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Baines relinquished spot-kick duties to keep Lukaku scoring

by | 07/05/2015  Comments (46)  jump

(Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)
Leighton Baines has revealed that confidence lay behind his decision to give up his role as Everton's penalty taker — not through a lack of it on his part but to boost that of Romelu Lukaku in his role as the Blues' main goalscorer.

Just who should assume responsibility for taking spot kicks in the Everton side has been something of a mystery ever since Kevin Mirallas appeared to usurp Baines in the home game against West Bromwich Albion in January, a situation made worse by the fact that the Belgian failed to score.

Since then, Lukaku has taken four of the team's penalties and, as Baines told the Liverpool Echo, it was a gesture he made to the striker aimed at providing him with goalscoring momentum.

When Rom signed permanently I said then, if he wanted them, no problem'," the fullback said. It was just about getting him scoring when we re-signed him.

So I said whenever you're ready, just tell me' because, again, I'm thinking of him as a player.

Strikers live off goals and look at their records and if he's scoring penalties, and his record is looking good, then his confidence is good and you'll probably get other goals on the back of that.

It can work the other way if they don't go in, but if he gets the goals through that and the confidence..."

Many fans have questioned whether Baines lost his nerve after seeing a crucial spot-kick saved by David de Gea at Old Trafford earlier in the season, particularly given that he didn't intervene when, with Lukaku out injured, Ross Barkley took the ball against Burnley recently and also missed a penalty which, thankfully, did not prove costly.

Baines, who has one of the best records from 12 yards in the Premier League, says he doesn't mind either way, however, and is happy to resume penalty duties if need be.

I'm relaxed about it either way, he continued. "[I]t's not like I don't want to hit them, I've taken them for long enough in many a different situation and scenario — it's not a confidence issue.

I'm always available to take them. But I'm not egotistical and think I've got to score these goals'.

Quotes sourced from Liverpool Echo

Reader Comments (46)

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James Flynn
1 Posted 07/05/2015 at 21:15:08
Good fellow.

Haha. Gerrard should have ceded the same to Suarez with spot kicks and pens last season. They couldÂ’ve won the league.

Good on Baines.

Danny Broderick
2 Posted 07/05/2015 at 21:14:07
This just doesnÂ’t seem right to me. If I was the best tackler at a club, IÂ’d be throwing myself into tackles at any given opportunity to show I was the best. If I was the best passer, IÂ’d be spraying passes at every opportunity - again, because I could. If I was the best goal poacher, IÂ’d be looking to get on the end of things in the box. If I was the best header IÂ’d insist on going up for every corner.

Would Davie Unsworth have given up the penalties? No chance. This seems like a press sound bite to me, to put a lid on it. I canÂ’t believe any footballer who was a top penalty taker would happily move aside when a penalty came up.

You have to play to your strengths, whatever they may be. If you are good at pens, take the pens! Andy Hinchcliffe was good at corners so he was put on corners. Simple!

Doug Harris
3 Posted 07/05/2015 at 21:19:14
What a fuckin joke... all very well building a fellow player's confidence up? Fine but what about the team, the club?

The main thing is getting results for the team, sod a confidence-booster to a player who, has yet, not in one way lived up to the 㿈mill tag we paid for him.

Okay, I know it wasn't Rom who decided "I'm a 㿈 mill player ....

Give me strength. Sorry, Leighton, way out of order there lad.

Ross Edwards
4 Posted 07/05/2015 at 21:27:43
This is not a nice, fluffy Â’Awww, isnÂ’t that nice?Â’ case of Baines simply giving up the responsibility of his own volition.

No footballer would ever voluntarily give up the responsibility to take pens. This is a decision from Martinez that has been spun to make it look like LBÂ’s own decision.

Jim Bennings
5 Posted 07/05/2015 at 21:27:24
Embarrassing really that Lukaku needs pens to "keep scoring".

LetÂ’s be honest if he keeps scuffing them its just a matter of time before he misses one. The fact that he has scored just one goal from open play since early December is a sad sorry story for a striker we spent 㿈 million quid on.

People can rant and rave about a lack of service or poor team displays, whatever way you look at it, we totally bust our transfer record for a striker that doesnÂ’t perform well enough in the Premier League.

Also Leighton Baines SHOULD be on the pens again as of now.

