Tossing a coin is a lottery. Russian roulette is a lottery. The National Lottery is a blinking lottery. A penalty shoot-out is not a lottery, you hear me?Get a penalty during 90 minutes (or indeed extra-time) and hands are slapped and little jigs danced. Admittedly such joy is promptly replaced with unbearable tension and biting of nails in the build-up to the kick itself, but the point remains that during the course of a game, a penalty is seen as a cracking opportunity to score. There ought not to be any reason why the same twelve-yard pot-shot suddenly becomes a moment of doom-laden hopelessness during a shoot-out, prompting managers to concede defeat and reducing arrogant bling-toting players to spinless, mal-coordinated naysayers.
Nor is the actual taking of a penalty a complete lottery. Admittedly, the nervous tension of a 90,000-bodied stadium, and millions upon millions of TV spectators cannot possibly be replicated on a training ground. However, practise 50 spot-kicks in the week leading up to a Wembley final, and if called upon you would at least be comfortable with the technique, run-up, spot you’re aiming for etc. Heaven forbid however that the players actually dedicate themselves thus.
This isn’t a complaint about the outcome on Sunday. I actually thought that with Gomes in goal we stood a pretty good chance in the shoot-out. And I give credit to Bentley and O’ Hara for having the cojones to step up. I’m just disappointed still. Actually, make that gut-wrenchingly devastated, and absolutely livid, but with what I know not. Dagnabbit that should have been our cup. And now on top of it all I have to listen to every man and his dog tut sympathetically and tell me that it’s ok because it was all a lottery anyway? SOD OFF AND LET ME STEW IN MY OWN MISERY.
It’s a futile, and mildly pathetic rant, but I either slam it down here in literary form, or burn with red-hot pokers the eyes of the next person to inform me sagely that penalties are a lottery.
5 replies on “A Final Word On The Lottery of Penalty Shoot-Outs”
Totally agree! How can you get worse if you practice?
100% agree. Great rant. Penalties have been a means of deciding cup finals for a very long time. Surely there is some art to the taking and saving of one? Not a criticism of the individuals that stepped up – good on em for having a crack – but disheartening to hear that they don’t practise the bloody things in training because you sure as hell know that Utd not only practise taking them but watch footage on iPods of Spurs players taking them. Something tells me that this is the extra yard of preparation required to beat these sorts of big guns in world football.
Totally agree with you, I’m gutted to have lost at the end of a very entertaining and hard fort match to penalties. I believe that all players should score from there, but I’m not going to have a rant at the players who had the bottle to step up to the mark. But one thing I’d like to know is, how did Foster watch our three lads on his iPod practice penalties, as he’s claimed, when these three don’t take penalties, do I smell more Man Urr Bulls..t.
the title race could be won on a penalty…..as with all cups…….!!
so sort the best takers practice/analyse how to beat top keepers!
i remember at school putting small posts inside the main post 1and a half feet to sort accuracy…..it is in the head as well so is part of EPL pressure to learn! or at least have in the side confidence in as many areas as possible……
it was our cup and like all lottery and nos games you can sort the maths and
get close with the stats……….point being …….higher ratio! succes rate sort the best player list!
training session competition! winner /?
it’s the indecision that costs you. i remember the england vs germany shoot out in ’96… how every single german penalty was perfect, and totally pre-planned. IF YOU HIT IT WELL ENOUGH it doesn’t matter if the keeper knows where it’s going… players should just have one direction each, and work on that until its second nature.