Sunday, December 14, 2014
101 Great Goals - Steven Gerrard
Remember the premise behind the 101 Great Goals series?
What constitutes a Great Goal? As this is The History of Goal Nets, simply any goal can be considered Great if we enjoyed the aesthetics of ball striking net so much that we are moved to nominate that goal.
With this in mind, the next goal I'd like to study in terms of a greatness perceived immediately by the commentary and sold into folklore is Steven Gerrard's against Olympiakos.
In terms of technique and ball placement, the Gerrard goal is remarkably similar to the vastly underrated Graeme Souness goal v Manchester City (at 6.04) below.
The difference is, though scored in the Champions League, Gerrard's goal is pure EPL in terms of hyperbole.
Two things have conspired to transform a good Gerrard goal into a wonder strike.
Firstly, the aesthetics of the goal. Most pertinent for us who understand how the aesthetics of ball striking net can affect how a goal is rated, Gerrard's shot rebounded ridiculously off the software like a ball in pinball machine.
That's right - off the software - as there wasn't an atom of aluminium within a metre of the corner of the net.
Rebounds off the hardware can be ridiculously spectacular.
But as always argued that rebounds off 21st century box-nets pulled taut and made of trampoline are simply ridiculous and are ruining the aesthetics of the game.
Then there's the commentary from Andy Gray, which has become almost as famous as the goal itself. Though it must be remembered he was there to sell "product," it must rate as highly doubtful that the Souness goal - which rebounded normally off the A-frame - would elicit such an immediate response from the commentator.
If you think it unlikely that the legend of Stevie G is down to poor ball retention at Anfield, ask yourself, does anyone remember the Graeme Souness shot which was the exact same goal without the rebound?