Two years after admitting he was an alcoholic, Tony Adams found glorious redemption with this strike that sealed the Premier League title for Arsenal...
The greatest goal I ever saw happened on Sunday May 3 1998, scored by Tony Adams, created by the puritans and forever etched on the memory of those who still believe in the romance of the beautiful game.
The goal itself came late on, already three-nil up against Everton, the title in the bag, a normally subdued Highbury bathed in the sun kissed innocence of youth, while the Arsenal old guard was about bid it farewell with one last waltz around the dance floor.
Wenger, by this stage two years into his tenure had instilled into his charges an ethos of total football; this from a team who’s idea of adventure previously had been butter on their crumpets. The season proceeding had been a glorious, with wins and reputations changing the fortunes of a side re - born. All of this was personified with swing of a left boot more accustomed to row z than the back of the net.
The ball broke lose on the half way line; it was then that he started his run. Past Platt, past Bould, past Overmars and still he carried on. The ball still not at his feet and with the threat offside looming, he checks his room, if only for second, but long enough for his long severing centre back partner to drift a ball across North London skies, delicate in its placement and cushioned against a pitch seemingly made of pillows, Adams chests to control. Defenders long since gone, the goal and immortality opened up in front of him. It was then that that nation held its breath…
Then came the truly beautiful part, as the world around him went in over drive, fans delirious with joy and as ever exuberant Ian Wright almost jumping clean over the 6ft 3 talisman
Almost two years to the day previously, Adams had admitted to the nation he was an alcoholic. Seeing the personnel failings of a national hero had brought many fans to believe that his time had now passed. With Wenger bringing in a philology alien to most, Adams was now a symbol of a sluggish Arsenal past, soon to be over run by the sleek Gallic future. But on this day, that would all have to wait….
Striking it on the half volley as sweet as he could hope for, the ball torpedoed towards the net, nestling in the bottom right hand with the keeper just a passing memory, the crowd escaped into rapture. Then came the truly beautiful part, as the world around him went in over drive, fans delirious with joy and as ever exuberant Ian Wright almost jumping clean over the 6ft 3 talisman, Adams pulled up. Shortening his stride and extending his arms, he squeezed his eyes closed and drank in the moment, not alone did he bury the finish, he buried everything else along with it.
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Facebook