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Dubious Goal, International

Dubious Goals Committee DECISION: ENGLAND v Sweden 15/11/11

England 1 – 0 Sweden on 15th November 2011, saw an incident which required further clarification.

Click on the image to view the goal (via 101greatgoals.com)

Click on the image to view the goal (via 101greatgoals.com)

A staggering 48,876 people crammed in to Wembley to see England, recent World Champion matadors, line-up against Sweden for the most eagerly anticipated battled between the respective nations since that Parisian hotel and that couple. Of course, that incident aside, we were reminded that England had not beaten Sweden in 43 years (or 13 attempts if you’d like to escape the hyperbole) and that the next goal scored would be England’s 2000th in International competition, providing you count this one of course.

Cometh the hour 22nd minute, cometh the man Gareth Barry. An extremely clumsy one-two, littered with dodgy touches, between Leighton Baines and Stewart Downing saw Downing with time and space to whip a delivery towards the head of the on-rushing Gareth Barry. The England goal-machine was able to nip in front of Swedish defender Daniel Majstorovic to glance a header past a hopeless helpless Andreas Isaksson in to the onion bag. But alas, there are some conspiracy theories abound that Majstorovic may have got the final touch? Can Gareth Barry be the claimaint of the 2000th goal in England’s history?

We are more than happy to oblige. Remember, The Dubious Goals Committee’s decision is final…

Matt Tickner
Gareth Barry isn’t renowned for his heading. That’s a simple fact. Stewart Downing in 972 minutes of playing club football for Liverpool this season, despite attempting 50 crosses, only has a success rate of 22% and hasn’t created one single assist. How likely then that these two much-maligned England internationals should combine to create the 2000th goal of England’s footballing history and the winner which ends 43 years of hurt against the Scandinavian Blågult? Well, extremely unlikely in this instance. We’ve all attempted this sort of header, the ball coming across your body at pace, where you try your darnedest to clip the ball in to the back post. The outcome the majority of the time, certainly in my case, is either the ball cannoning off your shoulder in to the air, or clipping your ear on the way out for a throw-in. I know, I know, Gareth Barry is an international standard footballer (he really is to some people), but without the polished head of Daniel Majstorovic, I’m not sure the ball would have troubled Isaksson one iota. All of that seems to be logical, but as this is The Dubious Goals Committee and there is room for irrational reasoning, I’ll tell you this. Gareth Barry was wearing the number 10 shirt for England against Sweden and if that doesn’t make your teeth itch then you shouldn’t watch football. That is reason enough to take this goal away from him – Barry should never, NEVER, be seen wearing number 10 again.
Verdict: England’s landmark goal is attributed as an Own Goal to Daniel Majstorovic

Chris Harvey
This goal involved two players I really don’t like. Stewart Downing has always flattered to deceive for England. As a genuine left footed winger, he really had the opportunity to make England’s’ problematic left-midfield ‘issue’ his own. He’s never been able to translate his club form onto the International stage though and I think he’s somewhat missed the opportunity for a regular starting berth. In this rare case however, he managed to put in a pretty decent cross so I’ll let my issue with him go. Gareth Barry however, I will not. I am clearly missing something with him as I think he has absolutely useless, yet he regularly gets selected by both Capello and Mancini at Man City. I really don’t understand it, someone please explain to me what he brings to the table? He’s got a nice left foot yes and his passing is OK, but he’s laboured in possession and there is nothing dynamic in the way he plays. In my view, England fans really should have expected the worst at the World Cup in South Africa when apparently our whole hopes of success completely hinged on him recovering from injury. When on earth did Gareth Barry become an essential selection for England?! I did think his performance in the 4-1 mauling at the hands of Germany might cement my view that he should never have been seen in an England shirt again. Clearly this wasn’t the case.

Anyway, I digress. Good cross from Downing, rubbish header from Barry. I don’t care about the significance of the 2,000th goal or the fact that we beat Sweden for the first time in 43 years (how many times have we actually played them in that time?!)…he didn’t get enough on the header and it was going wide before the intervention of the defender. Just to make sure there’s no possible way that Barry can be awarded the goal, I’m going to apply rules 2.1.1a and 3.2 to award it to the unfortunate Swedish defender. Let’s face it, it’s probably the only way Daniel Majstorovic is going to get his name in any record book anyway so he should accept it gracefully…
Verdict: England’s landmark goal is attributed as an Own Goal to Daniel Majstorovic

Jimmy Daniel
It’s the 22nd minute of England’s spectacular friendly at Wembley against old foes Sweden, and £20m man Stuart Downing puts in his first good cross of the season. Barry rises like a salmon to bury a header from 10 yards, and in turn scores the 43rd goal in England’s history, which goes on to become the winning goal subsequently ending a 2000 year jinx against Sweden. Or does he?

Upon viewing the various camera angles it becomes apparent the not only did Barry’s initial header appear to be heading out for a throw in, only for it to take a diversion towards the goal via Majstorovic’s bonce, but it also appeared to increase in power upon contact of the defender’s head, turning a somewhat weak header into a bullet… “But it was England’s 43rd goal in their decorated history!” (or 2000th, I dunno, there were lots of stats being thrown about by Townsend and Big Clive) I hear you cry, “give it to Barry!” . But we are The Dubious Goals Committee and we decide, and I say no. Barry is not having that, not in my lifetime. I have applied the popular rule 3.2, as Barry’s header wasn’t heading( (excuse the pun) anywhere near the goal, and was so weak it may not have even reached the goal line, let alone nestled in the onion bag… Sorry Bazza (I’m not that sorry to be honest), you have not right to claim this one.
Verdict: England’s landmark goal is attributed as an Own Goal to Daniel Majstorovic

Matt McMahon
We heard continually that England have not beaten Sweden for 43 years, and everyone knows there is only one way to break a run like that, ideally you thump the opposition by at least 5 goals, and then think “how have we not beaten this lot for so long?”, or you scrape a win with a scrappy goal from an unlikely source (enter Gareth Barry) or more aptly with an OG (enter Daniel Majstorovic). The numerous replays showed the ball was probably heading wide before the deflection from Majstorovic and so in accordance with rule 3.2, this should be awarded as an OG, Rule 3.2 can be re-enforced by the utilisation in this instance of rule 2.1.1a, I don’t like Barry, I don’t know what it is, maybe I haven’t forgiven him for playing so badly in the World Cup in South Africa, whatever the reason, I do not want “Gareth Barry” to be the answer to the inevitable A Question of Sport question “who scored England’s 2000th goal?”, Majstorovic is a much better answer, and one to truly test the knowledge of the footballer they have on that week.

Plus Adrian Chiles said it was an own goal, and he know loads about football, and whatever he says, including “erm” 50 times every time the ITV bosses allow a brief studio chat between adverts, must be correct. Verdict OG, and I’m definitely not sorry Gareth.
Verdict: England’s landmark goal is attributed as an Own Goal to Daniel Majstorovic

The Dubious Goals Committee Decision: England’s landmark 2000th goal is attributed as an own goal to Daniel Majstorovic / People don’t really like Gareth Barry all that much / The Rule Book is finally starting to enter football consciousness / What’s the point of England friendlies?

For other Dubious Goals Committee decisions, visit our archive

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We are The Dubious Goals Committee. We are just kicking our heels until the next 'dubious goal' is scored. This blog is the result...

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