Urban myths in football are a common practise – however, England being bad at penalty shootouts certainly isn’t one of them. That, unfortunately for England fans, has all the facts and figure to back it up.
Put simply, they are absolutely terrible when it comes to penalty shootouts and it must be something that is in the back of new manager Roy Hodgson’s mind with Euro 2012 on the horizon.
Of the last eight major tournaments England have qualified for, on five occasions they have been eliminated courtesy of penalty shootout.
Names such as Gareth Southgate, who tamely missed the spot-kick in the semi-finals of Euro 1996, and David Batty, chief penalty misser from the World Cup in 1998, all are famously known because of their high-profile failures from the spot. In fact, in Southgate’s case it probably actually helped his career, which culminated in him getting one of the top development jobs at the FA.
The top man at the FA now, in the material department, is Hodgson and it’s his style of play that brings a penalty shoot-out elimination into the equation for this tournament once again.
England should qualify through their group, low and behold the reaction to poor old Roy if England fail to do so, and it’s in the knockout stages where Hodgson discipline and organised style of management may make England hard to beat in a one-off match.
If they face a Germany or Spain, Hodgson will tactically set up his team to stifle the opposition rather than try to play them at their own game. A draw would be seen as a wonderful result against one of the big boys and Hodgson is capable of doing just that.
The smart money should be on England being eliminated in the same way they did against Germany in 1990 and 1996, Portugal in 2006 and 2008, and Argentina in 1998.
Although I’m not sure England fans can take another heart-breaking penalty defeat – at least this time they could profit from it from backing the ‘eliminated on penalties’ option with a variety of bookmakers