Main Image: DCFC
Anyone know what day it is? Heard it's a Thursday from some bloke in the queue for the Rennies at Sainsbury's this morning. Keith, his name was. Nice bloke on many accounts. Awful off a few others. Six of one, isn't it?
But now is not time for Keith or for days of the week. Now is time for the Top 15 THWACKs of the year. The biggest ones. The largest ones. The ones you're going to remember, until at least the end of the day. Whatever day it is. Sit back, stroke your belly, enjoy. These are the THWACKs to end all THWACKs.
THWACK #15 - PABLO FORNALS V ATHLETIC BILBAO
Sometimes you hit a THWACK so bloody good, then when it inexplicably comes off you just run for a bit, slide and then fall over and decide to bury your face in the grass and ignore all the commotion going on around you. That’s exactly what Pablo Fornals did when he silenced the San Memés with this opportunistic, looping and downright ludicrous shot in September. Once his teammates’ disbelief had worn off, there appears to be genuine concern for the wellbeing of Pablo who just lies prostate face down in the turf for far too long. He’s fine of course, but frankly, when you’ve scored a goal this silly, you can do whatever you want.
THWACK #14 - RUBEN NEVES V DERBY
Weeeeee’ve got Neves / Rúúúúúvúben Neves / I just don’t think you understaaaaaand / He’s a Wolverhampton man / He’s better than Zidane / We’ve got Rúúúúúúúúben Neves.
Hits this volley from behind him, does Rúben. Madness.
THWACK #13 - WILSON V IRELAND
Harry Wilson’s goal for Wales Vs Ireland.pic.twitter.com/9XS9HXXffK— LFC Round Up (@LFCroundup) October 16, 2018
Gwlad, Gwlad, pleidiol wyf i'm gwlad / Tra môr yn fur i'r bur hoff bau / O bydded i'r hen iaith barhau.
THWACK #12 - PAVARD V ARGENTINA
As thwacks go, this is arguably the most cultured, of the year, the absolutely perfect coming together of precision, technique and power. Look at that beautiful Telstar, revolution after revolution after revolution after revolution after revolution after revolution as it arcs just shy of the post into the side netting. What makes this thing of beauty even more beautiful is that the architect of this masterpiece was watching France in a fan park with his mates just two years prior to him doing absolute bits on the greatest stage of them all. Football is brilliant.
THWACK #11 - MCGINN V SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY
This was John McGinn’s first goal in English football for Aston Villa and, seriously, how the fucking hell is he ever going to top this? Every day in training he’ll be swinging and shanking to laughter from the lads, and in every bloody game for the rest of his time in the Midlands, the Villa fans will shout SHOOT whenever the ball is near him in the air, and he won’t be able to do anything about it. Just retire, mate.
THWACK #10 - HARKNESS V SWEDEN FUTSAL
INDOOR THWACK pic.twitter.com/G087PolKcf— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) August 23, 2018
Remember when you play five-a-side or indoor football, and it’s your turn in goal and once in a while you have a go at scoring from your own box and it never works it just cracks the back of Steve’s head as he does his shoelaces up and tucks his fat back into his Sondico-shorts waistband and their striker takes it, passes it past your stupid size 14 boot into the back of the net, and it’s 18–2 to them? Alice Harkness has a go though, in the UEFA Women’s Futsal Euros Qualifier between Northern Ireland and Sweden, and it goes right in. From one goal to the next. We support Alice Harkness now.
THWACK #9 - DONCASTER PRESEASON MADNESS
COMEDY GOALKEEPING THWACK pic.twitter.com/SsRzeYBq30— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) July 26, 2018
On the volley, my son. A stupid goal. A completely stupid goal. Put it on my grave and call me Bob. This is real football.
THWACK #8 - WANYAMA V LIVERPOOL
Now, what a goal. What a goal. Goes without saying. Starts outside the post curls back in. Rolls down the back of the net. Still moving at speed. Insane. Look at Poch’s face. He can’t believe it.
But poor old Loris Karius, ay? He’s done alright here; God love him. Pushed it out of harm’s way, into the path of Emre Can. Go on, Emre. Get rid of it fella. Put your foot through it. Oh no. Oh, bloody hell. Where are you off? Juventus. Decent. I’m going to Beşiktaş, mate. All the best anyway. Good luck to you. Nah, they won’t like me much. It’ll be a loan, yeah. Yours a permanent deal, is it? With Juventus. Nah, fair play to you. Yeah. Decent. Cool.
THWACK #7 - WILSON V MANCHESTER UNITED
Wilson goal vs United. I'm not even mad tbh what a goal. pic.twitter.com/mlDZYkL6HG— The Boi (@ChuBoi) September 25, 2018
Dunno why this isn’t first, to be honest. It’s one of the best goals I’ve ever seen in my life. Wilson has seen his mate Gareth hit the ball in training and decided that not only has he got a full head of hair (we all know, Gar, just shave it off), he’s better at free kicks.
