How To End England’s Penalty Shoot Out Woes
Watching England lose to Italy in another penalty shoot out is always draining, particularly as we do it so frequently. I listened to Roy Hodgson being interviewed after the game and whilst he said they had practised penalties and had all done well, he said it was hard to “recreate the tired legs after 120 minutes of play”. I have a solution which could end England’s penalty shoot out woes forever…. possibly.
At the moment the English Premier League does hold most of the England football team. So, if we want England to play better, these players must regularly and consistently practise penalties at the end of every game that they play. Now you could make this happen behind closed doors, but then you would lose the crowd which everyone accepts play a major part in making the penalties so nerve wracking that players miss penalties when behind closed training doors they knock them in regularly.
So how about this. At the end of every English Premier League game, after the 90 minutes, there is a new penalty knockout league as well. Every team plays each other twice over the course of the English football season, and every team would have two penalty shoot-outs at the end of each of every game, when their legs are weary and the crowd have stayed behind to watch and cheer/jeer.
It would turn otherwise dull nil nil games into something to stay behind for. People who otherwise would have paid £50 a ticket to see no goals would now know that even if there were no goals during the game they would be guaranteed some in the penalty shoot out (well at least one out of 10 should go in).
England players would practise every week for a year before the next World Cup (it could start in the 2013/2014 season to give time for the Premier League to find sponsors (Red Bull seems an obvious one)) and it would finally allow England players to practise penalties in the tense environment they face in European and World Cup tournaments.
So what do you say FA and the Premier League? An opportunity to make more money from sponsorship, to improve the value per ticket for the fans, and most of all increase the chances of one day England winning only their second competitive penalty shoot out?