Bizarre goal reactions
Goals, as the cliché goes, change games, so it’s only natural for participants and supporters to respond with jubilation when their team finds the net. It also follows that the concession of a goal can provoke anger and frustration, but there have been numerous occasions when some of the people involved have taken things a tad too far.
In this slideshow, we pick out 10 of the most bizarre goal reactions, featuring episodes from England, Argentina and Elland Road.
George Graham: sore winner
Delighted with a routine 3-1 win against Queens Park Rangers in late 1986, Arsenal supporters barely even noticed the visitors’ late consolation. His irate boss George Graham certainly did, though, and duly locked defenders Kenny Sansom, Viv Anderson, Tony Adams and David O’Leary in the dressing room for over an hour to deliver the mother of all rollockings.
“George questioned whether we wanted to play at Arsenal,” Sansom later revealed. The Gunners hadn’t conceded in the previous five games, and they still emerged victorious against QPR. What a perfectionist.
Flamengo fan guns for match ball
“It wasn’t the first time I’d seen that happen,” claimed Brazilian maverick Caju after an explosive end to a game between Botafogo and Flamengo in 1970.
When O Fogao notched a late equaliser, an incensed rival fan ran onto the pitch armed with a loaded pistol and proceeded to pump its contents into the match ball. In the grand scheme of things, he chose his target sensibly – better an inanimate sphere than any of the Botafogo players or match officials – but Caju clearly wasn’t impressed.
“He was a nutter,” the attacking midfielder said later. “He needs a new brain.”
Willis Edwards punishes the post
Leeds right-half Willis Edwards, a £1,500 signing from Chesterfield in 1925, was renowned for his borderline psychotic will to win. But he took things too far in the 1926 close-season when, in a practice game, he repeatedly booted his own goalpost after the Yorkshire outfit conceded a late goal.
Edwards broke three toes and nearly missed the start of the upcoming season. The reaction would have been understandable had there been points on the line, but a pre-season friendly? Take a chill pill, Will.
Cristiano Ronaldo fails to hail Bale
Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale was understandably delighted to have scored in a 2015 game against Levante, ending a barren run of 10 matches without a goal for the Wales international.
But not everyone was chuffed for the wide man: rather than celebrate with Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo threw his arms up in disgruntlement when the ball crossed the line, having scuffed his bicycle attempt moments earlier.
"It's difficult to be Cristiano and he has been performing at a very high level for a number of years," team-mate Sergio Ramos reasoned post-match. Poor old Ronnie.
With his team locked in a relegation battle in March 2012 and just a handful of Bundesliga games remaining, Hamburg boss Thorsten Fink employed a unique approach to improve Die Rothosen’s defending from free-kicks and corners: fining them €500 per set-piece strike conceded.
“I was like a father,” he harrumphed. “Footballers are like children. But I let them take some money back out of the pot once we’d stayed up.” Have that, Mother Theresa.
Rebottaro's one-man walk-out
Newell’s Old Boys defender Rebottaro was a renowned firebrand defender, repeatedly berating his back four for their sloppiness.
But Rebottaro took things a step further in a 1972 league fixture against River Plate by simply walking out of the ground at half-time after his side conceded just before the break. “I admire his passion, but one has to stay and fight,” said manager Juan Urriolabeitia. Which was a pretty calm reaction in the circumstances.
When Colchester went 4-0 up inside 22 minutes of their 2009 game at Norwich, one furious home supporter sprinted towards manager Bryan Gunn – a Canaries legend who made almost 500 appearances for the club – and ripped up his £350 season ticket. It was the opening day of the campaign.
Gunn departed a week later and Norwich soon recovered from that 7-1 shellacking to win the league with 95 points under Paul Lambert – the coach who’d masterminded Colchester’s early-season lesson. Err, don’t suppose there’s any chance of getting that season ticket back?
Footloose Roose answers abuse
The clown prince of goalkeepers during the early 20th century, Stoke shot-stopper Leigh Richmond Roose thought nothing of sitting on top of his crossbar during breaks in play, or engaging in conversation with members of the crowd.
He also had the shortest of fuses, and in 1905 sought out a barracker who’d criticised him for conceding a late goal against Everton. At a swanky post-match reception, Roose booted him straight in the plums; it’s safe to say the supporter in question kept his thoughts to himself from that point onwards.
When Belgian lower-league outfit Wijtschate conceded their 16th goal in a meeting with Vladslo in 2002, referee Marc Gevaert did the humane thing and called time on the game after 80 minutes.
“I didn’t want to start sending off any of their players, but they were starting to get frustrated and upset,” explained the kindly man in black, who was clearly concerned for the safety of all those involved.
“We didn’t want the referee taking any pity on us,” complained a club spokesman, his team’s backline having been breached on 132 occasions in 15 matches. There’s just no pleasing some people.
Grob the Gob's Macca-smacking
Steve McManaman’s poor clearance in a 1993 derby with Everton was responsible for Mark Ward’s opening goal, which didn’t escape the attention of the Liverpool winger’s goalkeeper, Bruce Grobbelaar.
The Zimbabwean shot-stopper grabbed his colleague by the throat, gave him a piece of his mind and shoved him in the face. McManaman gave the eccentric stopper a bit back before walking away from the enraged net-minder, which was probably the wisest decision he made all game.
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