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

Red Bull & RB Leipzig: Money Gives You Wings

Post comment

A football club in Germany has had its name, stadium, kit, badge, colours and nickname changed by a multi-billion Euro company. Another romantic football tale...

Who's More Miserable - Baggies Or Mags?

Post comment

There's not a lot to choose between the misery of West Brom fans and the misery of Newcastle fans. We have mails on them, 'only QPR' and lots on Man United...

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

C

an we get one on the similarities between this year's Arsenal and 5 years ago. Or any other number you care to pick frankly...it shouldn't be hard.

mc1728
Liverpool: Five Similiarities Five Years On

R

icky van Wolfswinkel's remarkable record of one goal from one game at least deserves an honourable mention. And I'm willing to bet that at least one of Costa, Ulloa or Enner Valencia will earn a place on the list by the end of the season. Probably not Costa

stevenjameshyde
Top Ten PL Strikers Who Started Like A Train...

I

will also give up birthday Christmas and bacon for this to happen

badwolf
Ronaldo return ‘in place’

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Premier League: Jose Mourinho confirms Eden Hazard's Chelsea contract talks ongoing

Jose Mourinho is confident Eden Hazard will commit his future to Chelsea, with talks ongoing over a contract extension.

Daley Blind backs Louis van Gaal's brutally honest approach at Manchester United

Daley Blind says Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal's brutally honest manner is good for team-building.

Premier League: Manchester United winger Angel di Maria delighted with Old Trafford bow

Manchester United winger Angel di Maria was delighted with his Old Trafford debut after the 4-0 win over QPR.

Mail Box

Who's More Miserable - Baggies Or Mags?

There's not a lot to choose between the misery of West Brom fans and the misery of Newcastle fans. We have mails on them, 'only QPR' and lots on Man United...

Forget it, Ronaldo Won't Come Back

A varied morning mailbox, with thoughts on Ronaldo, Daley Blind = Michael Carrick, Ed Woodward redemption, stick with Pardew, QPR's name change and marbles...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property