Goals, goals, goals!

10th November 2013

As Jonathan de Guzman's curling effort gently kissed the inside of the post before rolling down the back of the net, my mate turned to me and said: "You won't see a better goal than that this weekend."
As soon as I'd stopped leaping about, I confidently nodded my agreement: "That's an absolute cracker," I shouted above the din of an ecstatic Liberty.
We continued to marvel at the way the Dutch international midfielder had glanced up, picked his exact spot in his head, and then promptly found it with an elegant and effortless swing of his right boot.
Surely his a pin point finish against Sunderland would be in contention for winning the October Goal of the Month Competition.
Sorry Jonathan. Little did we know that Arsenal had already conjured up a little piece of magic of their own against Norwich.
Jack Wilshere's finish may have been a relative tap-in compared to DeGuzman's curler, but it's what had come before which set the goal apart.
It wasn't just that the move swept pretty much the length of the field, but the accuracy of the intricate passing in an around the edge of the Norwich box, and the nonchalance of Wilshere's finish.
It was exactly the kind of "perfect" goal that Arsenal have been accused of trying to score during the past decade only to be denied by perhaps trying one pass too many in the final third of the pitch.
As biased as I am towards the Swans, you have to say Wilshere's goal would take some beating in the goal of the season competition, let alone goal of the month.
But then along came Fulham's Pajtim Kasami whose wonder strike against Crystal Palace even had Wilshere tweeting: "Well there's my goal of the month prize gone!!!! Take a bow!"
To take the ball on your chest while running full tilt in one direction before volleying it in a completely different direction would have resulted in most of us dislocating a hip.
The only thing Kasami was in danger of dislocating was the net from the frame of the goal.
And then, just when you thought the week had met its quota of crackers, Zlatan Ibrahimovic goes and lights the fuse on an absolute cannon of a volley for PSG in the Champions League.
And it doesn't end there. When I asked a friend if he'd seen Zlatan's volley on TV he said: "That's nothing. Did you see the back-heeled volley he scored on Saturday?"
After a quick search of You Tube I was left open mouthed at the brilliant inventiveness of the big Swedish striker. If I'd tried that it wouldn't have just been my hip I'd have dislocated.
For sheer uniqueness, Zlatan's strike against Bastia would take some beating, but it did however bear an uncanny resemblance to the goal he scored against Italy in Euro 2004.
But was Kasami's goal better than Wilshere's? Does what was essentially a brilliant individual finish beat a goal involving umpteen passes?
Would you pick Zlatan volley number one over Zlatan volley number two?
How can you compare such contrasting goals? There's no formula for working out which is better than the other.
It's all a matter of personal taste isn't it? A few seasons ago Lee Trundle was asked why he'd passed up a perfectly acceptable opportunity to score with a header in an FA Cup match against Preston, instead of choosing to take the ball down on his chest and volleying it home.
Trundle said: "I knew I wasn't offside and that I had a bit of time so I decided not just to head it in; a volley looks better than a header anyway."
It would be interesting to hear Stoke fans' view on that one. Surely Peter Crouch's stunning volley against Manchester City back in 2012 will stay in their minds longer than any of his many headers?
I always feel sorry for the Match of the Day presenters who are asked to judge the Goal of the Month Competition. It's just one person's opinion and he's on a hiding to nothing whichever goal he chooses. The judge normally comes in for some merciless ribbing from his colleagues.
It was interesting to see this month they decided to give viewers the chance to pick a winner out of possibly the best collection of goals ever seen in a single month.
Even if you could come up with some magical formula to scientifically judge the best goal of the month, season or of all time, how could you factor in the emotion that surrounds a goal?
My favourite three goals of all time have a certain amount of emotion attached to them.
There's no question Carlos Alberto's goal for Brazil against Italy in the 1970 World Cup Final is a fantastic finish to a memorable move. But the reason I love it may have something to do with the fact it was Brazil.
Mark Hughes's acrobatic volley against Spain at the Racecourse in Wrexham undoubtedly deserves its place in any list of great goals, but one of the reasons I am so fond of it is undoubtedly because it was for Wales.
And then, of course, there's Alan Curtis' goal for the Swans against Leeds United to round off a 5-1 win in the Swans first ever game in the top flight back in 1981. Need I say more? It probably also helps that all those goals were scored in victories.
Goals in a losing cause always seem to lose their sheen - even Rory Fallon's spectacular bicycle kick for the Swans against Barnsley in the Championship play-off final of 2006.
So, taking all those factors into account. Which was the best goal scored during that glut of crackers during the past few weeks?
Well, the Match of the Day viewers chose Wilshere's gem, but I was hoping all this season's goals would be trumped by a winning goal against Cardiff last weekend. That would undoubtedly have been the best goal - even if it had gone in of somebody's backside!
Never mind, let's see what DeGuzman and co can conjure up today.
C'mon you Swans!