England considering Jordan Pickford as one of their penalty TAKERS should knockout match with Germany go to shoot-out… as Gareth Southgate insists ‘we will be well prepared’ should clash be decided from the spot
will instruct his players to keep complete control ahead of any potential nerve-jangling penalty shoot-out against with goalkeeper being backed as one of England’s early takers.
Tuesday’s last 16 tie could be the first shoot-out between the two nations since Euro 1996, where Southgate missed his semi-final penalty as Germany went on to win the tournament.
Prior to Southgate taking over, England had an abysmal shoot-out record, winning just one from seven in competitions — againstin Euro 96.
Jordan Pickford is being considered as one of England’s penalty takers should he be needed
Tuesday’s tie with Germany could be the first shoot-out between the nations since Euro 96
But they have a 100 percent record under Southgate, beating Colombia in the last World Cup and Switzerland in the Nations League finals in 2019.
Pickford was one of the first five takers against the Swiss two years ago and has impressed in training at this tournament.
Kalvin Phillips admits he has been impressed and endorsed the idea of Pickford taking one. ‘He’s a very clean striker of the ball,’ he said. ‘It makes it a lot easier when you have a keeper who could probably score a free-kick as well as a penalty.’
Southgate and his assistant Steve Holland have taken a meticulous approach to penalties during their reign and have prepared the squad for the prospect of a shoot-out.
Players have been encouraged to have prepared their penalty routines and not to deviate if required to step up. The advice will be helpful for players who are not regular takers for their clubs.
Southgate and his assistant Steve Holland have meticulously prepared for a penalty shoot-out
Some players have decided to keep their focus on one point ahead of them as they make the daunting walk to the penalty area from the halfway line, while others plan to place the ball on the spot in such a way that they strike a certain part of the ball.
But whatever players decide to do, Southgate has encouraged them to complete every part of their routine, in their own time, in an attempt to normalise the situation.
England have practised penalties after almost every session since international football returned in September 2020. They have even made players complete the walk from the halfway line to simulate a match environment.
England have won both shoot-outs since Southgate took charge including against Colombia
‘We have a process,’ Southgate said. ‘We’ve won our last two shoot-outs, so we had a process that worked for us through that preparation and we followed that same process.
‘There’s a little bit more focus on it this week but we don’t start that this week because that would be too late and also we didn’t want to make a bigger thing of it than it is.
‘We created a process that works for us. We think the players understand that and we’ll be well prepared if it comes to that moment.’
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