Extra time always “beckons”, the commentary style guide says, while penalties “loom”. And over no nation do penalties loom – or at least the “spectre” of them – more ominously than England. 1990, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006, 2012. Since then, it hasn’t been so much a root-and-branch review as much as ripping the entire tree out, examining every leaf, slicing the trunk in half and then staring at the insides until the answer is found. Golf-putting games, psychometric testing, staged training-ground penalty shootouts, complete with the dreaded long, lonely walk. Strip away that professional paranoia and institutional inhibition, though, and – from a fan’s perspective at least – it comes down to one, intangible sense, which generally manifests itself in: “he’ll miss this”. The only man in recorded human history who has predicted, out loud, that a player from a team he supports will score a penalty is Kevin Keegan – that unfailing, near-tragic footballing optimist – who was urged by ITV’s Brian Moore to provide a futile forecast of David Batty’s kick against Argentina in 1998. “You know him better than anybody…do you back him to score? Quickly, yes or no?” When – not if – England are faced with their national nemesis in this… Read full this story
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Who will take England's penalties? Here are the five players who will leave you feeling most secure have 327 words, post on www.telegraph.co.uk at July 3, 2018. This is cached page on Gatofuns. If you want remove this page, please contact us.