A love letter to the dinked finish. My favourite.
It’s well satisfying to watch a goalkeeper look completely humiliated. Hundreds of
ways to do it – all displayed in textbook style by Il Fenomeno during a 10 minute
YouTube compilation to the soundtrack of a Russian dance banger. If given one last opportunity to see some top class Keeper shaming, I’d make a beeline for the Chip. Cheeky, arrogant & outright humiliating for the Keeps. All forms of the finish –fucking great. I get giddy just thinking about a clipped finish. My mates know me well. Over a few pints, game on, we see a dinked finish – “one for you that, lad”. I grin. I fucking love it. I’m not fussy either. Any style of chip. Hit from distance, ball well above the Keeps’ head, backpedalling. Striker wheeling off – Sheareresque with a single limb in the air before the ball even arrives home. Keeper, jaw to the floor, complete disbelief. Keeper falls into the netting. Bliss.
Latching onto a through ball. Keeper flying out. Slight angle. Keeps goes to
ground to steal the ball. No. Striker clips it. Up & over. Lands right into the bottom
corner. (Bounce before net entry optional). Keeper rolls onto his back in
embarrassment. Hasn’t even checked to see if it’s a goal. The sound of the crowd tells
him all he needs to know.
Here’s my favourite. The chance can arrive from a mazy run or a beauty of a through ball. Striker bearing down on goal. Ball glued to feet. A Western showdown. Keeper, determined not be embarrassed, holds firm. Fills the space. Broad shoulders. Takes a knee to make a block. Striker lofts the ball. This time not over the head, but over the shoulder. Keeper literally watches the ball past his face & into the net. Add defenders into the mix. Even better when the defender thinks he can get there but is always a yard too slow. I love goalkeepers. Totally underrated tradesmen, they are. A boss save is just as satisfying as a 30-yard screamer. Not a chip though. Nothing against Neuer & the boys – but in this instance, your pain is the world’s pleasure, & I have a front-row seat.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS: On the bounce, rooted keeper, defenders lobbed on
the line, off the woodwork & lobs that don’t actually come down until they roll down
I could’ve done a favourite 100.
Pires v Southampton
Proper lob. Classic FIFA 2002 when the cross button was actually called “Lob”.
Side foot, a bit of whip, classic backpedalling. Completes the hattrick. Typically
Lampard v Barcelona
Oh, Frankie Boy. Our very own. Our Frankie. Tight angle. Massive game. CROSS
IT TO DROGBA. The voice of ‘Arry Redknapp in Frank’s ear – “Go on, son. Have
a go. He’s off his line. Go where Niko & Crouchie have never gone before”. Lamps
chip it from virtually the byline & into the far side netting. Lovely stuff.
Messi v Bayern
Model chip. Just watch it. Embarrassed defenders, a classic Western showdown with Neuer. Over the shoulder. Lands flush in the bottom corner. I will say no more.
Totti v Inter
The master of chips, Totti is. It’s a non-argument. He has an 8-minute compilation
of the stuff. Christmas day every time I watch it. This one just epitomises how
easy he found the trade. Jogs through the middle. Looks up. Feints to lash it. Clips
it from 20 plus yards. The keeper dives backwards – still, acres from the ball – & in it
Bergkamp V Leverkeusen
He even slips & still pulls off an ice cool lob. Doesn’t even celebrate. TOTAAL
The chip is a delightful aspect of the game and, when utilised correctly, can dazzle every fan watching.