Back in September, when Jordan Henderson’s shot curled and dipped beyond the outstretched paw of Thibaut Courtois, the world was left as stunned and as wide eyed as Marko Grujic. The goal simply defined the term “top bins”. Every Liverpool fan took to Twitter to call off the Goal of the Season competition, because they claimed it had just been scored. Two weeks later, Dimtri Payet sent five members of the Middlesbrough defence for a hot dog with a mazy run, and the resulting goal was hailed as one of the all-time classics. As we all know, Payet is now being slammed in the press for looking to escape the Hammers, but there should be sympathy for him. He has achieved his ultimate aim in English football, as many believe he has the award in the bag. Nothing else will top that. As football fans and Twitter users, we are obsessed with superlatives and are instantly calling a goal we’ve just seen as the greatest of the year, well, greatest since the last one, at least.
In the last three weeks we have seen three great finishes, each of which has been praised as Goal of the Season, in one form or another. I’m going to be truthful and say when Henrikh Mkhitaryan (I didn’t copy and paste that, honestly) scored his scorpion kick I did describe it as my strike of the year. But when Olivier Giroud replicated it, I was left questioning my judgment. Which was better? On the one hand, the Armenian was offside so it technically shouldn’t count, but the Frenchman did THAT celebration against Bournemouth, so the acrobatic finish instantly lost all credibility. Fast forward to last weekend and Andy Carroll showed a level of agility that no one believed he had, as he unleashed a rocket while perpendicular to the ground. West Ham fans, who are now ignoring all evidence that Payet has ever played in claret and blue, were quick to call the meat in Carroll’s hat-trick sandwich, the best of the campaign. They were claiming his goal required more skill and the other two were much more luck based, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t a scorpion kick.
I’m writing this to ask that we all calm down whenever one of our players scores a quality goal, because there’s always going to be another fan with a counter argument. One thing we can all agree on though, is that until Peter Crouch scores an overhead kick and celebrates by finally doing the robot once again, the hunt for Goal of the Season will go right down to the final weekend.