Chris O (follow on Twitter: @COakleyFtbl)
Thu 21 September 2006

Paying the Ultimate Penalty

Written by Kedge

An interesting article in the Saturday edition of the Daily Telegraph, prompted by the European matches midweek, revealed that Wayne Rooney handed over the penalty taking to Louis Saha and Frank Lampard relinquished his responsibility to Michael Ballack. As the Telegraph writer commented, this seems to be a worrying state of affairs considering England’s poor record in competitive penalty shoot-outs. Why are we giving our continental rivals additional practice? It’s not as if they need it.

Apparently on Le Continent, it is quite common for players to practice penalty taking, and it is even included in their soccer academies.

So after reading that, I thought I would trawl through the results so far and see who is taking the penalties in the premiership.

D Bent (Charlton) (twice)
R Fowler (Liverpool)
M Arteta (Everton)
J Bullard (Fulham)
E Diouf (Bolton)
J Angel (Villa)
J Barton (Man City)
F Lampard (Chelsea)
G Speed (Bolton)
T Henry (Arsenal)
J Beattie (Everton)

The only current player who could possibly be considered for England and who is taking penalties on a regular basis is Darren Bent. Presumably Lampard let Ballack take the midweek penalty as he had missed one the previous week, but Rooney has no such excuse.

For the sake of England’s chances in Euro 2008 I hope our regulars will start stepping up to the spot more often.

The Telegraph also pointed out that one current England player does take the penalties for his club. He was also successful in the penalty shoot-out in the World Cup, and he was reckoned on being our best player in that tournament.

Unfortunately he has also broken his leg. However he should be back in time for the Euro 2008 finals.

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