I have been a professional footballer for 18 years (apart from a few months in Turkish prison and when I was dividing my time playing part time non League and being in So Solid Crewe). So I think I know a fair bit about taking penalties in a shootout.
So can I just say that the people giving Daniel Sturridge a hard time should belt up. Yes, he’s stepped up and missed the penalty that’s sent Team GB crashing out of the Olympics and in all probability stuck Psycho Pearce back on the scrap heap. The point is, he had the bottle to get up there and do it. Stuart has said: “Whose got the balls to take one?” and Daniel has put his hand up and said: “I’ve got the balls to take one gaffer, la, sorted”. At the end of the day he has had the balls and the heart but sadly not the head and the foot but, hey that’s football.
People who say “Why don’t they practise penalties?” are living in a fool’s paraadise to be fair. There’s no way that you can replicate the feelings of a match in training, the pressure and the tiredness. I heard some idiot on TalkSport saying “why not do them at the end of training when you’re really tired?” BEcause training is over! What are you, thick? You think they should stop training on pass and move, corners, ball skills etc just so they can practices something you cannot even practice anyway on the off chance they might be up against North Korea in a shootout one day?
Do me a favour. Danny will be alright. He’ll come back from this. Next time, he’ll be stronger for the experience. Look at Stuart Pearce. And who knows, maybe in 20 years time Danny Sturridge will be managing Team GB (or Team EUROPE if Labour get their way LOL) to a heartbreaking quarter final stitch up in his own right