Friday, May 16, 2008

Yet another 40 yard bomb...

NOT sure if you managed to catch Fox Sports's take on the top 20 goals of the current season last night on Total Football, but, for me, there was very much a same, same feel about the selection, with 17 of the 20 the result of individual bombs from outside the box.

The other three were the result of individual pieces of brilliance inside the box (a Cristiano Ronaldo reverse-flick with the instep, an Akos Buzsaky flick over the keeper and an Sylvan Ebanks-Blake reverse netmeg and powerhouse finish).

While all 20 goals were easy on the eye, and some of 40 yard bombs particularly special (Noe Pamarot or Stephane Baga anyone?), not one of the featured Fox goals was what I'd describe as a team goal, an intricate build-up involving five, six or seven passes, with a simple finish....

Like the brilliant Gamba Osaka goal I described in this piece a few weeks ago. To catch it again, check out the first 23 seconds of this video.

Another example that came to mind was the beautiful opening goal Arsenal (Abou Diaby) scored in first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi final against Liverpool, which I commented on here, but perhaps we can excuse Fox for not including that one given that their selections focused entirely on competitions they were covering (EPL, A-League, Coca-Cola Championship and Asian Champions League).

It's all subjective, but perhaps, in hindsight, the TF selection should have been described as the strikes of the season.


Blogger pippinu said...

Spot on Tony - this is a trend I have noticed over the last few years (maybe longer) - the long range smacks get far more plaudits than the team goals. I like to see a long range goal as much as the next person, but let's be honest, there are far more these days than you would get, say, 25 years ago, but more importantly, they are dominating the airwaves, taking up the "space".

But then again - in the modern game, do long range efforts and set pieces (incl penalties) combined perhaps account for up to 75% of all goals? Or more? I don't know - but it's possible.

What I am about to write now is a biased view, but in Round 9 (I think) last year, El Zorro finally opened his account in Melbourne's 2-1 victory over Perth. It involved an interchange of passes with Arch on the right, including a back heeler from Carlos, and he finally got it back and slammed it home from a very tight angle at the edge of the 6 yard box.

I reckon it was one of the goals of the year - but you can forget about seeing it in any top 20!

In fact, it didn't even get goal of the week! Elrich won it with his turn and smack form outside the box (just for something different). Not a bad goal, but at the time, I really did look at it pretty much along the lines of what you have done today, and I wasn't impressed!

By the way, excuse me for this, but it's "Baga" (I think this is the 2nd time you have called him Barga). I only remember because I enjoy making puns with his name: e.g. bagging two goals; making the onion bag bulge, etc. Regardless of his name - he's one to watch out for in our last game - be good to have him in the A-League!

Fri. May 16, 04:30:00 pm AEST  
Blogger The Round Ball Analyst said...

Pippinu, thanks for the comment and correction, consider it corrected.

Yes, I recall the Hernandez strike and his link up with Archie....quality.

I've also noticed the disturbing but growing trend of goals from set pieces in the past 5 or so years and have been planning to write about it for a while...

In fact, just the other day, I was watching some highlights of the euro u17s on eurosport, a 3 all draw between france and spain, and 5 of the 6 goals were from set pieces...

It was followed by highlights of a couple of other games, with set piece goals prominent...

I would say you're right, about 75%of goals are from set pieces and bombs.

So, when a good 'team goal' is scored, like Gamba's, like El Zorro's, we should acknowledge it, and encourage it.

Fri. May 16, 05:09:00 pm AEST  
Blogger pippinu said...

Tony - that would be a great piece - especially so if you can get stats on what was happening, say, 20 years ago, and today - in fact, that would make a fantastic piece!

We all know that defences have got better and better over the decades, such that today's goal scoring average is 2.5 per game (or so) compared to 5.5 in the 50s. I think we can all accept that without too much of a problem - but if 2 of the 2.5 is made up of speculative shots and set pieces - that's a major shift in the game that not many are picking up on.

An over-reliance on set pieces conceivably has dire consequences for the game. For instance, it means that game plans become more focussed on winning the set piece, rather than piercing the defence of the opposition (which, as a neutral, is what we really all prefer to see). If that becomes more common, that has follow-on ramifications.

It's too early to despair, but I wonder if there is some sort of trend there.

Fri. May 16, 05:47:00 pm AEST  

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