If You Could Erase Just One Goal...

Paul Little has been talking to Doctor Who. Well, he hasn't, but his subconscious brings an interesting question: which goal would you wipe from the history books...?

Last Updated: 02/07/13 at 11:35 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Is This The End Of Ex-Players As Managers?

Post comment

Do massive wages and cushty TV numbers signal the end of the ex-high-profile player turned manager? Plus Liverpool fans don't actually say the 'next year' thing...

A Solution For The Premier League's 39th Game...

Post comment

One morning Mailboxer solves the 39th game conundrum. Plus England were actually alright, Harry Kane is rubbish again and do Arsenal have the most embarrassing fans?

All Articles

Right, so I'm deep in conversation about football with Doctor Who. Not the current incarnation - the bloody lightweight - no, the spooky daddy of 'em all, Tom Baker, who used to have me cowering behind the sofa as a kid. And in the course of our discussion, he offers me a once in a lifetime opportunity. The discussion centres round football and heartbreak. We've all been shattered by the cruelty of an ill-timed opposition goal. Glory ripped from our grasp, the certainty of defeat and failure shoved in our faces as the net ripples.

The Doctor has an intriguing proposition. What if he could transport me back to any game, and with a cloak of invisibility (don't remember that from the telly) allow me to direct a critical touch, deflection, shot away from goal and to safety and wash one moment of football heart ache from history. I mull over the options...but a jarring dig to the ribs from the War Office, the words "Your turn" and the wail of a forlorn child in the night snap me out of my slumber and a rare doozey of a football dream dissipates. (Strange how football dreams are so few and far between for someone eats and drinks the game.)

Anyway, by way of consolation in the barren football days of summer, I'm left with the question. Just what goal would I intervene to stop?

Putting on my Liverpool hat (it's rarely off some will argue), a few come to mind all too easily. But the decision is not up for grabs here and there are no prizes for guessing what comes top of the pile: Michael Thomas's injury time gut wrencher for Arsenal at Anfield in 1989. I recall the tension forcing me out into the garden for some tense pacing. I came back in hoping it'd all be over, but Alan Smith's opener had given me an unshakeable sense of forboding, which was realised as I walked in just in time to witness Brian Moore's legendary commentary, so beloved of Arsenal fans, so wretched for Reds. If only the Doctor could drop me onto the pitch where I could lie in wait for Thomas. Oh, to just poke it away just as he pulls the trigger.

As an Irishman, three goals jockey for position in my thoughts. Protasov and Kieft in Euro 88, and Gallas in 2009. The unjustness of the Frenchman's goal in Paris certainly deserves redressing. Rubbing it out of history would leave us all feeling cleaner - maybe even the French. Kieft's ridiculous, off target header in Euro 88 for the Netherlands also stung me very deeply. In fact, thinking back on that goal, the bizarre spin on the ball as it bounced around Bonner makes me wonder whether the good Doctor had offered a similar opportunity to a Dutch fan already, as that ball defied physics.

But strangely perhaps, it was the crack Ukrainian Protasov's unwarranted equaliser for the USSR in the preceding game that still hurts most. Ireland, at their first major tournament in a desperately tough group, had taken the Soviets to the cleaners in what is for me still our greatest ever performance. We were so on top that Protasov's strike came like a bolt from the blue. A hopeful punt from midfield, Belanov hangs a leg out and suddenly Protasov is bearing down on Bonner. As the ball hit the net, I felt deflated - no, winded. The physical memory makes me chose that one to erase - arriving just in time to nudge the great striker as he prepares to drive his rapier into my solar plexus.

Now it's your turn. With the help of the Galiffreyan, what goal would you wipe from history? Answers in a Tweet, a comment - even on a postcard, please.

Paul Little - follow him on Twitter

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

Latest Photos

Footer 365

De Gea: United 'cannot' fail

David De Gea says that Manchester United must qualify for the Champions League next season "no matter what".

Lucas ready to make an impact

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva is looking to recapture what he considers his best form in two years after recovering from injury.

Mats Hummels denies promising to join Manchester United

Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels has denied making any promise to join Manchester United.

Mail Box

Is This The End Of Ex-Players As Managers?

Do massive wages and cushty TV numbers signal the end of the ex-high-profile player turned manager? Plus Liverpool fans don't actually say the 'next year' thing...

A Solution For The Premier League's 39th Game...

One morning Mailboxer solves the 39th game conundrum. Plus England were actually alright, Harry Kane is rubbish again and do Arsenal have the most embarrassing fans?

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company