THE disbelieving cry of ‘Aguero!’ by commentator Martin Tyler has, in many ways, been the soundtrack to the summer for viewers of Sky Sports.
Rarely, in fact, has an advert break passed without footage of the goal that brought the Premier League title to Manchester City in the most dramatic of fashions being given an airing.
It is hardly a surprise, Sergio Aguero’s strike in the very final seconds of last season surely representing the most stunning climax to a title race in history.
Michael Thomas’s stoppage time winner for Arsenal at Anfield in 1989 may have come just as late in the season. It may also, just like the Argentinian’s strike, have been just as important in ending a long barren run at the top of English football for one of the game’s biggest names.
But even Thomas’s goal cannot compare to the pure theatre of what happened at Eastlands on May 13 as Roberto Mancini’s Blues scored not just one goal in stoppage time to beat Queens Park Rangers but two. And, in the process, pip bitter rivals United to the title.
No wonder, therefore, that Aguero’s goal has become a genuine ‘where were you when...?’ moment for football fans everywhere, irrespective of team loyalties.
For Paddy Kenny, however, any repeat of City’s late, late winner merely elicits a shrug of the shoulders. As you might imagine with it being the 34-year-old who was in the Queens Park Rangers goal as Aguero skipped past a challenge by Nedum Onuoha before firing the ball into the corner of the net to kick-start the mother and father of all parties in the blue half of Manchester.
“I think I’ll have to watch that goal being repeated over and over again for the next few years,” said Kenny with a resigned sigh ahead of what is expected to be his Leeds United debut this afternoon against Shrewsbury Town in the Capital One Cup first round.
“I’ve realised that over the summer. Sky have been showing it every 10 minutes, or that’s certainly what it has felt like.
“The game itself, I haven’t watched back. But I haven’t been able to miss the winner. I’ll be sitting on the sofa with the television on in the background and then suddenly I’ll hear the commentator shout ‘Aguero!’
“And I can’t help but look up. I suppose I’ll just have to get used to it.”
Kenny’s philosophical attitude is made possible by City’s winner not having, as could have been the case, condemned Rangers to relegation.
Instead, Bolton Wanderers’ inability to beat Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium meant the London club were handed a final day reprieve at the expense of Owen Coyle’s side.
“QPR staying up means I can look back on the final day and realise just how incredible it was,” said the former Sheffield United goalkeeper.
“If we’d gone down, having to see the Aguero goal on television all the time would have been awful. It would have made the summer really long.
“Staying up was massive in our first year, especially as we looked doomed with just 10 games to go. Thankfully, five of those were at home and we won the lot. To then take it down to the last kick was incredible.”
For much of the City game, Rangers were not reliant on Stoke’s help with goals from Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie having put the Londoners 2-1 in front.
Even the 55th-minute dismissal of Joey Barton, it seemed, could not rescue the hosts.
Kenny undoubtedly played a part in keeping City at bay, his save to deny Carlos Tevez on the hour being of the highest order. As was the block that frustrated Mario Balotelli 10 minutes from time.
Edin Dzeko did finally end Rangers’ resistance but with two of the five scheduled minutes of stoppage time already having elapsed, it seemed a case of too little, too late. Cue Aguero.
Kenny, a £400,000 arrival at Elland Road this summer, said: “Everything about that final day was incredible. I don’t think English football has seen anything like that before.
“In many ways, it was quite a scary day. There was just so much riding on it.
“I doubt many people thought the game would be that tight anyway. People thought we would be beaten quite easily. But even with 10 men, we played really well.
“We went 2-1 in front and the home fans were really quiet. Our fans were going mental at the other end from me and we looked like we were going to win.
“But then Manchester City got those two late goals and that could have been that. Thankfully, Stoke did us a massive favour and we were safe.
“Not that I knew that until the game was over and I had left the pitch.
“Someone had said at 2-2 that the other game (at Stoke) had finished but I didn’t believe it.
“You can’t in a situation like that because there is so much at stake and you have to be certain. That’s why I was still a bit wary as I walked off the pitch because I had to see or hear it for myself from someone who knew for certain.
“To then discover we had stayed up was brilliant.
“It meant the day worked out well for everyone. We were celebrating and so were they. I don’t think you will ever get a Premier League as close as that again.
“I don’t think many people have been involved in a more dramatic occasion than that in their careers. I certainly haven’t and I doubt there are many who will ever be able to say they have.
“It had absolutely everything, including an unbelievable finish. I doubt the Premier League will see anything like that again.”
After all that excitement, today’s bow in Leeds colours could seem very tame. Kenny, however, is eager to get started.
He said: “Joining Leeds has been great and I just want to get started. A lot of new faces have come in and we all want to do well.”
United have handed a trial to former Senegal international El Hadji Diouf, following his release by Doncaster Rovers.
Last six games: Leeds United LLWLDL, Shrewsbury Town WWWDWL.
Last time: Leeds United 2 Shrewsbury Town 3; December 10, 1988; Division Two.
Referee: M Heywood (West Yorkshire).
SkyBet odds: Leeds to win 4-9; Shrewsbury to win 5-1; Draw 100-30.