August 13, 2022

Image credit: Daily Mail

Goalkeepers are not to blame for England’s penalty-taking woes

The purported “penalty curse” that has overshadowed England’s success in major tournaments is unfounded.

German researchers looked into whether a goalkeeper’s nationality had an impact on his or her penalty save rate.

They discovered that English male goalkeepers are statistically equivalent to goalkeepers from other countries.

Other factors, they say, such as the squad’s weight of expectation, may have influenced poor performances.

The researchers looked at 2,379 penalties from the World Cup and Euros, as well as Champions League and Europa League games, with 629 different goalkeepers on the field.

They next looked at goalie success rates from other countries but found no significant differences based on where they were born.

English goalkeepers are not to blame for England’s bad performances in penalty shootouts in the past, stated Prof. Daniel Memmert of the Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln (German Sport University Cologne).

The same group previously produced research suggesting that England’s penalty takers are no worse than those from other countries.

Recent research exonerates the keepers, who are on the other side of the penalty shootout equation.

The sample’s average success rate was 22.23 per cent, implying that the goalkeeper saved slightly more than one out of every five penalties.

When all penalty kicks, including shoot-outs and in-game penalties, were considered, the average success percentage of English goalkeepers was 28.45 per cent across all four tournaments studied.

This was the second-best rate among the nationalities studied, right behind Spain’s 28.75 per cent average.

The study, however, found no significant differences in the success rates of keepers from different countries.

Since the introduction of penalty shoot-outs, England has lost seven times in World Cups and European Championships.

Dr Brinkschulte, Prof. Memmert, and colleagues Philip Furley and Max Klemp claim that a phenomenon is known as “stereotype threat” can exacerbate the problem in their study. Previous psychological studies have demonstrated that simply adding a stereotype to a social group might impair its performance on specific tasks. …………………