10 surprising winners of the BBC’s Goal of the Month competition
Certain players are capable of producing spectacular moments on an alarmingly regular basis. Great goalscorers and scorers of great goals, their outstanding feats almost become routine. Thierry Henry, Matt Le Tissier, Alan Shearer, Dennis Bergkamp and Cristiano Ronaldo are among those to have won the BBC’s Goal of the Month competition more than once.
But scanning the list of previous winners, there are several surprising names who have earned their place in the pantheon of excellent Premier League goals. Here are 10 of the most unexpected.
Barry Horne – Everton vs Wimbledon, May 1994
Goalscoring was never Horne’s specialty: the Welsh midfielder represented Everton with distinction for four years but found the net just three times. The second was a thumping 30-yard half-volley that levelled the scores against Wimbledon on the final day of the season in a game the Toffees needed to win to stay up.
Graham Stuart got the decisive goal late on, but it was Horne’s effort that stood out in terms of technique and execution. Striding purposefully through the centre of the park, he touched the ball down with his thigh and then unleashed a swerving shot which cannoned in off the post.
Kevin Davies – Southampton vs Everton, November 1997
For many, Davies will always be the stocky, battering-ram centre-forward he became at Bolton – pinning back defenders, battling for headers and generally being a nuisance. But in the earlier phase of his career he was much more lean and spritely, often playing wide on the right and possessing a decent turn of pace.
He scored nine goals in his first season in the top fight with Southampton, which persuaded Blackburn to sign him for a club record £7.5m in 1998. The best of those strikes came against Everton, as Davies picked up the ball in his own half, weaved past three players and opened up his body to find the bottom corner.
Stephen Carr – Tottenham vs Man United, October 1999
A tireless, hard-running right-back, Carr had plenty going for him - but a return of just nine goals in 500 competitive appearances shows that finishing wasn't one of his strong points. The defender could certainly strike a ball, though, as he demonstrated in a 3-1 win over Manchester United at White Hart Lane.
Picking up possession towards the right touchline, Carr galloped forward before hitting a fierce shot angled towards the far post which beat Mark Bosnich all ends up. It completed a rare Tottenham victory over Alex Ferguson’s side, who had claimed an unprecedented treble the previous season.
Denny Landzaat – Wigan vs Arsenal, February 2007
After captaining AZ Alkmaar to second place in the Eredivisie and then representing the Netherlands at the World Cup, Landzaat surprisingly signed for Wigan in July 2006. During the first of two seasons with the Latics he scored twice, one an outstanding effort against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Julius Aghahowa held the ball up well under pressure and looked to tee up Josip Skoko for a shot, but his pass was prodded away to Landzaat. From more than 30 yards out the defensive midfielder took one touch to set himself and then clattered the ball past the despairing dive of Jens Lehmann.
Daryl Murphy – Sunderland vs Wigan, February 2008
Sunderland narrowly avoided relegation in their first season back in the Premier League under Roy Keane, having previously gone down with a then-record low points tally of 15. Murphy had been part of that team but had a happier experience second time around, the highlight of which was this brilliant goal against Wigan.
It owed much to the persistence of Andy Reid, who won the ball and showed excellent vision to release Murphy down the right. The Irish striker then cut inside onto his left foot and cracked the ball in off the bar. The goal confirmed a valuable 2-0 win which made all the difference come the end of the campaign.