In my time as a manager I have seen my teams score incredible goals. Some through impressive shots, several through team plays practised on the training ground and others that have been vitally important to the club’s survival. This is my TOP 3.
Brighton 3 Crystal Palace 0 – 2012/13 Season – Second and third goals
Brighton’s main rivals are Crystal Palace, so you simply have to win these games. If you win in style then great, and these goals helped us do exactly that. I have gone for the second and third goals in this match.
At Brighton, our style of play was easy on the eye, but when derby games come around, sometimes beauty can be lost in the passion and desire put in to every match, luckily, we were able to do what we did every week; we controlled the game, hunted for goals and were always in it to win it.
The second goal was a free kick from David López (ex-Athletic Bilbao), which he put well above the wall before it went in off the underside of the crossbar, making it impossible to save. The celebrations were incredible, the fans exploded with admiration, it was unforgettable.
The third goal was total football. After controlling the ball down the right, we passed it in-field to our midfielder who was running in an arc from the right, who then found the perfect ball to the far post where Andrea Orlandi (ex-Barcelona) had lost his marker and headed the ball down to Leonardo Ulloa who buried it in the back of the net.
A classic, a resounding win and spectacular goals… it was a day that will stay in my memory for ever and I’m sure in many fans’ memories.
Sunderland 2 West Brom 0 – 2013/14 Season – Second goal
After taking on the biggest challenge of my career as a manager, (I arrived at Sunderland in the Premier League with 1 point from 7 games played, or in other words, 1 point from a possible 21) and after the end of a season dubbed a “miracle”, this match was special.
We had achieved incredible feats in the matches running up to it (a draw away at Man City, winning away at Mourinho’s Chelsea, thrashing Cardiff at home and beating Man Utd away), and winning this match made us safe.
The nerves were difficult to control and when we scored the second goal, with a great pass from Seb Larsson to Fabio Borini who scored a volley, from then, the miracle was almost complete. It was a very special moment in my career as a manager, we celebrated like we had won a trophy.
Bordeaux 4 Toulouse 2 – 2017/18 Season – Second goal
I arrived at Bordeaux at the end of January to try to move them up the table, away from the drop zone, and after achieving this objective, we got the chance to see whether we were good enough to get into Europe.
In the penultimate game of the year, a derby against Toulouse, the team was playing a very special brand of football, and had recently gained important wins, most notably away against St Étienne and Montpellier). This team were on the field to win, playing a new style of football, intimidated by no one (even though Toulouse scored first) and everyone bought in to what we were trying to do.
The goal itself came from some great vision. Sabaly ran down the right-hand side and crossed it through a crowd of players in the box to Braithwaite (currently at Barcelona) who volleyed it in. It was special because we gave the players several things to believe in, which in turn made the players believe even more in our vision, which is always very fulfilling for a manager.