How not to pay the Penalty
You sometimes know its not going to be your day so the two missed Blackburn Rovers penalties against Bolton Wanderers didn't overly surprise me but missing two is unacceptable really isn't it?
I don't want to take anything away from Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen as he made two saves, implying they were missed suggests they were put high or wide whereas they were both saved weren't they. Sure, technically they were still missed but Jaaskelainen saved them so they were two penalty saves. Looking at it like this almost makes you feel better a little better doesn't it... almost!
Without taking anything away from Jaaskelainen both Benni McCarthy and Jason Roberts' penalties were poor efforts though. With the way the game went you almost sensed Benni was going to miss despite his form and as for Roberts he never looked like a man who was going to score did he.
Why didn't one or both just lash the ball home, take a ten yard run up and belt it hard down the middle of the goal into the back of the net? How often will a goalkeeper save a penalty down the middle of the goal? The answer not very often especially if it is high into the roof of the net. This way you won't get many Bodo Illgner style legs denying you the way the German goalkeeper's legs did Stuart Pearce for his powerful effort down the centre of the goal (along the ground) in World Cup Italia '90 as England crashed out on penalties to begin our dismal run.
Plymouth Argyle defender and Captain Paul Wotton has a simple penalty technique run up and smash it VERY HARD, more often than not down the middle of the goal. It rarely fails him as his foot is like a jack hammer. Chris Sutton had a similar technique during his time at Ewood Park and that rarely, if ever failed him also.
Former Rover and now Everton forward James Beattie has a successful style based mainly around power, usually right into the top corner. Also the beauty of his technique is he doesn't look at the goalkeeper. He decides where to go turns his back, turns quickly and runs with his head down blasting into the corner he has already picked.
The pick of the bunch though for me is Gareth Barry. The Aston Villa captain has the one of the sweetest left foots (arguably right foots also after his goal the other week!) in Europe. His penalty against Fulham on Saturday was top drawer. It had the lot power, placement and technique all of which were amazing.
Whilst on the subject of Barry, I know he's not a Rovers player but I'm pretty sure that most clubs would want a Gareth Barry in their starting line up and I have to confess I'm no different. He is a different class and how he is continuously overlooked by England I don't know. His left footed delivery is, and has been for some years the best in England. People say how Morten Gamst Pedersen rivals David Beckham for his delivery but I say Barry for his consistency for delivery rivals both, if not beats them!
Anyway, back to the point the penalty situation needs to be sorted out as that is now three taken this season with all three missed (or should I say saved!) so at this rate it will be down to Brad Friedel to not only save them but also take them. With the Carling Cup taking place this week I HOPE the boys are practising as there is a very good chance that the game with Chelsea will go all the way to penalties... on current form we don't stand a chance.
So Lucas Neill, Benni McCarthy and Jason Roberts have all failed from twelve yards. The last time we ran an article on our short coming from the spot, with James' article (click here to view article) this and the subsequent poll didn't really take off. Maybe this was my fault as options given might not have helped?
This is your chance to suggest your penalty taker names and even why they should be the man and then we can look at re-running the penalty poll on who we think should be stepping up?
Put your penalty takers name below, maybe with your comment as to why also...
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