The easiest way for you to make a name for yourself in football is to do something incredible on the pitch. Scoring a spectacular goal, doing some fancy dribbling or worst case scoring a horror own goal can all bring the media attention firmly to your door. It’s likely that both Wayne Rooney, Neymar and David Beckham would have eventually grabbed the spotlight soon after making their competitive debuts but scoring a wonder goal or a howler in their first few matches certainly helped to speed up the process.
The latest players to attract the media glare, for opposite reasons are Esbjerg’s Youssef Toutouh and Utrecht’s Mike van der Hoorn. Both hit the headlines after hitting the back of the net this past week but for Van der Hoorn he is wishing he hadn’t. The powerful young centre back has been in fine form this season and has attracted the interest of some other teams both at home in Holland and abroad. But in the game against AZ Alkmaar at the weekend, Van der Hoorn scored a comical own goal that has made him a media sensation. Trailing 3-0, with only injury time left in the first half, Ulrecht’s left back Dave Bulthuis failed to clear a nothing cross and was disposed on the edge of the 6 yard line by AZ winger Roy Beerens. Beerens brought the ball under control before unleashing a hard shot from an acute angle at Jeroen Verhoeven in the Utrecht goal. The former Ajax stopper managed to get a hand to the ball and pushed it away from goal into the path of Van Der Hoorn. With no one near by and the ball dead at his feet, Van Der Hoorn tried to adjust his feet and clear the ball out of danger but instead swiped the ball into the empty net to give AZ a 4-0 lead. Consoled by opposition players and the referee, the player looked devastated by what he had just done before quietly walking in at the half time whistle.
Over in Denmark, Esbjerg took on a high-flying Randers team, needing a win to keep their push for the top half alive. Within 33 minutes, Esbjerg had the lead and in some fashion. Twenty year old Youssef Toutouh was only making his 17th start for the club following his loan move from Copenhagen earlier this year. The young winger, who scored his first goal for the club (ironically also on the 33rd minute) last month in the 1-1 draw with Brondby, took up possession of a bouncing ball some 25 yards from the Randers goal. With his back to goal, he cleverly flicked the ball up and over his head, leaving Randers defender Johnny Thomsen routed to the spot. As he swiveled round, he connected perfectly with the ball firing it over the head of goalkeeper David Ousted and into the net. A stunning goal made and executed by a rising star in Danish football. TouTouh’s goal set the pace for the game and Esbjerg went on to win the match comfortably by 4-0, continuing their recent good run.
Whilst Toutouh will take confidence from his strike, the unfortunate goal that Van Der Hoorn scored may affect his, resulting in a dip in form. It is his managers responsibility and his more senior teammates duty to help pick him up from this and explain to him that everyone had a bad day in the office that day (Utrecht lost 6-0 in the end) and to move on. Similarly teammates and the management of Esbjerg need to make sure that Toutouh does not become too over-confident and remind him to continue playing his natural game and not live on past glories. Van der Hoorn and Toutouh are talented youngsters who are just beginning their footballing careers so need to be nurtured appropriately through these situations by their respective managers. Both players can learn a lot from these experiences that will make them better players and hopefully one day turn them into stars like Beckham, Neymar and Rooney have become.
To see Van Der Hoorn’s howler, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA9Z5J2yb5g
To see Toutouh’s goal, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2vObJnOQYU