Time for a re-think.
Question; Sepp Blater has spoken out against penalty shoot-outs, and he has called for an alternative to be found. Where do you stand of this?
I can see where he’s coming from, maybe the television companies and the neutrals of the game like it but when your country is in it I’m sure the fan doesn’t like it at all. My only thought is that is it very difficult to get away from penalties. I don’t think it would work to do it on corners or possession. I’ve always thought that penalties should be done after 90 minutes. The reason why I think that is because it doesn’t fall on one or two people’s shoulders that they’ve lost the World Cup. If you take the penalties after 90 minutes, the teams will know who has won the shoot-out and then you get more of an open game.
An example is the Champions League, Chelsea were quite happy to play defensively for the whole game and go to penalties, the Germans were happy because they thought they would win a penalty shoot-out. As a result the game never really opened up. A team can play defensively if they want, but come ten minutes to go the team that is losing will need to go on the offensive. I think doing it after 90mins and then having extra time makes the game more interesting and takes the burden off one player.
No I don’t agree with him, I think it’s the only way to end a classic game; it’s what the average supporter wants to see and to enjoy the drama of a penalty shoot-out. It almost appears as if Sepp Blatter wants to go against what everyone else wants and if he just went with the status quo we in the footballing world would be happy. The only thing I might consider changing is, for example there are England and German fans behind each goal, the teams take their penalties in front of the opposing team’s fans. This is not an impossible, I think it could be done quite easily and that would really be the only thing I’d change.
What could an alternative be, play twice? No, it is our culture, it’s what we do in football. 30 minutes extra time and then after 120 minutes you have a penalty shoot-out. Everyone who takes penalties knows there is the pressure and the tension but for me it is still a competition, it is still competitive to take a penalty. Maybe we should have done better, the English aren’t great with penalties, the Germans always seem to win with penalties. But hopefully things can change.
I do share that feeling that sometimes a penalty shoot-out can be quite harsh; all that preparation you do in the weeks, months of the competition can come down to a bit of luck and I don’t think penalty shoot outs are a fair way to decide a title or who the next team is to go through. I would like to see other ways to find a winner; I know the golden goal was tried as an alternative and it didn’t seem to be successful. So probably another type of action rather than a penalty-shoot out would be fairer, I don’t really like the idea of a player being blamed for missing a penalty and costing the season to a football club; that can be a real negative in your career so I do think we should find an alternative to decide between two sides.
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