Football Cliches – Week 3 – “If that was on target, it would’ve been a goal”


Week 3 – “If that was on target, it would’ve been a goal”

Some cliches are designed to display the footballing intellect of the pundit in question, some are designed to fill uncomfortable silences and/or kill time and others, well others are designed for the sole purpose of masking a player’s lacking and none more so than the rather stunning fortune telling qualities of “if that was on target, it would’ve been a goal”.

Not content with trying to cover up another howler from your rather overpriced but luxuriously European sounding striker with this nugget of cliche goodness, the pundit will apply all his high school physics knowledge to reliably predict where the ball would’ve gone had it not been sclaffed with all the skill of an LG ajossi 5 Sojus for the worse on a hwesik. It might not be quite the JFK ‘Magic Bullet’ theory but it is a tad of a stretch to try and claim any plaudits for the player who has yet again left you scratching your head and tearing out what’s left of once flowing locks.


Some pundits don’t really need the ball on the pitch to know what happened.

Of course as well as most pundits lacking the necessary clairvoyant talents to predict the potential outcome of a shot there is the added factor of the man between the sticks, that’s right the guy who’s sole job in life is to save his team’s blushes when called upon. This cliche does in fact need the keeper in question to be having an off day or at the very least to be Jung Sung Ryoung.  Merely being “on target” is not the only prerequisite to a goal and in fact most fans have been witness to enough gravity-defying feats of goalkeeping greatness at both ends of the pitch to know this is true. This adds to the rather ridiculousness of the cliche not to mention rendering the goalkeeper futile, maybe this is why so few of them end up gracing the cameras with their presence after they hang up the boots. Goalkeepers, to me, always seem akin to the babysitter’s boyfriend in a horror movie. There in the background and often overshadowed by a pair of strikers and only really called on to save the day or find themselves sprawled on the deck looking rather gutted as the killer spins away with an evil grin.


“But as long as it’s on target its a goal right?”

So the next time you are trudging home on the wrong end of a derby defeat please console yourself with the fact that even if your number 9 had more swipes than a “bubbly blonde just looking for fun” on Tinder that all those “almost on target” goals counted. And retire home warm in the knowledge that in the world of the pundit your 3-0 reverse was in fact a resounding 5-3 victory. Good luck convincing that one utterly detestable rival fan that we all know or work with that you alone have the bragging rights. 

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