Feeds

back to article Eggheads solve England penalty-shootout crapness riddle

Eggheads in Exeter say they have answered one of the most important questions facing the human race today: namely, why are England footballers so rubbish at penalty shootouts, and what can be done about it. According to Greg Wood, working towards his PhD at Exeter uni's sports-science department, it's a simple enough matter. …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Gold badge
FAIL

Nul points for you

The question was why are *English* footballers so crap at penalty shoot-outs. I see nothing here that is peculiar to the English player.

4
0

England

Possibly the excessive pressure they are put under. The fact that unlike other countrys missing is not carear ending.

0
0

Brazil?

Surely there are other nations whose teams come under rather more pressure than losing their awful blond tart of a wife and their Gazzerati / Cadillac Wankermobile if they miss?

I am thinking of the countries where losing teams are assassinated upon their return...

0
0
Headmaster

mentality

English players might have a tendency to think of the opposing goalie as 'bastard' (BGFH) and therefore, their minds might go BASTARD - BASTARD - BASTARD - ... in times of duress (a.k.a. shoot-out) and cause the goalie-centric behaviour described above. Other, more greedy mentalities, may prompt their players to think 'the ball is MINE - MINE - MINE - ...' and in order to not have to share it with anyone, let alone an opposing goalie, they'll deliberately kick it where the other bloke can't grab it easily. Plain old spite.

0
0
Boffin

I you think you are talking about Colombia

...Not Brazil.

In any case penalty kicks practice should be increased if England sucks so hard at them, that is the conclusion as i understud it.

0
0
Bronze badge
Boffin

But don't stare where you're going to shoot

Or the goalie will notice.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

/headdesk

Thats the point.

0
0
Thumb Up

It doesnt matter...

If the goaly sees where the shotter is looking, as long as the shoot is good, up on hte corner of the arch there is no way to stop it.

0
0
Thumb Down

England footballers so rubbish at penalty shootouts...

...because they are shit at football

0
0
Gold badge
Thumb Down

No.

That's the reason they end up having to take the bloody things in the first place.

The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem or, in the England team's case, being shit isn't enough. They have to *know* they are.

0
0
Bronze badge
Go

A musical solution?

Someone should write a song to inform them of this fact!

0
0
Flame

Target fixation

This is well understood in the motorcycling world, if you keep looking at a pothole coming up you will ride straight into it!

(Crash and burn)

1
0

(Don't hit the) TREE! TREE!

I've noticed the same thing in (of all things) Frisbee golf. I'm trying to throw the disc around a tree trunk, and I'm thinking "don't hit the the tree, don't hit the tree", and of course I throw the disc and it hits the tree trunk, in spite of the small solid angle which it subtends.

I theorised that whilst I think I'm thinking "don't hit the the tree, don't hit the tree", I'm effectively shouting "TREE! TREE!" inside my head. And so I hit what I'm thinking about.

PS @ Ken Hagan: good point.

0
0

Sunglasses?

Can't the shooter then wear sunglasses so the goalie can't follow the gaze?

B.

0
0
Joke

Re. Sunglasses?

Of course you can wear sunglasses if your name is Edgar Davids, or a funny hat if your name is Peter Czech. In my case I better wear a cup...

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Coz they are...

Last I checked, Exeter was in England. Odds are they used locals, so unless they imported a bunch of foreign footy players who are just as crap at taking penalties as the English...

0
0
WTF?

Science 0 - Tabloids 1

Noticed this ridiculous tabloid headline on physorg.com, about the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology research paper "Anxiety, Attentional Control, and Performance Impairment in Penalty Kicks":

http://hk.humankinetics.com/jsep/viewarticle.cfm?aid=17680

- surprised no one has debunked the headlines so far, but then again, never let the facts get in the way, eh?

The study was the Exeter university football team, not the England team. The research would apply equally to *both* teams in a penalty shoot-out.

Just face it - England players are crap at penalty shoot-outs!

0
0
Alert

Reality

It amazes me that people can't just accept the fact that England just aren't good at football! We've never lost a match that was our fault, it was always something else and now if we loose on penalties we have another excuse too! I'm sure they'll be plenty more over the next few months by the end of which I'll be living in a hole in the ground with my fingers in my ears singing lah lah lah lah lah everytime anyone mentions the bloody football.

Please no more!!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

So the important thing is...

For the goalie to be as distinctive as possible so the kickers attention is drawn to him?

Suddenly those ghastly shirts and that goal line twitch make sense.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@Hermes Conran

Not just motorcycling (although it was the main basic rule I was taught), if you watch things like You've Been Framed you can see this in action - it is why the kid/old woman/drunk teenager crashes the bike/go-kart/skateboard/shopping trolley or whatever they are messing about on into the only obstacle for miles.

0
0
Pint

Wish it worked for Golf though

I'm concentrating incredibly hard on putting the little ball into the hole from any distance from 6 inches to 30 feet and rarely does it go when I expect it to. Perhaps I'm just too good.

1
0
Boffin

Nothing new....

..snowboarding, cycling, you tend to go towards what you are looking at.

No1 rule of high speed driving.

Aim to hit the gap, not to miss the object (kerb, other car etc etc).

This is why many people think you turn into a skid; in fact you are trying to point your car where you want to go, looks the same but a major difference in car control.

0
0
Badgers

hitting what you look at

Similarly, I've heard that cops get shot in the hands far more than would be expected. People running away look at the gun in the cop's hands, and the bullets cluster in that region. Not sure if this applies to Blighty-- you've traditionally been much smarter than us Yanks about the level of armament you entrust your police with, though I gather that is changing.