He’s defied physics with it, the baby-faced boy from Corwen has seen Einstein and run up to him and pulled his pants down. “See you, Einstein; you don’t know anything, or you Brian Cox, with your hair and your tele show. None of you know anything about science.” None of us know anything about football either cos Wilson has broken it with this goal. Shattered the dimensions between reality and dreams. Da iawn.
THWACK #6 - SISTO V LEVANTE
ANGLES. FOOTBALL IS ALL ABOUT ANGLES. AND PACE. FOOTBALL IS ALL ABOUT PACE. AND GOALS. FOOTBALL IS ALL ABOUT GOALS. SISTO COMPLETES THEM ALL. SHOTGUNS THE BALL RIGHT OVER THE GOALIES HEAD. LEAVES HIM BLOWING IN ITS WIND. LIKE THOSE PEOPLE ON THE BEACH IN THAT PLACE WHERE THE PLANES GO REAL LOW OVER AS THEY LAND. THAT’S WHAT THE GOALIE LOOKS LIKE AFTER THIS GOES OVER HIS HEAD. THOSE PEOPLE ON THE BEACH. ALL INCLUSIVE. A THWACK BUFFET.
THWACK #5 - REACH V LEEDS
“Wheeeeeeeeeey.” Go the Leeds fans when Reach hits this. “WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY!” Go the Sheffield Wednesday fans when this goes up and down and into the net off the post. Can’t stop watching this one, a stupid stupid stupid goal.
THWACK #4 - SADLIER V ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC
Wait for it... waaaaaait for it.... THWACK! pic.twitter.com/HFm4pq5Egy— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) June 10, 2018
You’ve seen these ones before—the ones when the goalie comes up for a corner as the ref gets ready to blow up. And you’ve seen the ones when the goalie scores—the wrong person in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. But most of the time, the ball gets cleared, the keeper scampers back, and the ref blows up. Game over lads. Thank u, next. This one’s different. So different.
As the ball drops to Kieran Sadlier on the edge of his own box, he looks up and sees eighty yards of grass in front of him with a goal at the end of it. And, he fucking whacks it. Smashes the shit out of it. The ball thwacks through the air, bounces, rolls, and, eventually, rolls over the line. It’s the longest thwack of all. The biggest thwack. The (third best) thwack of the year.
THWACK #3 - TOWNSEND V MANCHESTER CITY
Andros Townsend used to be a pundit on the telly box. Andros Townsend just ruined Pep Guardiola’s Christmas. Andros Townsend might have just relegated Manchester City.
THWACK #2 - MILENKOVIC V CHIEVO
Nuts it. Fucking nuts the ball then blasts it. It’s an assault. It’s extremely nice to watch.
THWACK #1 - MILLS V NORTH FERRIBY
Our 2018/19 goal of the season competition is now closed.— Mickleover Sports FC (@MickleoverSFC) August 26, 2018
Take a bow Pablo Mills 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/68EA0SbkdD
This is the perfect combination of strike and context. The cameraman, dismayed at the scene unfolding before him, utters “They’ve only got one ball! They’re fucking shit!” as another scuffed shot is blocked then cleared from the North Ferriby box. Doesn’t look like it’s been a great game. Up steps Pablo Mills, 34-year-old Brummie defensive midfielder with spells at Derby County, Walsall, Rotherham, Crawley, Macclesfield, Bury, Cheltenham, and Brackley under his belt, now turning out for Mickleover Sports in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, one of those classic "been about a bit" players with "a little something extra" at a level where every ounce of experience counts, to receive the ball in the middle, a header knocked down to him and bouncing around thirty yards from goal...
“Oh, fucking hell.” Screeches from the kids in attendance. Disbelieving laughter. A bolt from the blue. A strike from The Beyond. Pablo Simeon Ishmael Mills has spun, taking barely a step, the ball landing on the perfect blade of grass, his right foot meeting it in holy matrimony. He cuts across it just so, putting the full force of sixteen years of professional football behind it, all the disappointing loan spells, the nearlys, the coulds, the mights, the shoulds, a decade and a half of career careening through the air past a goalkeeper who has quickly realise he hasn’t a fucking hope in hell here.
It lands in the top corner. The opposition fans clap. He wheels away. He is immortalised in Mickleover history. Pablo Mills scoring the ultimate goal. They can’t take that away from him. Thwack.
Thanks for reading this. What a year it's been. Might be the end of THWACKs, though. Straight into the ground for that little social burner. We covered our favourite parts of 2018 in Issue 16 of MUNDIAL Magazine. You can buy it here and it'll turn up to your door. Nice.