Images: Offside Sports Photography
Hello. It’s Christmas now. Auntie Barbara is in the kitchen telling your mom about veganism (she feels so much better now) and tutting at the multi-packs of Müller Corner stacked high in the fridge, your brother is calling you from John Lewis asking if you reckon ‘uncle Bert would like a fire pit for the garden’, and your dad, well, your dad hasn’t been seen since Saturday. Went out to get goose fat because Nigella told your nan's neighbour to tell your nan to tell your dad it’s back. He's gone now.
You, however, you’d probably like some THWACKs to watch. We’ve compiled our top fifty from 2018. Here’s 50–31. Next batch out tomorrow. Ho. Ho. Ho.
THWACK #50 - OBIANG V SPURS
Pedro Obiang’s strike is thunderous. A proper, no-real-run-up, out of nowhere, thwack. Even if Hugo Lloris had regular-size eyes, he wouldn’t’ve seen this one coming. Should’ve won the game but, as West Ham will do, they threw it away. This goal at number fifty? Classic anti-London bias from the media.
THWACK #49 - DAVIDSON V NEWRY
Got a lot of time for Glentoran’s shirt tbh. Green with red sleeves, not many teams do that, do they? And just look at that old-fashioned stand opposite the camera and also the lovely, lovely swathes of terracing behind the goal. The thwack even has a touch of yesteryears about it as well; it’s Radfordesque. And look at those dugouts Davidson runs to after producing the unexpected. Gonna have to get to Belfast at some point and see this all for ourselves.
THWACK #48 - NGBAKOTO V RENNES
PSG may have run away with the league, but Ligue 1 is still full of gems. How's this for a 92nd minute winner. pic.twitter.com/XJ6aNKccvu— Eli (@ElMengem) February 4, 2018
Like how lost the goalie is in this. Like he’s walking back from The Bishop’s Staff on Christmas Eve after seventeen pints of Crooked Goblin and has suddenly remembered there isn’t an Underground in Droitwich. Sits down and waits for the 257, a bus service that was cancelled in 1988. Watches his own demise float into the back of the net. Class.THWACK #47 - HARDY V UNCC VCU form their own little wall before Hardy hammers this top bins; it’s in the last minute, it’s an unbelievable free kick. Absolutely no fucking clue what the commentator is on about, like.
THWACK #46 - MOONEY V BRACKLEY TOWN Fair play to Daniel Mooney, who has obviously seen enough of the absolute bobbins going on around him and smashed the piss out of one so he doesn’t have to watch another atrocious header.
THWACK #45 - MEUNIER V BASEL
One of the least right-backy right backs in modern football. Shouldn’t be allowed to do that. Look at the swazz.
BENDY THWACK-ATTACK.pic.twitter.com/oNNj8Erjan— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) November 1, 2018
THWACK #44 - MARTÍNEZ V NYC
THWACK https://t.co/UJVIKiv8Rn— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) November 12, 2018
This one is deceptive. It’s one of those instantly iconic goals that seem to set up the glories that follow: Josef Martínez, the best player in the league, leading goal scorer and consummate “fuck it, I’ll do it all myself” forward, receives a scoop ball over the top of the City defence, settles and time slooooooooooooooows and he goes: yes. Or more, probably: sí, since he speaks Spanish. He goes “Sí; we are winning this league title.” But he says the whole thing in Spanish, you’d imagine. All of it. In his head. In the split-second it takes for the ball to land at his boot. And he wellies it in for good measure. Have some of that. In Spanish. Atlanta win the game. Win the series. Win the league. That’s how you do it.
THWACK #43 - NOLAN V CHARLTON
WATCH: WOW! Jon Nolan take a bow! 😱— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) May 10, 2018
A goal worthy of winning any game has settled a play-off semi-final first leg! 🚀
Recap Shrewsbury's 1-0 win over Charlton at the Valley here: https://t.co/AMfaQY59I1 pic.twitter.com/Gi5wqOMur3
This is like that Arsenal goal that (wrongly) won goal of the year a few seasons back, except it’s better because it looks like your mates trying to do the bin challenge in a freezing cold dressing room in Macclesfield. And Jack Wilshere isn’t in it.
