TEAMtalk Soccers: Goal of the Season

Tuesday 22nd May 2012 10:48

Crouch: Scoops the TEAMtalk Soccers Goal of Season award

Crouch: Scoops the TEAMtalk Soccers Goal of Season award

It's day two of our 2011-12 TEAMtalk Soccers ceremony, with Matthew Stead stepping forward to present the Goal of the Season category.

Before Christmas, this edition of the Goal of the Season was headed towards an underwhelming climax.

However, Christmas seemed to be kind to the Premier League's finest, and the competition suddenly shot to life with some stunning strikes.

Each of the five on the shortlist were nominated by TEAMtalk's excellent fanbase and beat out the likes of Sebastian Coates, DJ Campbell, Franco di Santo, Kyle Walker and many more beauties.

With such an open competition, it was certainly a shame to miss some out. If your favourite was an omission then just mention it in the comments below.

Goal of the Season - by Matthew Stead:

5. Hatem Ben Arfa, NEWCASTLE 2 Bolton 0, 9 April 2012:

Concerning Newcastle's mercurial Frenchman, in the immortal words of the country's favourite pundit (!), Alan Shearer: "No-one really knows a great deal about him." Well if they didn't before, then they certainly will now after his mesmerising run and finish against Bolton this April.

Possibly one of the most underrated goals in this season's contest, the French winger capped off an impressive first season at Newcastle with a fine individual effort against Bolton.

Receiving a pass with his back to goal and 70 yards out, the former Marseille man proceeded to expertly turn his marker and display a terrific burst of pace and divine footwork to bear down on Adam Bogdan's goal within six touches, coolly slotting the ball home to round off a sublime piece of individual technique and skill.

It may have finished fifth in this season's Soccers awards, but don't let that detract from the goal; it really was magnificent.

4. Robin van Persie, ARSENAL 1 Everton 0, 10 December 2011:

2011's sole representative, this impeccable goal from the Football Writer's and Players' Player of the Year just could not be kept out; be it on this list or by Everton keeper Tim Howard.

Eclipsed perhaps by some outrageous, one-off goals, you get the feeling that van Persie's was just different; that he could do it again and again if given the chance.

And given the chance against Everton he was. As Alex Song lofted yet another throughball to the Dutchman in the 70th minute at 0-0, van Persie oozed composure and class, choosing to elegantly and exquisitely place the ball beyond the American keeper as opposed to lashing it into row Z.

Of van Persie's 30 Premier League goals this season, many made full use of the enviable talent he possesses, but this is the stand-out candidate of his offerings.

The Arsenal striker has quite the penchant for technical prowess and jaw-dropping talent, but this level of precision, control and perfection with just one touch is just special.

3. Luis Suarez, Norwich 0 LIVERPOOL 3, 28 April 2012:

Whether he's biting someone's ear, breaking the collective hearts of a whole continent in one swift movement or embroiled in the centre of a racism scandal, many forget that Luis Suarez is actually an immensely talented footballer.

Norwich keeper John Ruddy realised this to his detriment on a rainy April evening, as the Uruguayan hotshot completed an excellent hat-trick and scored an incredible goal in the process.

Executing an inch-perfect lob from 45 yards that sailed over the England prospect's head and nestled into the Canaries' goal, Suarez rekindled memories of David Beckham against Wimbledon and Xabi Alonso against Newcastle with this implausible strike.

He may have divided opinion (to say the least!) in the past, but the technique involved in the goal is undeniable and made it a popular choice amongst the well-informed TEAMtalk faithful.

2. Papiss Demba Cisse, Chelsea 0 NEWCASTLE 2, 2 May 2012:

Along with Everton's Nikica Jelavic and Swansea's Gylfi Sigurdsson, Papiss Demba Cisse debunked the long-purveyed myth that January signings often flop in the Premier League.

A veritable snip at £10million from German club Freiburg, the Senegalese goal-machine scored 13 goals in 14 games, with special hits against Aston Villa on his debut and his first against Chelsea in May.

His second in the Stamford Bridge clash, however, was a step above. With a Champions League place to fight for at the time, the ball fell loose in stoppage time, 25 yards out and on the very edge of the area.

That didn't stop Cisse though, as Newcastle's new idyllic number nine let loose with a ridiculously impressive swerving banana shot with the outside of his boot which flew over a flapping Petr Cech into the top right-hand corner.

A more than worthy contender which, in the opinions of many, would have been the winner.

1. Peter Crouch, STOKE CITY 1 Manchester City 1, 24 March 2012:

So here it is. The majority of the Goal of the Season talk this year has concluded with either Cisse's aforementioned stunner or this unbelievable offering from Peter Crouch, and for me, the difference is the sheer technique, precision and skill displayed by the England striker.

And the fact it was Peter Crouch. Peter bloody Crouch!

Despite being one of the most grossly misused and worn-out phrases in football, the description of Crouch as having "good feet for a big man" doesn't even nearly do this goal justice.

He has scored plenty of goals in his lifetime, but the former Liverpool and Tottenham forward will probably never score another like this.

Not many could have predicted the outcome when the gangly Stoke striker exchanged a well-worked one-two with Jermaine Pennant against Manchester City that day.

Twenty five yards out from a difficult angle and with the ball in mid-air, the 6ft 7ins hitman set himself up expertly, swivelled on the spot and unleashed an unstoppable right-footed strike beyond one of Europe's stand-out keepers in Joe Hart, all without letting the ball bounce.

The one thing missing? A robot celebration.

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