By now no doubt every football fan will have seen Sergio Aguero’s horror tackle on David Luiz and most will no doubt be content that the Argentinian has got the punishment he deserved when the FA handed him a four match ban. But if you haven’t seen it yet here it is, along with the aftermath caused by the incident.
Some may argue that Aguero deserves a longer ban, this was his second red card for violent conduct this season, but going down this route would set a dangerous precedence and no doubt lead to the confusion and criticism which surrounds almost every verdict from World Rugby’s citing review panel.
If you are a fan of one of Manchester City’s rivals, you may be amongst those who are calling for a longer ban when you realise the only big game Aguero will miss is Arsenal’s visit to the Etihad but I would take comfort in the fact Fernandinho will also be banned for the next three matches for his assault on Cesc Fabregas. I have been vocal in my view that Manchester City’s defence and goalkeeper are the team’s weak link and the only reason their mistakes have not more heavily punished has been the presence of the Brazilian in front of them and it is his absence, not Aguero’s, which makes believe Manchester City will struggle in their upcoming matches.
And as for Aguero, when he returns the red mist which overcame him against Chelsea has raised a big question which will need to be answered immediately, has the Argentinian got a temper problem or is it simply personal against Sideshow Bob? Because I can guarantee you that when he returns Aguero is going to be subjected to a constant barrage of the darker arts employed by the defenders’ union and if he reacts its members will be clapping their hands in glee as they realise the most feared striker in the Premiership just might well be damaged goods.
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.