So what makes a great goal? I know it seems a easy question but honestly, what makes a goal truly great? Is it the goal that keeps a side up or a lob from the half way line? The goal that drags a side back in to a game when they’re 2-0 or a last minute winner in injury time? Everyone has a different variation on what they judge to be a great goal or what the ingredients are that makes some goals stand out above all others.
Well, I’m going to give you my ten goals of the decade, which you may agree with, but probably won’t. Yet that’s one of the great things about football, we all have different opinions and views of the same incident. Hopefully you can view these goals without blinkers of your favourite team and simply judge them on the goal itself. OK, ready? Then we’ll begin.
Goal Number Ten: Thierry Henry v Spurs November 2002
Another North London derby, another Arsenal win but this for me is one of the best goals that this decade saw in the continuing battle between Arsenal and Tottenham. A wonderful solo run and finish saw Henry begin to show the form that was to torment defenders the length and breadth of Europe for the remainder of the decade. A truly great individual goal.
Goal Number Nine: Dietmar Hamann v Portsmouth March 2004
There looked nothing on when Michael Owen swung the ball back in from the left wing but Didi Hamann was running in to hit this strike beautifully from the edge of the box. One of those wonderful volleys that occur every now and again, I doubt Hamann has ever scored a goal better than this in his life.
Goal Number Eight: Shaun Bartlett v Leicester April 2001
What a strike this was for Charlton Athletic. A wonderful cross field pass from Graeme Stuart that the South African Shaun Bartlett hit first time to fire it past the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner. A fabulous hit, set up by a fantastic pass.
Goal Number Seven: Dennis Bergkamp v Newcastle March 2002
What a wonderful piece of skill this is. From Pires’ crossfield pass, Bergkamp flicks the ball one way and rolls around the defender the other and then slides it past Shay Given. A delightful bit of skill from the Dutch master.
Goal Number Six: Xabi Alonso v Newcastle November 2006
Alonso seemed to be one of those players that could try and score from inside his own half more than most. This strike against Newcastle left Steve Harper scrambling to get back, but to no avail. Perhaps more impressive than the similar goal he scored against Luton Town in the F.A. Cup, it will live long in the memory for its precision from distance.
Goal Number Five: David Bentley v Arsenal October 2008
Probably Bentley’s high point during his difficult spell at Tottenham, this wonderful hit saw him control the ball on his chest and volley the ball in to the Arsenal net from 50 yards out. A sublime strike that shows the quality he has, but he simply hasn’t delivered at White Hart Lane. The only benefit to Spurs would seem to be the consistent quality that Aaron Lennon now shows week in, week out since Bentley joined.
Goal Number Four: Wayne Rooney v Newcastle April 2005
Everyone knows the power of Wayne Rooney but this goal shows it for me like no other. Like something from a video game, Rooney spanked the ball in midair at what seems 100mph. The only thing that surprised me was that it didn’t burst the net. A wonder goal from a player that on his day is unplayable.
Goal Number Three: Glen Johnson v Hull City October 2008
Well, it is always special when a full back scores a screamer, Stuart Pearce built a career on smashing the ball in the back of the net, but this was a fantastic strike from Johnson. It impressed me, because he runs on to the ball, controls it with two defenders closing in and smashes it home with his left foot. An outstanding goal.
Goal Number Two: Paolo Di Canio v Wimbledon April 2000
Now this goal summed up the genius of Di Canio in one swift moment. A flying volley that saw him use his left leg to propel him upward for a smashing volley with the right foot past Neil Sullivan, it was a divine finish from one of the Premiership’s most enigmatic players. A truly great goal.
Goal Number One: Robin van Persie v Charlton September 2007
This for me, is one of the best goals I’ve ever seen. A simply breathtaking goal that showed fantastic technique, athleticism and an eye for goal that Marco Van Basten would have been proud of. Everyone knows the qualities that van Persie offers the Gunners, but niggly injuries have held him back from showing the Arsenal faithful his full potency.
So there you have it, my favourite ten goals from the last decade of Premiership football. Leave me some comments, or memories of your favourite goals over the last ten years.