Time for some revision, Frank
Scientists reckon they have finally cracked the secret to taking a successful penalty kick. Research conducted by Lucozade Sport worked alongside football analysts Prozone suggests there are a number of things England’s players can do to help conquer their penalty shootout curse.
1. Pick right-footed penalty takers
This one is for you Fabio. The research claims that 71 per cent of penalties taken by right-footers are scored, compared to 52 per cent of those taken by left-footers. So Ashley Cole, Stephen Warnock, Leighton Baines and Adam Johnson, you are definitely excused.
2. Shoot for the top-left corner
Ah, the memories of scuffed, low penalties of tournaments gone by! The boffins reckon this is the wrong idea completely. That is because 87 per cent of penalties aimed at the top-left corner of the goal are successful.
3. Give it to Theo
Apparently 91 per cent of penalties taken by players aged 21 are successful. That means England ought to be giving responsibility to the youngest member of their squad, Theo Walcott.
4. Don’t trust the midfielders
The stats show that defenders and strikers are more trustworthy from 12 yards than midfielders. Strikers convert 75 per cent, defenders 72 per cent, and midfielders just 61 per cent.
5. Start outside the box and take your time
The research suggest that starting your run-up outside the box gives you a 72 per cent chance of scoring, while a slow, steady run-up gives a 77 per cent success rate.
Simple as that.