Pajtim Kasami takes Jack Wilshere's 'golden goal' crown
On Saturday evening the majority of football fans and so-called experts alike were fairly convinced we had already witnessed the goal of the season.
The reason for this early, some might say premature, euphoria was Jack Wilshere’s cool and clinical conclusion to a move which mesmerised a helpless Norwich defence – and left the rest of us clutching our armchairs in disbelief.
It was pure poetry in motion which got better with every viewing; a sublime display of one-touch football we have come to expect from Arsenal – but not on this level. Even Arsene Wenger described it as the greatest goal of his Gunners’ reign.
But with Wilshere’s wonder goal still Arctic-fresh in the mind, we were forced into a major re-think. Fast forward little more than 48 hours and substitute the palatial Emirates for the somewhat less salubrious surroundings of Selhurst Park.
Enter Pajtim Kasami, Fulham’s Swiss international whose Premier League record had boasted just one goal in 14 sporadic appearances since joining the Cottagers in 2011. If ever there was a way to announce ‘I am here’ this was it.
There looked to be little danger to a seemingly in-control Crystal Palace defence as a ball over the top to Kasami gave the Fulham man a lot to do to simply keep the move alive. Kasami had other ideas.
Perfect control on his chest saw the ball drop invitingly, and Kasami produced a volley of Marco Van Basten proportions which also evoked memories of a Fernando Torres strike against Blackburn when he was in his Liverpool pomp.
Fulham’s Dutch boss Martin Jol’s mind went back to that Van Basten volley in 1988, as he remarked: “Pajtim’s goal was better than you think. He controlled it on his chest and put it in the other corner. Marco's was very different. You can't compare them - but this was better!"
Selhurst Park held its breath as Julian Speroni in the Palace goal was left literally clutching thin air. We were all gob-smacked but it wasn’t until a few minutes had elapsed that I realised the true magnitude of this wonder strike.
The next time I witnessed Kasami in action was when he cut in from the LEFT on his favoured LEFT foot. It was then it dawned on me that his earlier, stunning goal had been scored with his WRONG foot. It was his swinger for heaven’s sake!
Icing on the cake for Fulham fans wasn’t too long coming as Steve Sidwell made it 2-0 with an impressive right foot volley of his own which, on another occasion, would have taken the prize for the highlight of the evening.
Sidwell’s strike was also with his ‘other’ foot and was a just reward for not only his performance on the night, but his dynamic and determined displays for the rejuvenated Cottagers in recent weeks. Another contender for PFA Fans’ Player of the Month, perhaps?
Back to Kasami though and the player himself described it as the best goal he has ever scored – no surprise there – whilst Sky pundit Gary Neville said: “It's absolutely sensational because everything has to be absolutely perfect. It's the goal of a lifetime for him.”
Final word goes to Jack Wilshere who sportingly conceded on Twitter: “Well there's my 'goal of the month' prize gone!!!! Take a bow!"
If you think Kasami's goal makes him a contender for the PFA Fans' Player of the Month award follow this link to our poll and register your vote!
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