During the course of the first eight match days of this season’s Premier League there has been an increase in the number of penalties awarded, there have been almost twice as many spot kicks awarded than in the first eight matches last season and fifty percent more than the season before that. However, the most startling thing about the penalties awarded this season is that of the twenty-eight awarded, eight have been missed! With the efforts of Aguero and De Bruyne at the weekend being two examples of how not to take a penalty.
Any kid who wants to practice taking spot kicks look at the picture below and when you practice on the playground, or after school, try to place your penalties where the two footballs on the ground are. Once you can do this to both sides with confidence, attempt to place the ball where the two footballs at the top of the goal are. Once you are confident you can also hit these targets you will have four different spot kicks in your arsenal for the next time you are called upon by your team.
Most goalkeepers love penalties because they are not expected to save them and as a result the pressure is on them but if you put in the practice you should be confident of winning this battle. You don’t need to chip the ball down the middle or try and whack the laces of the ball, just hit one of these four penalties. There is a chance that the goalkeeper will pull off a wonder save but as long as you hold your nerve and put the ball in one of the positions shown above you will beat the keeper a lot more times they will make the save.
And if you do miss? Don’t get disheartened, put your hand up to take the next one. Christian Benteke almost put the ball in the top right corner against West Ham and if it had hit the back of the net it would have been hailed as a superb penalty but he missed. Yet I am sure that when Palace get another penalty he will be amongst the first to hold his hand up and because of that confidence I would put money on him hitting the back of the net next time.