The best goals in the Championship 2010/11: a taster
In no particular order (and restricted to those which stuck out in my mind and could be located on YouTube…), here are some preliminary candidates for the Championship’s best goal this season. Don’t get angry, this is just a taster. The final list will include your own contenders.
Let’s hope that someone conjures up something to rival these five strikes over the remaining games of the campaign! Please leave any other suggestions in the comments section, ideally with YouTube links.
Jimmy Bullard – Cardiff City v Ipswich Town
Dusk falls. Life changes in cities across the world. For most, the working day stops. For many, the drinking begins. And for a very select few, the mask is placed over the eyes, the black and white jumper is pulled on and the swag bag is slung across the shoulder. Ipswich Town arrive in Wales.
The scene is set and there could only be one outcome, particularly after goalkeeper Marton Fulop pulled off a series of saves from an increasingly frustrated Cardiff City attack during a one-sided first half. Peter Whittingham and Jay-Emmanuel Thomas were both thwarted by the Hungarian in the Ipswich goal before the interval, while Craig Bellamy saw his follow-up to a Whittingham shot cleared off the line.
Arrive stage left, the cartoon burglar. Given the home side’s early dominance, Ipswich’s victory was pure thievery. The visitors stole all three points back across the width of the country with two magical goals from Jimmy Bullard and Cardiff were left to ponder one that got away.
Both were from long range, but the second was a heavily deflected free kick. The first was just a brilliant goal. Picking up possession halfway inside Cardiff’s half, Bullard took one touch before lashing a fierce angled drive into the top corner of Stephen Bywater’s net – and scampering off to celebrate with his swag bag slung triumphantly over one shoulder.
Scott Sinclair – Swansea City v Nottingham Forest
Remember Frogger? Basic summary: Frog tasked with crossing street, moving left and right while advancing cautiously before finally reaching his (or her) destination. I bet Scott Sinclair was good at Frogger.
Sinclair has previous for this kind of thing, scoring magnificent goals against Barnet and Crystal Palace while on loan at Plymouth Argyle. Both of those were weaving efforts that began on the halfway line. This was made from the same mould but was arguably even better.
Swansea had enjoyed the better of the opening 20 minutes. A Forest win would have put both sides level along with Cardiff on 63 points with just eight league games remaining, meaning the first goal was crucial. Sinclair scored it. It looked like this…
Fabio Borini – Swansea City v Norwich City
We all know about young players learning their trade at Premier League clubs and the benefits they gain from training with world-class footballers day in day out. However, rarely can the fruits of their labour be seen so clearly as when Swansea’s on-loan striker Fabio Borini opened the scoring in a vital recent clash with fellow promotion contenders Norwich City.
Borini’s strike was pure Didier Drogba, something the young Italian admitted in a post-match interview. Instead of curling the free kick around the wall or lashing it through the yellow shirts lined up ten yards away, Borini went aerial and sidefooted the ball into the top corner of John Ruddy’s net. Observe…
Wayne Routledge – Queen’s Park Rangers v Coventry City
Moments like these are to be savoured – when a player is far too good for a division and things start happening which you rarely see on a regular basis. Whatever happens next season (and there remain plenty of question marks), this season has served as a magnificent showcase of Adel Taarabt’s talent.
QPR fans have revelled in Taarabt’s masterclass but plenty of opposition supporters have enjoyed it too. The Moroccan has scored several superb goals and any number of them could have been chosen here. However, the zenith of Taarabt’s season arguably wasn’t one of his goals at all. It was this breathtaking assist for Wayne Routledge’s winner against Coventry City. Brilliance and the Championship will be extremely fortunate, not to mention unlikely, to boast a player with similar skill levels next season.
Lewis McGugan – Nottingham Forest v Ipswich Town
Anyone can hit a once-in-a-lifetime wonder goal from 35 yards. When striking a truly brilliant goal, though, the secret is timing. Not just the timing of the shot but its context in the season. It doesn’t even have to be an important goal sometimes.
Lewis McGugan was in the midst of conducting a Goal of the Season competition of his own when this one flew into Ipswich Town’s net at the City Ground. Arguably a better free kick than the famous Cristiano Ronaldo effort against Portsmouth a few years back, it was a goal that truly excited Forest fans watching a player at the top of his game.