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Great goal… now get your coat

OPINION: Erik Lamela’s rabona soon lost its shine as Spurs lost the north London derby

18 March, 2021 — By Richard Osley

“YOU’LL be seeing that for years to come!”, screamed the breathless Spurs Twitter account. “Erik Lamela with a ridiculous rabona into the far corner – an iconic derby goal!”

Of course, with Tottenham Hotspur, the ridiculous often follows the ridiculous and Lamela later foolishly got himself sent off and Spurs lost the big one. And so while his goal may well win “goal of the season” – does that count as a trophy​​​? – every time it is talked about for’years to come’, the essential reminder will come that he was also got a red card… and lost.

Rather takes the shine off it.

Think of any masterpiece goal through history and how many were scored by a player on a losing team.

Brazil’s total football goal in 1970 – they won. Maradona’s twirly run in 1986 – Argentina won. Marco Van Basten’s volley for the Netherlands in 1988 – they beat the USSR. Dennis Bergkamp’s control and finish against Argentina in 1998 – the Netherlands won. Bergkamp’s best ever against Newcastle in 2004 – Arsenal won.

Even Danny Rose’s lottery ticket-buying balloon kick in the 2010 north London derby saw Spurs actually win that day.

Truth is, a goal is only truly one of the great, if it wins you the match – otherwise you might as well be doing keepy-uppy stunts in a travelling circus crossing the United States. Lamela can join the globetrotters, Arsenal have the win.

THERE is a gambling safety advert doing the rounds in which a crazed wrestler takes down anybody trying to place a bet on the Bulgarian second division or something like that. Most likely gamblers will laugh and then stick a tenner on Sozopol versus Minyor Pernik… did I Google that right?

But surely if authorities really cared they would not have allowed the scandal of the Football Index develop. Islington firm Leigh Day is looking into possible legal action, but how did the Gambling Commission allow it to get this far?

Did people really think they had safe shares in professional footballers? £90million is said to be locked up in the company as it collapsed.

And how did people get sucked in? Perhaps, the massive marketing campaign helped: the Index was advertised on the tube, on the side of cabs and on actual professional teams’ shirts, including the Queens Park Rangers strip.

If you want to watch football on TV, there’s not much escape from being urged to take part in betting. The glaring need for reform pipes up in every ad break.

• MARTIN Keown watch: This week the ominpresent Martin Keown was irritating for repeatedly describing footballers as being a “Rolls Royce of a player”.

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