Belfast Telegraph

Premier League goals are simply flying in and they're from the drawer

By Billy Weir

As I sat in the departure lounge of Faro Airport in Portugal on Sunday morning I was looking forward to coming home and putting my feet up in front of the telly and catching up with a bit of footy.

The derby game between Sunderland and Newcastle can usually provide more spice, name-calling and drunken intensity than a hen do heading the other way, so with watches synchronised I knew that I would be home just in time to see it.

And then fate intervened. Or rather, a lack of planning, as a three-hour delay was announced and my hopes faded and my tan visibly started to do likewise as three hours in Faro Airport is no picnic.

Rumours abounded that the reason for the delay was that the airline, who I shall not name to avoid embarrassment, couldn't find a pilot for the outbound flight. An easy mistake to make.

On board, a jovial captain greeted us and explained that he had been summoned out of his bed in Liverpool as he was at a loose end. I know Steven Gerrard isn't doing much at the minute but this was ridiculous.

I know what you're thinking, the plane fell over on the runway, it was sent back to the hangar after 38 seconds or we landed at Los Angeles rather than Aldergrove where vast sums of cash were waiting for the captain for doing very little.

None of this happened. What did happen was that we arrived back safe and sound and by the time my backside had landed on the sofa, Sunderland were on the verge of victory and Niall Quinn was on the verge of giving birth to some small black cats.

Not the most unbiased choice of co-commentators for Sky to choose, and I couldn't wait to see if they had gone back to the studio where Ant and Dec, the Likely Lads, Cheryl Cole-whateverhernameis and the cast of Auf Wiedersehen Pet were there to try and balance things up, but to no avail.

I did get to see Jermain Defoe's wonder strike that settled the Wear-Tyne derby, and as it turned out it was quite a weekend for goals from another planet, and I'm not talking about Wayne Rooney, Alexis Carrington-Colby-Sanchez, Bobby Zamora or Charlie Adam.

I'm referring to an advert that popped up on Sky this week for a popular US beverage, which I shall not name because I don't like it and I'm not opening the floodgates for product placement. I can categorically state, here and now, I am open to corruption, gifts of expensive watches, fast cars, you name it, I'll take it, but I can't stand Budweiser.

This transferred us to one of Sky's many different-coloured studios, suitably red, as we had Ed Chamberlin alongside Gary Neville and Jamie Redknapp analysing the Budweiser Dream Goal by a chunky chap in red and white. Then again, that could have been Wayne Rooney, Charlie Adam or Jermain Defoe, but it wasn't, it was a lad called Tommo playing for Dynamo Kebab.

It was a cunning subterfuge, tragically meaning that both Neville and Redknapp had to act, and a BAFTA is surely in the post - that stands for Ban All Footballers Trying Acting. I mean, did they never watch Bobby Moore in Escape To Victory?

The real debate continued on MOTD2, the last bastion of hope for those of us delayed by slovenly pilots, where chief goal steward was Mark Chapman, and he was ably assisted by the lovely Jermaine Jenas and Danny Murphy.

"We're going to do Goal of the Month for March in just a moment, but we could have done a goal of the weekend competition," explained Chapman.

When pushed, Jenas plumped for Zamora's impudent strike, explaining that, "We know Bobby and we know what he's capable of". Indeed, four goals a season is what he is capable of, hence why he'll be showing what he's capable of next season against Rotherham.

"So you're going for the technique of Zamora, not because you know him and he's watching?" retorted Chappers, who is no dozer, with Murphy slightly dozier, explaining that Charlie Adam's goal was "one in a million" but he preferred Sanchez's, but didn't offer odds for that one.

"I think someone said he's done it before when playing in Scotland," he added, thus rendering his 'one in a million' stat useless and leaving me as confused as passengers waiting on a plane with no pilot to be found.

Personally, my favourite goal was scored by Esteban Cambiasso, because he has a fantastic name, looks like a Bond villain and his nickname is 'Cuchu', Spanish for old man.

It's amazing what you learn when you're browsing through the phrase books when waiting in an airport.

Belfast Telegraph


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