Glenn Hoddle once said there was no point in practising penalties outside of competition as it is almost impossible to replicate the pressure that players are under in the knock-out stages.
However, the England set-up has turned down the opportunity to at least bring a touch of that pressure to a practice session that was put forward by sponsors, who requested an open training session before the friendly against Peru on May 27.
England’s sponsors Vauxhall wanted to activate their 'pitch use' clause in their sponsorship deal and invite upwards of 30,000 school children to watch the training session but manager Roy Hodgson declined the opportunity, it is reported in the Daily Telegraph.
Having gone out of six of their last 10 tournaments on penalties, any practice would be beneficial one would imagine – even if the atmosphere at an open training session would hardly match the partisan atmosphere expected at this summer’s upcoming World Cup.
England begin their World Cup campaign with a game against Italy on June 14 before facing Uruguay five days later and Costa Rica on June 24. Of course, if the Three Lions fail to emerge from what is a tough group, all this talk of practising penalties may become academic.
However, having said that, if they do once again go out on penalties, expect the customary inquest into the reasons for their failure from 12 yards to be long and drawn out.
- Sports & Recreation