Glenn Hoddle: England players should look forward to penalties

Betfair ambassador Glenn Hoddle
Glenn has confidence in England's penalty-takers

Betfair Ambassador Glenn Hoddle looks ahead to England's World Cup last-16 clash with Senegal and says players should be positive if it goes to penalties...


Penalty shootouts are nothing to do with technique and are all about mental strength. Every professional player in the world should be able to beat a goalkeeper from that distance and will probably do so eight times out of 10. But the pressure on player in a penalty shootout is the major problem.

I'd imagine England have got a sports phycologist that's done some work with them. For me, it is about embracing a penalty shootout. That's what the Germans did because they're so good at it.

Players should look forward to a shootout

You've got to look forward to taking a penalty in a shootout. You can't replicate the pressure in training but you can work on it and visualise it. You've got to be positive. If a match at a major tournament goes to penalties, you want every member of the squad, even the goalkeepers, to say they're up for it because you don't know who's going to be on the pitch at the time.

That's the other thing a manager has to think about, it's late on in the game, you've made subs, and a player may have had to come of because they've had a knock and suddenly you've got someone who you wouldn't necessarily have as first choice taking a penalty.

Not every player wants to take a penalty and you have to work with who's on the pitch.

Beckham would have taken pen in '98

You can have as many people in mind to take penalties as you want. In 1998 against Argentina, David Beckham would have taken a penalty but he was sent off. Paul Merson came on because he was a penalty taker. You can't plan anything until the last 10 minutes of extra-time, and you have to react then.

You can't make the decision of who's taking them until late. I had quite a few players that didn't want to take one, and we were down to 10 men.

David Seaman v Argentina 1998.jpg

Looking back would I have asked David Seaman to take one? No, but if he came up to me and said he was happy to take one it would have been a big risk, but nowadays I think goalkeepers use their feet so much now they can take penalties. You'd certainly have Ederson taking one if he was in goal for you.

You really can't plan until you know in that last 10 minutes who's on the pitch and who you can put on. There are lots of permutations then suddenly you have to make that decision.

There were players who didn't want to do it, and if a player is honest enough to say, "I don't fancy this, Gaffer," you can't force them. You have to have a meeting before the game and ask players to be honest to see who will take one if they are on the pitch.

No problems picking penalty takers from this England team

I think we've got some good strikers of the ball and I wouldn't have any problems picking five to take one. It's more about the mentality, some players might be having a nightmare during the game and they might not be happy with the way they're playing.

Gareth Southgate and Steve Holland World Cup trainig.jpg

If they're on the pitch, I'd pick Harry Kane, Phil Foden and Declan Rice is a good striker of the ball with a good mentality. Even young Jude Bellingham would be up for it with his experience.

Gareth Southgate might even go for Jordan Pickford as well, you might put him ahead of some of the outfield players because he strikes one hell of a ball. It's all down to if he has the mentality and he fancies it.

There's enough players in the team who you would be confident about picking. Jack Grealish is another one and Mason Mount too. They're all decent strikers of the ball, it's all down to the mental side of things and that's the big question.

It's in that moment, there's no turning back for a player when you make that walk to the penalty spot. You've got to embrace it and enjoy it. It's easy to say, but very difficult to do.

I took penalties for Tottenham, and I used to trick myself. Against QPR in the FA Cup Final I took a penalty that came very early in the game and I hadn't had many touches. It was just me, the goalie, a ball and the goal posts. I shut everything else out and said: "This is going in, you're going to score."

It went in and we won 1-0.

You have to be in such a positive frame of mind, because the goalkeeper has got nothing to lose. No goalkeeper stands there on the line and says: "I've got to save this, I'm expected to save this." They're relaxed. They react to the kick. If they save it they're a hero, if it goes in they're not a villain.

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