Michael Kenrick
6 Posted 07/05/2015 at 21:41:44
Well, reading what Baines says, and being gullible enough to believe heÂ’s telling us the truth, IÂ’m fine with that.

Sounds like a perfectly reasonable reason for the switch. But clearly the manÂ’s word on the subject is not enough for some...

John Gee
7 Posted 07/05/2015 at 21:55:03
His comments donÂ’t explain the Mirallas incident. This looks to me like an RM decision. A way of justifying spending 㿈m on a player to the board.

Either way, this shows what an asset Baines is to a team and itÂ’s spirit. HeÂ’s the one player we have who has been CL class consistently.

Steve Pugh
8 Posted 07/05/2015 at 22:13:20
Sadly Michael some people only believe the bad things that are reported to come out of our players mouths. Anything positive is a lie.
Eddie Dunn
9 Posted 07/05/2015 at 22:19:19
This is typical of the lovely lad that Baines is. Alas, why does it come to Lukaku needing the pens to inflate his goals record?

The team should come first, and even though Rom seems confident enough, he has scuffed a couple of them and is not as good as Baines.

For me the manager should have stepped in (if he hasnÂ’t already!) and insisted on Baines taking them.

Denis Richardson
10 Posted 07/05/2015 at 22:22:49
Best outfield pen taker should be taking pens, end of.

Players should also not be deciding who takes the pens. ThatÂ’s the managers job.

If what Baines says is true then why were players like Coleman telling him to take the pens?

Phil Sammon
11 Posted 07/05/2015 at 22:38:13
ItÂ’s interesting (read Â’suspiciousÂ’) that this is only coming out now. People have been asking this question for months. Including, as Denis points out, Seamus Coleman, who seemingly hadnÂ’t got the message.

Maybe this is the truth, I donÂ’t know, but I do know that Baines is a better set piece taker than Lukaku. That goes for free kicks too. Get the specialist back on them!

Patrick Murphy
12 Posted 07/05/2015 at 22:45:44
Lukaku should already be thankful for the number of goals created by Leighton and now this selfless act of letting him take the penalties has helped him to keep his Premier League goals tally ticking over.

Baines added: "So it's partly that and, from the club's point of view, he's an asset. "We've paid a lot of money for him, he's a young striker who is going to be judged on his goals, not your left-back.

- I hope that Lukaku doesnÂ’t demand a move in the summer because that would show him up to be less of a person than many think he is, I wonder how his former boss would view this situation.

Jim Bennings
13 Posted 07/05/2015 at 23:25:25
It also doesnÂ’t explain why Barkley was allowed to take one too, not just the Mirallas incident.

What will it be next? Tony Hibbert taking one to finally break his duck??

Its become farcical now at Everton where we are just playing around like kids in a playground.

Lyndon Lloyd
14 Posted 07/05/2015 at 23:45:13
BainesÂ’s rationale is perfectly sound. Strikers thrive on the confidence that goals bring you, so I have no problem with the change, even if Rom looks like heÂ’s going to roll one right into the Â’keeperÂ’s arms every time!

My issue is with the lack of clear direction. Martinez said emphatically after Mirallas missed against WBA that "Leighton Baines is on penalties." Since then he hasnÂ’t taken one.

James Flynn
15 Posted 07/05/2015 at 23:16:56
Phil - (11), "Maybe this is the truth". Really?

"Maybe" nothing. Baines stated it, plain and simple. ThatÂ’s that.

Fucking Baines. Doing his best for the Club by encouraging its striker.


Harold Matthews
16 Posted 07/05/2015 at 23:49:58
Lukaku is 4 out of 4 but he has to be one of the worst penalty takers IÂ’ve ever seen. So bad, the keeper is frozen in disbelief.
Brian Porter
17 Posted 08/05/2015 at 01:00:06
My respect for Leighton Baines is higher than itÂ’s ever been. The guy is Everton through and through, but Martinez should be saying that Baines is our Number One penalty taker, bugger using them as a way to increase RomÂ’s confidence or goal tally. HeÂ’s a bloody striker and should be scoring from open play, like Benteke, Rom. One since Christmas? And what did we pay for him?
Mark Andersson
18 Posted 08/05/2015 at 00:58:48
Almost had me for a moment. I think Bobby has bullshit lessons to make up for the time we donÂ’t spend on practising corners

Finch Holiday Farm 10 minutes warm up followed by 10 minutes tippy tappy drills then into the classroom to master the art of bullshit press release.

