Manchester United and Sunderland played out a penalty shoot-out in the Capital One Cup and the Queen shed a tear, Winston Churchill somersaulted in his grave and a British bulldog threw itself under a bus.
In that penalty shoot-out, four-and-a-bit (Adnan Januzaj) of the nine players that missed were English, with Danny Welbeck, Craig Gardner and Phil Jones all missing the target completely from 12 yards.
The World Cup 2014 is just five months away and the media lost their minds about the fact that the Three Lions could yet again lose on penalties in a major tournament. In five of the last eight major national tournaments England have crashed out on penalties and Daniel Sturridge’s wayward effort in the Merseyside Derby on Tuesday hardly helped boost our confidence.
But all is not lost.
In the Premier League this season English players actually have an 83 per cent success rate from the spot.
- There have been 18 penalties taken by English players this season with 15 finding the back of the net. Frank Lampard, Jason Puncheon and Daniel Sturridge are the three guilty parties
- More so, 12 of the 15 that were scored either gave that team the lead or drew them level. In that sense you could justify that 80 per cent of them were converted under a little bit of pressure
- Steven Gerrard leads the way with four successful kicks from four, closely followed by Rickie Lambert who has two from two, but might not make it on the plane to Rio
Get out the St George bunting, iron your Euro 96 shirt and dust off any plastic garden furniture that can be used to throw at opposing fans/riot police/fellow England supporters. There’s no chance Roy Hodgson’s men are going out on penalties this year*
- Will England be spot on in Rio? Show your support with all the latest World Cup odds right here: Desktop | Mobile
*Disclaimer: This isn’t strictly true. There’s also a great possibility England won’t even make the knock-out stages. In any case blame the humidity, referees or off-field WAG antics.
England’s Premier League penalty record 2013/14
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool): 4/4
Rickie Lambert (Southampton): 2/2
Wayne Rooney (Man United): 1/1
Leighton Baines (Everton): 1/1
Adam Johnson (Sunderland): 1/1
Craig Gardner (Sunderland): 1/1
Mark Noble (West Ham): 1/1
Gary Hooper (Norwich): 1/1
Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace): 1/1
Frank Lampard (Chelsea): 1/2
Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace): 1/2
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool): 0/1