Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Penalties

The penalty shoot-out is a thing of beauty (with the caveat that your team is not involved). There have been many attempts at finding a different way of settling a drawn game in knockout football, but none have even matched, let alone surpassed, the penalty shoot-out.
And yet it is a source of annoyance. I cannot stand being told that:
  • Nobody likes to see a game settled like this
  • Penalties are a lottery
Both are assertions which have now passed into commonly accepted truth, but both are wrong.
The first sentence of this post make the first point a mockery, and I know I'm not alone. The second is also rubbish and merely a reason given as to why the English national side are so bad at them. Believing this to be true, they are bound to fail against sides that actually practice penalties in the event they may come to that point on occasion during a knockout tournament - not an unreasonable thing to do.
Yesterday's shoot-out between Southampton and Derby was marvellous, coming at the end of two marvellous games. It capped it all beautifully. Long live the penalty shoot-out!

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