0
0

but they don't miss by shooting at the middle of the goal

but more famously by shanking the bloody thing over the bar and out of the park

0
0
Bronze badge
Unhappy

could explain some things like

why the goalies start dancing about a lot just before the kicker starts his run...

then again, it would help if our teams weren't even involved in penalty shoot-outs in the first place... concentration on the basics like passing without being intercepted and actually going to get it back when you've sploobed it away with that completely pointless pass for the sake of passing pass...

our players have no pride, are overpaid and lack any true commitment.

0
0
Coat

Common Tactic

... especially here in the US leagues.

No one wants to be the one that "missed" the "easy goal", so they pass it all over the acreage to anybody they can... including the other team. :)

0
0
Badgers

not the shooters fault

If our goalie saved more, we'd lose less.

My advice is to stick a load of scousers up front and tell them to steal a goal.

Soon be 100-0

0
0
Silver badge

Easy solution

Win the game on goals instead.

0
0

hmm

If part of the problem is that high stakes change player behavior, seems like managers might be able to get better penalty practice by putting something on the line. E.g. whichever player scores the fewest penalties in training has to buy beer for the other players and wear a ridiculous outfit. Or, split the players into teams and have a shootout. Whichever team loses, the players on the losing team who didn't score stand and watch while their team-mates do a ton of pushups (I think this would be a worse threat than making the non-scorers do pushups themselves, because of peer resentment). Then again, for all I know they already do this kind of thing.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

May have something

Or may not. When pressure increases you lose confidence that you can kick accurately enough to aim 'just this side' of the post. So you shoot less adventurously - which equates to statistically nearer the centre and the goalie. Unless you have the requisite 'nerves of steel'.

In a penalty shootout, at least five and possibly all of the team must take penalties. No matter what team or at what level, in England at least, the only time you get more than maybe a couple of players in the team happy to take penalties is when Brigadoon reappears.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of very talented players eligible for England. Unfortunately odds are they won't be picked, as the establishment and tabloids only want 'upright citizens' and celebs, respectively. This has always been the case. Only difference is now the wanky politicians _also_ want the celebs; and now we have foreign managers, one of whom just may eventually get his own way.

Statistically, Frank Lampard won't fluff the penalties. But if I was in charge (they seem to have forgotten to ask) there would be no penalty shootouts. Better they should play to the death, or toss a coin.

0
0

Phd..?

Thank goodness we got that whole cancer thing licked..

0
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Viva John Terry

NFT

0
0
Silver badge

Disruptive camoflage

My son in a hockey goalkeeper with pretty much the same problems to deal with as a football goalie. We did some experimenting with disruptive optical patterns with the idea of unsettling the striker to encourage him to make a crap shot. We printed out some of those Ouchi patterns (http://www.cfar.umd.edu/~fer/optical/movement2.html) and stuck them on his kit.

The experiment worked well, but we only used it in practices. Decided not to use it in real games because it is a bit unsporting and can apparently trigger epileptic fits.

Likely the same stuff could work for football goalies too.

0
0
Coat

Focusing on your target

As part of my motorcycle training I was taught not to focus on the idiot car driver that's inevitably pulling out on you, but on your escape route - you do tend to head towards whatever you're focusing on - so his theory makes total sense.

Also, footballers are stupid.

0
0
Pint

Chris Waddle

So how does this account for Chris 'Mullet' Waddle blazing the ball over the bar in 1990? Maybe the missing weight of his barnet put him off balance?

I remember Michel Platini, Roberto Baggio and Socrates putting their kicks over the bar in previous contests, but that's because they were trying to pose by chipping it into the top corner.

Beer, because Capello should crack open a few tinnies at the end of extra time, just to relieve the pressure...

0
0
Paris Hilton

agreed,

although, apparently, not so stupid as to not be paid 90 grand a fuggin week to "not be bothered to go to training", or "not to be match fit", or to be a fuggin spanner when given the ball and to cry and fall over when a member of the opposing team gets anywhere near them.

if i could garantee that i would be signed up to a major football club in a year, maybe two years time, and paid the miserable sum of 40 grand a week. i would train my nuts off, and live breathe and eat football in the mean time, so that i could:-

be fully trained up and match ready for the period of my contract.

not be a pussy - no falling over and laying there sobbing for no reason.

punch the shit out of ronaldo in a training session, or "friendly" game. woops, erm, i mean, "hug" ronaldo... yeah... thats it. "hug" with knuckle dusters.. to the face...

but it's not going to happen. even though i hate football, the players, the managers, the sponsers, and the so called "expert commentators". i think that would be my main motivation. my absolute unabated hatred, and unbrideled ellation at being able to prove how much better i, a joe nobody, am than any of these kucfwits the public so readily idealise.

grrrrrrr

/rant

Paris, goes she'd do the football team.

0
0

Target fixation

You cyclists and bikers reckon you've got problems with target fixation? Try hang-gliding. "I must not hit that tree. I must not hit that tree..." I've seen it done, and come closer to it myself in training than was good for my nerves.

On a slightly related theme, it does depend on whether the target is actually stationary. One memorable training task, my instructor asked me where I was looking for my direction. "The middle sheep on that hill over there," I said. He looked at me in a kind of pitying way and said, "Lad, sheep do walk around, you know." :)

0
0
WTF?

Spot the bleedin' obvious

When you're nervous your muscles tense up. Doesn't take a bloody scientist to work that out.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.