Everton on the Spot

by   |   12/06/2019  21 Comments  [Jump to last]

I’m interested to know fellow Toffees' views on our penalty taker next season. With the introduction of VAR, new handball rules and the scrapping of replays in FA Cup matches, converting penalties is going to be an even more crucial part of the game.

The reason I ask is that I don’t think Sigurdsson, despite his dead-ball expertise, is a natural penalty taker. I wouldn’t trust Richarlison either after his effort in the League Cup last season. Calvert-Lewin doesn’t appear to have that clinical finish or composure to take them either.

I am assuming that Baines, the obvious candidate, will not feature much next season so, for me, it has to be Digne, or Gomes (if he signs) as they appear to have the "cleanest" strikes. I'm not one for the Lukaku type roll-em-in-the-corner penalties, I like to see the ball struck with venom so that the goalie has little chance even if he does dive the right way.

I'd certainly consider Pickford as well in a shootout but not during the course of a match where a miss would leave us susceptible to a counter-attack.

Of course, the taker has to want to take the actual penalty!

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Reader Comments (21)

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Alan J Thompson
1 Posted 13/06/2019 at 07:29:46
I'd go for Calvert-Lewin, get him practicing down at Finch Farm in order he becomes the third 15 goals a season player albeit that Sigurdsson becomes the 6 -10 goal man. It might just be the boost his confidence needs and in Pickford we might just have the teacher to show him both sides of the kick that might improve other parts of his finishing game, you know, and I was going to omit this, to think outside the box.

Dennis Stevens
2 Posted 13/06/2019 at 10:49:16
Whoever it is, the whole team should know who the main penalty takers are & in what order of preference - no petulantly grabbing the ball!
John Chambers
3 Posted 13/06/2019 at 20:18:37
I'm with you, Ray, with Digne as the main man. Not sure why but I think Bernard would be my second choice...
Steavey Buckley
4 Posted 13/06/2019 at 20:25:08
Pickford is one hell of a penalty taker. But I agree, Sigurdsson is not a natural penalty taker like Baines or Unsworth when he used to play for Everton. If my memory serves me right, Unsworth never missed a penalty. Baines missed a couple over many seasons.
Tommy Carter
6 Posted 13/06/2019 at 20:35:47
Unsworth hit the bar once. Possibly against Sheffield Wednesday.

Sigurdsson has now missed too many. No more for him.

Other than that, whoever is the best in training other than Sigurdsson and Pickford should take the penalties.

Andrew Ellams
7 Posted 13/06/2019 at 20:40:48
I've seen lots of people calling for Digne to take over. Has anybody ever seen him take one?
Bill Gienapp
8 Posted 13/06/2019 at 20:47:35
Sigurdsson was something like 22 of 24 in his career up until that miss in the World Cup, which seemed to do a number on him mentally, unfortunately. I'm pretty sure he never missed one for Swansea.

Digne would get my vote, just because he seems to have the cool-headed demeanor for it. Admittedly, I have no idea if he has any sort of track record when it comes to penalties.

Also I agree with Ray - I hate the cutesy run-ups and cheeky antics. Just step up and smash it - if the keeper makes a great save, he makes a great save.

John Keating
9 Posted 13/06/2019 at 21:39:44
I agree that Sigi might be best left out of the penalty taking, last season was poor.

I would hope that in pre-season the squad as a whole get together and make a decision on who is first-choice and back-up.

I have to admit I do prefer a penalty like the one Pickford took as opposed to a penalty placed along the ground.

Rob Halligan
10 Posted 13/06/2019 at 22:45:18
Lucas Digne has so far in his career, taken and scored one penalty, for his first club Lille. Even this was back in 2012 / 13 season. At least he has a 100% success rate!

I'm sure though, that he, like everyone else, practices taking penalties in training. Judging by the free kicks he's scored, as well as goals scored in open play, he does hit a decent shot, and I would like to see him take the next penalty awarded, hopefully in a pre season friendly, which won't count for anything should be miss.

By the way, he scored his only penalty against Llorient, in the 31st minute, with the score already 3-0 for Lille, who went on to win 5-0. So there was no real pressure on Digne when taking his penalty.

Andrew Ellams
11 Posted 13/06/2019 at 23:00:07
I would have expected Lukaku to take a good penalty as finishing is what he does best. When he took penalties for us I was terrified evert time.
Si Smith
12 Posted 13/06/2019 at 23:40:55
I've always liked full backs as penalty takers, they seem to have a knack.

Digne looks comfortable striking a dead ball I'd like to see him on them.

DCL might be an option too, boost his numbers. That said, the reason I think full backs do well is because they don't over think it, a lot of good strikers struggle with the burden.

Anthony Flack
13 Posted 13/06/2019 at 23:51:37
I seem to remember Trevor Ross could smack it!
Derek Thomas
14 Posted 14/06/2019 at 01:30:03
Pick a corner - stick to it, then hit it as hard as you can...higher is better than lower, keepers can dive but they can't fly. And, as always, practice makes perfect.
John Pierce
15 Posted 14/06/2019 at 04:00:41
If they do ban rebounds from pens, why not Pickford?
Andy Osborne
16 Posted 15/06/2019 at 09:17:44
If they do ban rebounds from pens, then NOT Sigurdsson.
Laurie Hartley
17 Posted 16/06/2019 at 08:56:37
I wouldn’t write off Sigurdsson but as you suggested Ray, Digne does look the best alternative to me closely followed by Gomes.
Mike Gaynes
18 Posted 16/06/2019 at 20:19:27
Pickford for me. Yep, really.

Gomes may be able to strike a ball, but he can't convert even simple opportunities in open play, and the idea of trusting his fragile confidence in a highly pressured situation strikes me as pretty outlandish.

As Rob points out, Digne has taken only one in a professional game but has hit thousands of them in practice. If Silva is truly curious, we might see him take one in preseason.

For me DCL is the next man up because he's a striker and needs the goals.

But for sheer excitement I've gotta go with Pickford. I still remember the thrill of watching Chilavert take not only pens but direct free kicks for Paraguay, and watching him sprint back down the pitch if the ball stayed in play. I would be totally up for that with Picks! Come on, Silva, gamble a little, it's fun!

Brent Stephens
19 Posted 16/06/2019 at 20:48:21
Derek #14 "keepers can dive but they can't fly."

Tommy Lawrence, for the rs, could. We called him the Flying Pig.

Tony Hill
20 Posted 16/06/2019 at 21:09:41
There's that great clip of him, Brent, being interviewed as a passer-by in the street, randomly, about the 1967 FA Cup game.The interviewer had no idea who he was. He shows himself to be a lovely, humble guy. I hated him, of course. It's easily found on YouTube.
Brent Stephens
21 Posted 16/06/2019 at 22:14:02
Yes Tony! What a coincidence that was.
Tony Hill
22 Posted 16/06/2019 at 22:25:29
That's the one, lovely. I find it very moving.

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