THWACK #42 - BARCIA V AL AIN
Remember those set squares you always got at the start of term in a little box with a protractor (great for that stab between the fingers game), a ruler (great for straight lines), and a rubber (great for chucking at people. Well, the angle at which this ball travels into the top corner in this goal is that exact angle. Don’t know what angle it was, always lost that bit in the first week. Big boot though, this one.
THWACK #41 - ROMAGNOLI V GENOA
IT'S OVER YER HEAD, SON. NOT OFF YER HEAD, SON.
THWACK #40 - POUNDJÉ V MARIUPOL
Don’t you ever say I just walked away / I will always want you / I can’t live a lie, running for my life / I will always want you / I came in like a wrecking ball / I never hit so hard in love / All I wanted was to break your walls / All you ever did was break me / Yeah, you wreck me.
THWACK #39 - PARUNASHVILI V MIDTJYLLAND
Lasha Parunashvili has a very special set of skills, and if you fuck about with his mates, he’ll come around and volley your head off.
THWACK #38 - PITA V CD LUGO
There was a kid who played for the local town team who always had predators with what looked like massive blades and could kick the ball into the next county. He was called Jamie. Don’t think this is him, but it’s the kind of thing he did on a Saturday morning all the time. Massive long throw, too. Get the towels out, son.
THWACK #37 - GREALISH V CARDIFF
Never scored one of these. Ever. Too long to think about it, tried to be clever. Either trapped it, feinted and been promptly tackled, or put it into orbit. Well in, Jack. That’s why you’re a footballer, and we are writing about THWACKS on the train home for Christmas.
THWACK #36 - GARUCCIO V CALEDONIAN THISTLE
THWACK. pic.twitter.com/KY2TNxTDQg— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) July 29, 2018
Ben Garuccio sounds like one of ‘the zips’ The Sopranos get over from the Old Country to do their wet work. And, tbf, you wouldn’t want his left foot on your case.
THWACK #35 - CARILLO V AUSTRALIA
THWACK. pic.twitter.com/CxEMmHWtHb— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) June 26, 2018
WE STILL SUPPORT PERU NOW.
THWACK #34 - SIGURÐSSON V LEICESTER
Reykjavík is believed to be the location of the first permanent settlement in Iceland, which, according to Ingólfr Arnarson, was established in AD 874. Until the 19th century, there was no urban development in the city location. Founded in 1786 as an official trading town, it grew steadily over the following decades as it transformed into a regional, and later national, centre of commerce, population, and governmental activities. It is among the cleanest, greenest, and safest cities in the world.
Gylffi can’t half give it some welly.
THWACK #33 - RAKITIĆ V SPURS
There is so much to enjoy in this goal. The passing move that almost brings about a tiki-taka goal for the ages. The insane pass/midair assist from Phil Coutinho. The acrobatic adjustment that Rakitić makes in midair to connect perfectly with the said pass. However, the huge cherry on an admittedly very very nice cake is the beautiful dink the ball makes off the post and in. The super slo-mo of it as the ball arrows into the goal before a sudden and dramatic change of direction is cinematic perfection.
THWACK #32 - MCHUGH V HEARTS
THWACK #31 - COOK V EASTLEIGH
THWACK! pic.twitter.com/hQI3uIoIxQ— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) March 24, 2018
Is he laughing because he nearly fell over and had a swing or because he’s scored a genuinely good goal?
And, well, that's your lot. We'll be back tomorrow with THWACKS 30 – 16. Bet you can't wait. Merry Christmas and all that. If you'd like to read more stuff like this, but in an actual magazine, Issue 16 is available here.