Have to agree with Jim and Harold: Rom is not a good penalty taker, he dithers has no clear mind set to make his decisions. Unless he is practising every day at the holiday camp you just know that sooner or later itÂ’s going to cost us valuable points.

Every day a new and ridiculous debate to behold.

Love ToffeeWeb first thing in the morning.

Michael Winstanley
19 Posted 08/05/2015 at 01:07:41
I agree with you Harold, LukakuÂ’s style is so bad the keeper has no chance.

Nicholas Ryan
20 Posted 08/05/2015 at 01:59:03
ItÂ’s weird... Lukaku does look like the worst penalty-taker in history ... but, IÂ’m fairly sure, his record for Everton is 100%.
Jim Hardin
21 Posted 08/05/2015 at 01:48:14
How in the heck is 4 out of 4 bad? It is not uncommon for a striker to take penalties to keep or gain confidence. Balotelli took one for Liverpool fairly recently. Hazard takes them all the time (I know he is playing more of a winger spot). Baines is not a "Fat Frank" Lampard running onto every pitch in England to take a penalty kick even if it is in a pub league.

Why is it so hard to believe that Baines is telling the truth? He is not one of RMÂ’s puppets but instead seems to do what is best for the team if he can.. He disregards RM on the field when pushing the ball up as evidenced by RM screaming at him. He made the odd comments on-air about the team which wouldnÂ’t have sat well with RM.

Love the fact that after RM declared Baines to be the PK taker, he gave one to Barkley, to try to get his confidence up, and the rest to Lukaku, who hasnÂ’t missed. It is Baines stepping up and being a leader in a quiet way and an effective way and a classy way while at the same time thumbing his nose at RM.

Baines seems to always let his actions speak louder than words. I have often thought he would have been the starting England left back a few years earlier if he had been more demonstrative about his qualities and his wish to be the starter.

Eric Myles
22 Posted 08/05/2015 at 01:36:24
So heÂ’s only done it to make LukakuÂ’s stats look good.
James Stewart
23 Posted 08/05/2015 at 02:52:34
Idiotic and unbelievable. If this is the truth then why was Barkley taking it?

Baines should be the penalty taker end of.

Bob Skelton
24 Posted 08/05/2015 at 04:12:00
Wait until Lukaku misses an important one. 4 out of 4 is good but the manner of them will soon be sussed out. He doesnÂ’t inspire confidence.

Taking and scoring penalties will inspire confidence for our centre forward but the converse is also true if he starts missing then his and the teams confidence will quickly disappear.

LetÂ’s wait and see on this one.

Phil Sammon
25 Posted 08/05/2015 at 06:37:14
James 15

Cheers for the aggressive riposte.

IÂ’m not calling Baines a liar. IÂ’m just saying that heÂ’s playing down a farce that has been running for much too long. This all started with Mirallas grabbing the ball to take one which was clearly never agreed upon by anyone other than himself. Lukaku and Barkley then start having a pop and the manager offers a completely incoherent explanation. Basically that we have numerous penalty takers on the pitch and whoever feels like it can step up and take one. ItÂ’s a complete nonsense that we are even having this discussion about a Premier League football club.

Jim Bennings
26 Posted 08/05/2015 at 08:14:38
DidnÂ’t he miss one for Chelsea against Munich in some World Club Champion penalty shootout??

Think it was one of those crazy stalled short run-ups if IÂ’m not wrong.

Andrew Ellams
27 Posted 08/05/2015 at 08:34:02
It was the European Super Cup I think, Jim, and wasnÂ’t it the last time he kicked a ball for Chelsea?
Colin Glassar
28 Posted 08/05/2015 at 08:43:13
This doesnÂ’t sound right to me. Either Leighton has been lent on to make this ridiculous statement or he just doesnÂ’t care if he ever scores again. Either way it stinks the house out. Very unprofessional attitude.
Darren Bailey
29 Posted 08/05/2015 at 08:52:07
The reason why RM isnÂ’t going to come out and say Baines is No 1 is because heÂ’s not any more so stop thinking he is. Rom is now our penalty taker, whether we like it or not, and whether it be because of Baines relinquishing responsibilty or RM taking it off him, itÂ’s done.

