Jack Wilshere scored two exceptional goals during England’s 3-2 win against Slovenia in Euro qualifiers. His second was the best of the bunch though, and it earned high praise from Match of the Day’s Gary Lineker, illustrating the widespread tendency to confuse the latest great goal for the greatest.
Struggling to think of a better England goal than @JackWilshere ‘s. One or two of Bobby Charlton’s, maybe, but did they match the build-up?
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 14, 2015
Remember, this is coming from a guy who scored 48 goals for England himself — a total matched by Wayne Rooney in the Slovenia match — just one behind all-time leader Bobby Charlton.
Though Wilshere’s goal (and Adam Lallana’s backheel pass to set it up) was very good, was it really better than Paul Gascoigne’s at Euro ’96?
Or David Beckham’s iconic free kick in 2001?
Or David Platt’s volley at the 1990 World Cup?
Or John Barnes’ solo run in 1984?
Or Michael Owen’s at the 1998 World Cup?
And all of those are just from the last 30 years or so.
All of these goals are different, though. And, like all great works of art, cannot be quantifiably judged as better or worse than one another. Evaluation can only be done through personal preference and connection.
That said, Jack Wilshere’s goal definitely isn’t the best England goal.