Roy Hodgson: Penalties to be an “even bigger obsession now”

Written on:June 25, 2023
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Ashley Cole's emotions reflected England's in Euro 2012 quarter-final against Italy

As England’s penalty woes continue to haunt them in big tournaments, boss Roy Hodgson quips that the country has got an “obsession with penalties”, which he believes will mount after their quarter-final exit from Euro 2012.

The England manager refused to sound overly pessimistic about his side’s 4-2 defeat on penalties at the Kiev Olympic Stadium, saying confidently that the current squad, with a pinch of hard work and unity, has the potential to beat top teams in major tournaments.

“I really think there’s been a different England at this tournament”, Hodgson said after yesterday’s epic match. He reckoned the spot-kick failure was more because of bad luck than due to lack of practice.

“I’ve been watching Ashley Cole and Ashley Young smash penalties in. We’ve got an obsession with penalties in this country and it will be an even bigger obsession now”, the recently appointed England manager observed. He referred to Pirlo’s spot-kick as a “classic example” of how the Azzurri held onto their nerves during the shootout.

Notably, the England national football team have an extremely poor penalty shootout record in major tournaments. They lost to West Germany on penalties in the 1990 FIFA World Cup semi finals and again in the Euro 1996 semi finals. Then in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Glenn Hoddle’s men capitulated under pressure, failing to convert the decisive spot-kick against Argentina in the round of 16. England met with similar outcomes in the 2004 edition of the European Championships and the FIFA World Cup in 2006, both times losing to Portugal in tie-breaker.

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