The best English penalty takers, ever
The Dutch and English have at least one thing in common: they are both lousy penalty takers. Since the introduction of penalty shootouts in the international football arena in 1970, both England and Holland created their own penalty traumas. England lost out in 5 out of 6 penalty shoot-outs, the Dutch in 4 out of 5. Famous bad penalty takers? For the Dutch, names like Seedorf, Frank and Ronald de Boer, Cocu, Kluivert, Stam and Bosvelt spring to the mind. The English could show an ever longer list, including names like David Beckham, Stuart Pearce, Gareth Southgate, Paul Ince, Chris Waddle, David Batty, Darius Vassell, Paul Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. But who are the best English penalty takers?
The English professional football players may have a bad reputation from the penalty spot, there are still some players that are the exceptions to the rule. Who is the English penalty king?
The former Southampton player only missed out on one occasion, against goalkepper Mark Crossley who had an excellent penalty-killer reputation. All in all, in 50 attempts Le Tissier scored 49 goals. A score rarely seen in international football. Le Tissier hardly ever played for the England national squad, for reasons unknown to most English fans. Probably Le Tissier was too technical for the kick and rush football of the time.
2. Alan Shearer
Although Shearer has 11 misses to his credit, he also scored almost 50 goals for Newcastle from the spot and never missed one for England. His technique from the spot is beautifull, quite the contrary from his technique on the pitch. According to Strafschop, a lot of practice must have gone into perfecting the Shearer approach to the ball and shot. Most of the times, Shearer shoots hard in the left of right had uppercorner. Unstoppable for any goalkeeper and most of the time clos to perfection. One of the international top 5 picks of Strafschop.nl when it comes to a shoot out.
3. Phil Neal
The defender of Liverpool was so dependable that even players like Ian Rush or Kenny Dalglish left the penalties to their not very internationally renowed teamplayer. He only missed once, in the derby against Everton. In 1984 he scored in the European Cup final in Rome. Of his 41 League goals, 26 were from the spot.
4. Ray Steward
Scoring 76 penalties out of 86 attempts, Steward became a dependable goal scorer for West Ham United.
5. Eric Cantona
OK OK, he is French….but it is not THAT easy to find 5 good English penaltytakers, so we had to include a player who is still massively popular in (certain) parts of England. Scoring 17 out of 18 penalties for Manchester United, he was as dependable a penalty taker as he was undependable as a personality. By the way, his famous karate kick was also spot on.
(Stats taken from: Daily Telegraph/Daily Mail)