Arsenal

Should Wenger and Benitez sign this kid?

With both Liverpool and Arsenal being on the lookout for a striker who can make an impact at the club almost immediately, I came across this video recently of young Saudi Arabian striker Nawaf Al Abed, who spanked the ball home gloriously from the kick off to register what is reckoned to be the quickest goal ever scored in a professional game. Let’s face it, we aren’t likely to see David N’Gog doing this any time soon, so Rafa may as well open his chequebook and fight off Wenger for him…


The previous record was held by Ruben Olivera who scored for Rio Negro against Soriano in 1998 in a Uruguayan league game, however that goal was measured at a leisurely 2.8 seconds.

The quickest goal in the Premiership is held by two players Ledley King and Alan Shearer who both scored after a snail-paced ten seconds. For a speedier effort, the record in Brazilian soccer is currently held by Fred who scored after 3.17 seconds for America MG and we have the actual footage, wrested from the belly of a giant Anaconda, for you;


Quick goals in finals are not too uncommon. It was only a few short years ago that Roberto Di Matteo crashed the fastest goal ever in an FA Cup final past the Middlesbrough keeper, only for Louis Saha to decimate that record with his 25 second strike against Chelsea in this years FA Cup final and since Evertonian’s haven’t had a great deal to cheer about this season, here it is just for them;


Let’s not forget also that in that memorable Champions League final in Istanbul, Milan defensive legend Paolo Maldini slammed the ball into the back of the Liverpool net after barely a minute, although that was in the days when such an event wasn’t a weekly occurrence and still had an element of surprise to it.

However while we applaud such spontaniety mixed with football brilliance and, lets not deny it, a remarkable amount of goalkeeping ineptitude, there is something far more enjoyable about watching players when they get it wrong. Or there is for me anyway. My favourite this week came from Rocky Baptiste, a striker for non league side Harrow Borough, who somehow contrived to miss an open goal from around two yards out and who later in the video, can be seen thumping a screaming half-volley into the net from 30 yards. Consistency is over-rated anyway…


 His manager David Howell found it entirely amusing too…


And to finish with, my favourite clip from this week. In an age when most Premier League players have the personality of a dish cloth allied to the bank balance of Bill Gates and about as much comedic ability as Jeremy Kyle in a bag, thank goodness we have people like Jimmy Bullard still in the game. In addition to his wonderful celebration at Manchester City, which has been covered in an earlier column, a quick trawl through the vaults brought these to my attention… Jimmy Bullard filming his piece to be used when the team line ups are announced on Sky Sports. The one with the shorts pulled up ala Simon Cowell’s trousers is priceless…


I’d have him in the England squad on the strength of that alone…

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