Ibrahimovic's wonder goal leaves most speechless, but not our Andy
TV View:‘Wow,” was all Andy Townsend could initially muster on ITV when Zlatan Ibrahimovic did his loopy-shooty mad thing on Wednesday night, but that was probably one more word than most viewers could muster. Speechless, like.
It’s as well, when you think back to how he reacted on Sky to Fernando Torres’ goal against Barcelona last season, that it wasn’t Gary Neville in the commentary box.
The fella would have ended up arrested.
It was either Channel 4 news or Sky News – possibly the first time in history they’ve been confused – that visited Brentford’s training ground the next day to see if any of their youth squad could repeat Zlatan’s feat.
One came admirably close, the ball bouncing in front of the goal and over the bar, but the rest were nearly hospitalised even trying, one fella ending up in a knot, another landing on his bottom with the ball he sliced bouncing on top of him. No offence to Brentford’s scouting system, but: Rethink?
They had all, it seemed, ignored Jamie Redknapp’s wise advice – “Don’t try it at home, unless you’re on a bouncy castle” – most conceding that replicating the magical moment was beyond them.
“Whatever about doing it in training, to do it in a game? Amazing,” said one of the players, adding: “And we couldn’t even do it in training, like.” No shame in that, even on a bouncy castle it’s tricky.
There followed, inevitably, heated debates over whether it was the greatest goal of all time, which at least resulted in us getting to see, again, a string of the juicier ones through the years.
Not among them, it should be said, was Jose Holebas’s winner for Greece against Ireland on the same night.
Before the game, Sky’s Pat Davidson asked Giovanni Trapattoni if he’d considered stepping down after the German setback, the manager’s response quite emphatic: “I don’t know why because it’s now we make a very great jobs.”
Steve Staunton wasn’t quite sure whether to agree with that assessment or not, our host Pete Graves looking a little confused himself, but both were hopeful of a heartening evening for Ireland with so many kiddies in the team.
Come full-time, Steve was indeed heartened, if a little disappointed by the defeat.
“If you were the gaffer still what would you be doing before that friendly against Poland,” asked Pete.
“Praying that everyone’s fit,” replied Steve. When you’re reduced to sporting prayers, that’s probably not a good sign, but ESPN reckon Wes Hoolahan and Anthony Pilkington could well be the answer to Trapattoni’s pleas for divine intervention.
Kevin Keegan, John Barnes and Martin Keown couldn’t praise Hoolahan enough, but it was Pilkington who grabbed the headlines, as they say in the trade, with that winning goal.
It was inevitable, of course, after commentator Jon Champion informed Craig Burley (and us) that Alex Ferguson admitted he couldn’t remember Pilkington from his youth days at United.
“That wasn’t very nice,” said Craig, but Pilkington was more forgiving post-match.
“I was only about five,” he told Rebecca Lowe, suggesting it was a highly youthful youth system he was part of.
A good day for Norwich, then. And for the Irish rugby team. Wasn’t it?
Ryle Nugent: “What did we learn? Not much.”
Brent Pope: “Very little.”
Conor O’Shea: “A complete no-win for Ireland . . . Fiji were absolutely rubbish . . . abject.”
True, perhaps, but look, a win’s a win – and you can be sure Trapattoni, no more than Declan Kidney, would take a 53-0 triumph.
Even if none of the goals was a loopy-shooty mad thing requiring the assistance of a bouncy castle.