Gerrard tells all about England’s penalty chances
England have the worst penalty shoot-out record in World Cup history, with three defeats out of three, however they are 7/1 to win a penalty shoot-out at any stage.
According to captain Steven Gerrard, the Three Lions have been doing everything they can to remedy that, by practising “a lot”.
“I understand the fixation because we’ve failed in a few,” said the England skipper
“But don’t get carried away with it because it might never come about.”
“As players hopefully we perform well enough in 90 minutes or 120 minutes to prevent it going to a shoot-out. But we will be ready for a shoot-out if it comes around.”
England were defeated on spot-kicks in 1990, 1998 and 2006, and were last victorious at Euro ’96, when they knocked out Spain the quarter finals.
It has been their achilles heel at major tournaments, though going into the World Cup in Brazil, they are perhaps equipped with an array of players, who are significantly strong when it comes to hitting the back of the net from 11-yards out.
Gerrard himself has scored 11 from the spot already this season, while Leighton Baines has an impressive record for Everton. Throw in Frank Lampard, who has scored 43 out of 49 in the Premier League, second only to Alan Shearer, and England have a great chance. Rickie Lambert, however, has never missed in his professional career.
Roy Hodgson has brought in top sports psychologist Dr Steve Peters, who has helped the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan and the British cycling team, and Gerrard is aware of the mental rigours.
“A penalty shootout is a more pressurised situation than any one penalty in a league game,” he added.
“You have an awful lot more time to think about your penalty, and what is at stake is a lot bigger.
“Unfortunately for me I failed in that situation when I took a penalty in a World Cup environment and it was a difficult atmosphere to be in.
“I learnt my lessons from that and a couple of years ago I scored the penalty I was asked to take.”