Does he fill me with confidence when he steps up? No. Will he miss with one of the next half a dozen? Yes, probably. But we have to get behind the player no matter what. HeÂ’s our Number 1 striker and should be scoring 20+ goals from open play a season but this season heÂ’ll only manage it with penalties so why canÂ’t it be true that Baines felt it was better for the team that he take them? Rom had a great spell before his injury which included all round goals and only the player himself will know whether that confidence came from seeing his tally go up thanks to a few penalties.

My gripe with all this penalty taking nonsense is Mirallas and Barkley taking them. I donÂ’t think this was an issue at the start of the season as Baines was knocking them in fine but it all changed with Mirallas. Rom was on the pitch at the time and didnÂ’t grab the ball and was in fact telling Mirallas to give it to Baines so at this point Baines was still the No 1. This has all blown up from that.

My guess is that RM needed to put a lid on the whole situation and they decided between them that it would be changed around. I cannot explain the Barkley penalty at all, maybe that was also a confidence issue.

We donÂ’t know what our players train on and do at Finch Farm or what they do or say behind closed doors but what is true is that penalties have been a farce this season so why canÂ’t this be a logical explanation and an end to the whole sorry sage instead of criticising the club yet again?

Apart from that, IÂ’ve got 㿀 on Rom scoring 20+ goals this season so penalties galore in the next 3 games please.

Max Wilson
30 Posted 08/05/2015 at 10:07:23
I agree with Phil S (11). ItÂ’s a no-Baineser! Leighton is a far more reliable spot kick performer. And that is a psychological advantage against goalies. ("Oh shit, IÂ’m facing Leighton Baines who never misses!") Come on now. Wheres your common sense?

Anyway, I thought that strikers are meant to be kept hungry not satiated with success. This is all bollocks. Like RMÂ’s team selections.

Trevor Lynes
31 Posted 08/05/2015 at 10:57:39
It is better that players or managers say nothing and then we would not get stupid negative comments by fans. I know from experience that saying anything at all will be twisted by some people to put a negative spin on it.

IMO, Baines is a very quiet lad who never complained when he sat on the bench for ages whilst Lescott played out of position at left back. He is never vocal or confrontational and just gets on with his job efficiently.

I think he should have stayed as first choice penalty taker but I wholeheartedly believe why he passed the duty over to other so-called strikers. I for one do not think he is a liar!

Laurie Hartley
32 Posted 08/05/2015 at 11:48:58
On a lighter note, as I was reading through the posts I thought about Roy Vernon and smiled. When Royston was on the pitch Royston took the penalties. I think he only ever missed one. It was just a blip.

If he could have, he would have lit up a fag before he placed the ball on the spot, took a big drag, had a look up as he blew a couple of smoke rings and then dispatched it to whatever corner of the goal that took his fancy at the time.

Tim Greeley
33 Posted 08/05/2015 at 11:57:59
How many on here will be longing for Lukaku when he is gone and we have a Jelavic-level replacement??

Sure heÂ’s had a disappointing season by his standard, but that is only because he has been scoring shitloads of goals since he was 18. IÂ’d just be wary of continuously knocking the one player on EvertonÂ’s roster that raises our entire profile.

However, as Jim B and others astutely pointed out, this does absolutely nothing to explain the embarrassing SuperKev and Barkley incidents. Baines passed over by penalty novices twice at important moments. ThatÂ’s QPR, bush league shameful stuff. For shame!

Jamie Barlow
34 Posted 08/05/2015 at 13:36:00
BainesÂ’s last three have been just as bad as Lukaku's.

I don't care how bad they look if they go in.

100% success rate and people are moaning.

Steve Carse
35 Posted 08/05/2015 at 14:47:15
Jim and Andrew (26 and 27), youÂ’re both right. Lukaku has not changed his penalty style despite that miss. To me heÂ’s an accident waiting to happen and when it does happen it will likely be one of the worst penalties ever because it will be a very gently stroked effort that the goalie has guessed correctly.
Ray Robinson
36 Posted 08/05/2015 at 15:45:36
Steve #35, totally agree. On a par perhaps with YakubuÂ’s worst penalty or HazardÂ’s last weekend. If Lukaku needs to score from penalties, it proves that he isnÂ’t performing adequately in open play. I like the lad and recognise that he is probably the best forward weÂ’ve had for a long while but using penalties to boost goal tallies and confidence proves to me that he has a long way to go yet. Have you also noticed how many shots he scuffs? The man is a beast, has a powerful shot but rarely connects properly. And where have his headed goals gone?
Terry McLavey
37 Posted 08/05/2015 at 17:25:39
I was willing that last one in, IÂ’d thought heÂ’d missed!

