Thursday, March 13, 2008

England and Penalties: the pain continues

The UEFA Cup was not kind to the English last night, as both Everton and Spurs dropped out of the competition after overcoming their first-leg deficits before losing in penalty shoot-outs.

Both teams looked sharper and more dangerous during open play, but as things ticked down towards penalties, you had to wonder. After all, we don't exactly have the best relationship with the shoot-out.

Putting club competitions aside, penalties are our national nightmare.

Simply put: we're crap at them.

Our national team fails every time from the spot-kick, leaving the nation weeping and heartbroken until the next tournament rolls around. In my lifetime, I've seen the national team bow out of 5 tournaments [3 World Cups, 2 European Championships] at the hands of the penalty shoot-out.

I can still remember the misses.

Italia '90, semi-finals
4-3 on pens to West Germany, 1-1 aet
[Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle missed]

Euro '96, semi-finals
6-5 on pens to Germany, 1-1 aet
[Gareth Southgate]

France '98, 2nd round
4-3 on pens to Argentina, 2-2 aet
[Paul Ince and David Batty]

Euro '04, quarter-finals
6-5 on pens to Portugal, 2-2 aet
[David Beckham, Darius Vassell]

Germany '06, quarter-finals
3-1 on pens to Portugal, 0-0 aet
[Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher]

8 tournaments qualified for since 1990
5 of them, eliminated on penalties
2 of them, eliminated in the first round
1 we lost outright to Brazil, 2-1, in Korea/Japan '02

Of course, there is one English team that isn't half-bad at penalties: that's right... Liverpool FC.



The NY Kid said...

Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher


The NY Kid said...

Oh, and in that first video, Dudek was way too far off his line - that should have been a re-kick.

Anonymous said...

4th place looks even further away now, doesn't it, Bitters?

Aw, it would be wasted on them anyhow since they wouldn't even make it out of Qualifying.

Andrew said...

Perhaps the only "penalty" situation the English ever won was the Battle of Britain, which was far less important than any tourney.