Yes I know, a trite and only slightly witty comment addressed to poor Wayne. I should be above such ‘Braying to the mob’ type remarks. Well here is something constructive.
After the match one of the commentators remarked that England had gone out of competitions 5 times so far due to their difficulty with the penalty shoot-outs. Some one mentioned that they do practice taking penalties in training but in training there is little pressure. So I have come up with an idea to bring a little pressure into the training schedule.
When the squad come to gether for the European Championships in 2008 all 22 players will put a weeks wages in five pound notes into a pot, a pretty big pot to be sure, I’m not totally sure what the top 22 footballers in the country would earn in a week but I have a feeling that we are talking serious money here.
Then a neutral goalkeeper would be employed just to save the penalties. Any shots that went wide or over or hit the wood work he gets nothing but any he saved would earn him £5000 from the pot.
Each player would then take a penalty. They would all stand in the centre circle and their names would be draw out of a hat. Then they would walk to the penalty area, passing on the way this big, big pile of five pound notes. Is this pressure? To add to the pressure just a little Channel Five could televise it, a sort of Big Brother meets The Weakest Penalty Taker. fail to score and you are out. Score and you go through to the next round. Which would be the next day.
Ladbrokes could take bets, spectators could be admitted to the training ground. Some would come to watch the penalties, me I’d go just to gaze, and drool at the obscene mound of fivers.
Just feel for a moment, you walk past the money, you place the ball on the spot, you back of a few feet and wait for the ref to blow the whistle. Miss and you’re out. Been here before? England fans have. Five times so far. You run up and kick. A good training schedule with so much pressure, just like the real thing, miss and you’re out of the world cup except that here it’s miss and you’re out of all that money.
Eventually we would get to a point where only a few players were left. What if they all miss their penalty. Well the security guards who have been standing next to the cash would pay the goalkeeper his £5000 per save, give me my 10% cut for thinking up the idea and then they would pour petrol over the rest and set fire to it.