The trouble is if he missed the next one we have the usual pantomime about his confidence, which looks pretty shaky at best!

I see his first touch has regressed to what it was.

Ray Atherton
38 Posted 08/05/2015 at 17:10:44
Laurie 32

I remember we were 1-0 down at Elland Road against Leeds, it was a cup tie about 64-65 season. Alex Scott was the designated penalty taker, as I think the great Roy Vernon had been on the injured list.

The Blues were awarded a spot kick, Alex Scott (Chico) took a weak penalty, Gary Sprake saved it but had moved, the referee said take it again. Roy Vernon took the ball from Chico, put it on the spot and buried it past their goalie.

That mirrored Mirallas against West Brom, he couldn't lace Vernon's boots.

Phil Walling
39 Posted 08/05/2015 at 18:21:33
Martinez adheres to a laissez faire school of management. Â’Do what you bloody like, penalties are incidental to the game, anyway. If it goes tits up, IÂ’ll come up with some cock and bull story to explain... even find a player to do it for me. Anyway weÂ’ve only missed two since Bainesy got the ball pinched off him. WhatÂ’s the fuss about ?Â’

Steve Woods
40 Posted 08/05/2015 at 18:39:23
Great observation Phil @39. That does seem to sum up the situation doesnÂ’t it.

Being harsh (but fair) I suppose we could lob in (if the accounts are true):
1. Not really practising taking corners
2. Not really practising receiving corners
3. Defenders on the posts or not only decided upon at the last minute (or not).

Callum McNab
41 Posted 08/05/2015 at 19:04:25
Load of bollocks to me. Seems someone wants a good goal record to try and encourage clubs to come and buy him, and seems the club are encouraging it.

We were fighting relegation so we take the ball off one of the best penalty takers in the prem, to give it to someone who had no confidence.

Laurie Hartley
42 Posted 08/05/2015 at 23:25:49
Ray at 38 - Yes I remember that - Vernon had no fear. He was confident bordering on arrogant but in a one on one with any goalie whether in open play or from the spot you would always back him to score.

In my view Baines should never have stopped taking the penalties but now that Lukaku is, and has scored 4 out of 4, he should keep taking them until such times as he doesnÂ’t want to, misses a couple, or the manager changes the designated penalty taker.

Joe Edwards
43 Posted 09/05/2015 at 17:58:08
I am afraid that this is yet more evidence that Martinez has absolutely no fucking control over his team whatsoever.
Ant Dwyer
44 Posted 10/05/2015 at 00:12:31
I donÂ’t mean to be negative but I do not believe this shit for a minute. Martinez is a clown who has upset Baines, resulting in Baines telling Roberto to shove his penalties up his arse.

We had a great team morale under Moyes and now we have a disgruntled squad. Mirallas, Distin both unhappy with their treatment. Lukaku, Coleman, Baines, Howard, Barkley, Besic all had their confidence shattered. Alcaraz, Kone, Barry, Robles, McGeady all signed by Roberto and simply not good enough. Osman, Hibbert, Naismith, Pienaar all well past it.

All the above is making or has made a mockery of our club throughout this campaign so letÂ’s fix the main issue and sack Borat.

Barry Jones
45 Posted 10/05/2015 at 03:05:38
If I am not mistaken, I think that Martinez actually said that Rom would be the penalty taker when he was fit and available. I would agree with just about everyone who has commented here that Baines is a better dead-ball striker than Rom and should therefore continue.

I believe that Baines was told to relinquish the penalties to Rom by Martinez as he desperately needs him to increase his goal tally to justify the outlay. If this is the case, then Martinez is not worried about the negative impact that it may have on the scoreline and the confidence of the other players. This is quite scary.

Simon Lloyd
46 Posted 12/05/2015 at 08:43:32
Who would you rather have taking a penalty to save your life; Bainsey, Romelu, any other member of the team?

Give the ball to Baines, every time.

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