Was Jack Wilshere's the Best Team Goal in Premier League History?
Goals are great, they really are. There are just so many ways to score them. There are 101 in fact, as tabulated by brilliant Football Cliches expert Adam Hurrey.
Regardless of how they are scored, they all do count. It's a blessing and a curse. I mean surely Wayne Rooney's exceptional bicycle kick winner against Manchester City in 2011 should have put United at least 4-1 up rather than two?
It only seems fair that a goal of the quality of Dennis Bergkamp's magnificent last-minute winner against Argentina in the quarter-final of the World Cup should have at least given the Netherlands a 1-0 headstart going into the semi?
I jest, of course.
Individual goals are fantastic, but team goals are sometimes just that little bit more wonderful.
Those of us who play FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer know how much harder it is to score a fantastic team goal when playing on the same side as a friend or two. And you can not argue that it is somehow a lot more satisfying as a result.
I imagine this is exactly the same feeling Jack Wilshere felt last Saturday afternoon when he started and finished Arsenal's exceptional opener against Norwich (OK, maybe not exactly the same, but you get what I mean).
But was it the greatest team goal in Premier League history? Well, here are the top five.
OK fine, I'll admit that I've cheated slightly for an honourable mention. This is a list about the Premier League's greatest team goals after all.
But this is still as good a time as any to shoehorn in what is surely the greatest team goal of all time, right?
Beginning with a Maxi Rodriguez toe poke to regain the ball, it found its way to Hernan Crespo 25 odd passes later who back-heeled it into the path of Esteban Cambiasso to finish.
What makes it so good was the purposefulness behind the passing. Every touch, shimmy and layoff felt genuinely like it was leading somewhere.
Also, the move featured involvement from every Argentine outfield player apart from the right-back Nicolas Burdisso. A pretty impressive achievement.
Another mention must go to Manchester United's fantastic counterattacking goal away at Arsenal in 2010, a game well-remembered for the emergence of Nani from the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo. It's just a shame he's now disappeared again.
Also for this fantastic Benfica goal, for no real other reason than I just stumbled across it and it's really good.
5. Carlos Vela
I should mention now that you're probably in the wrong place if you don't like watching brilliant Arsenal team goals because this isn't going to be the last one on the list.
Carlos Vela was once the most promising young forward at Arsenal and possibly even in the Premier League. It never quite worked out for him in England, but he will always have this little beauty as a reminder of his time there.
Not only did the young Mexican finish the move superbly off a lofted through ball from Cesc Fabregas (the assist machine), but he also won the ball back to start the move before getting involved again a few passes later.
Perhaps a minor drawback was that a lot of Fabregas, Denilson and Alex Song's neat little triangles could be construed more as intricate showboating around a clearly exhausted Bolton midfield, rather than genuinely incisive attacking play.
Still a fantastic team goal all the same.
4. Mark Davies
Surely the only thing more surprising than such an exceptional team goal by Bolton Wanderers is that someone, somewhere took the time to make a Mark Davies compilation video.
If you don't want to journey through the best 161 seconds of the English Iniesta's career, then skip to 0:35 for the goal, it is quite brilliant. Particular mention must go to Ivan Klasnic, who provided that lovely little layoff assist.
The goal itself was an 89th-minute equaliser in a frantic and entertaining 2-2 draw with Blackpool that lifted Bolton into fifth.
It supposedly marked down the moment that manager Owen Coyle finally got his team playing football along the ground after years of long ball under Sam Allardyce and Gary Megson. Unfortunately it didn't last.
3. Patrick Vieira
Arsenal again then. It's almost as if their well-renowned for their team goals.
Pretty much every goal is worth a watch from this game, but it was Vieira's after 0:47 that was the pick of the bunch.
Arsenal had already stormed into an early two-goal lead before Edu found van Persie, who's dainty lay off found Bergkamp. The way the Dutch maestro takes three defenders out of the game with one through ball is incredible, and Vieira's finish wasn't half bad either.
The whole thing happened pretty much in the blink of an eye. Unlike Vela's goal, this was not the carving open of a tired and dejected Bolton Wanderers; this was the brutal annihilation of an Everton team that was chasing Champions League football.
It also came in a game that was, perhaps, the last great performance from the Invincibles, making it even more worthy of a place on this list.
2. Didier Drogba
It got a bit weird for a while there at No. 3 didn't it, what with Bolton not being involved.
But the Trotters are back in at No. 2, this time on the end of another positively superlative team goal that was made in Chelsea.
2009/10 was a season in which Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea team scored a quite incredible 103 goals, with Didier Drogba grabbing 29 of them. This one, though, was probably the finest of the lot.
Nicolas Anelka and Deco's touches were superb. but it was Frank Lampard's deft flick that brought the move together and made it all possible.
It may have been a relatively meaningless fourth in a hugely dominant win, but it was extremely memorable all the same. One-touch football does not get any better than this.
1. Jack Wilshere
Oh, hang on, it does.
I never thought I'd see a one-touch goal better than that of Drogba's until Arsenal (yes, them again) tore through Norwich last Saturday afternoon.
Why is it the best? It was a goal that had pretty much everything you could ask for from a team goal. It was a sweeping counterattack with dynamic movement, incisive passing and electric one-touch football.
Unlike all the other goals (apart from Mark Davies), it played a key role in shaping the result of the match, what with it being the opener.
Wilshere also managed a finish that was cooler than a cucumber in a Samuel L. Jackson movie.
There were four Norwich City players standing between Olivier Giroud and Wilshere and not a single one could do anything about it—it was that good.
So, as it turns out, the answer is yes. Wilshere's goal on Saturday afternoon was the greatest team goal in Premier League history.
Not the greatest ever—that honour remains with Argentina (and probably will do until a team use ALL their outfield players rather than shunning their right-back). But it will take an awful lot for there to be a better one in the Premier League, and if there is, chances are it will probably be Arsenal again.