Anfield' sign was re-fitted in the tunnel a month ago.

Liverpool FC museum curator Stephen Done explained: "Brendan and his family were given their first glimpse of Anfield the day after he was unveiled as manager as part of a private tour of the stadium.

"At the end of the tour, we stood on the Kop and Brendan commented that he always remembered the goals at Anfield having red nets.

"The 1980s were formative years for him, in terms of him starting to watch and play football, and he seemed to recall the red nets quite vividly. He suggested we bring them back."

"Kevin O'Shea (of the Liverpool museum) and I agreed. It wouldn't win us a game as such, but if it gave us that tiny extra advantage by making the crowd and the team feel better, then why not?"

John Brodie, a Liverpool civil engineer, invented goal nets in 1889 and from that point on, all nets were required to be of a dark colour, as was the case at Anfield up until they changed to red at some point in the 1960s.

A picture taken during a clash with league champions-to-be Manchester City (above), shows the red nets were in place by at least 1968.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

York City FC

A member of our goal nets community advised we take a look at the Minstermen, who even today defy the trend towards the homogenous box net with their Continental D's (though those D's do share the box net's ground supports, which transform the net into a pinball machine).

Though the goals our friend advised we look at were the A-frames which stood at either end of Bootham Crescent through the late 70's and 1980's.

If you think the goals look like a mix between an A-frame and a Continental D, you'd be right.

Here's a photo of those A-frames from about that time.

Further back, the Minstermen were early adopters of the Continental D.