Just the other day I was thinking – if I ever tried a Panenka, I’d definitely clip it over the bar.
To pull off the footballing equivalent of yanking someone’s loose jogging bottoms down you must be relaxed.
If you’re too tense you’re likely to put too much on it.
Lo and behold, Thorgan Hazard and Raheem Sterling both did exactly that on Tuesday night.
First, Eden’s brother squandered the opportunity to put Borussia Monchengladbach ahead against Nurnberg…
Then Man City’s No7 put his side’s League Cup hopes at risk when their quarter-final against Leicester went to a shootout…
Same thing, right?
And these are hardly no-hopers we’re dealing with.
Hazard and Sterling are both in contention for their respective leagues’ Player of the Year awards.
The missed Panenka is a unique entity.
While it’s a perfectly legitimate method of trying to score a penalty, everyone acknowledges there is an element of audacity about it.
A successful Panenka not only ensures a converted penalty, it somewhat degrades the keeper and interferes with their mindset — reference: Andrea Pirlo on Joe Hart at Euro 2012.
However, this works both ways.
If you fail to embarrass the keeper then you must shoulder the shame.
It is almost impossible not to yell ‘AHHHHHHH YOU TW*T!’ in such situations.
Foxes keeper Danny Ward couldn’t resist mocking Sterling instantly…
Hazard too copped some stick from a Nurnberg defender and the visiting fans.
However, going too hard, too early when it comes mocking the unsuccessful penalty-taker can we risky.
Hazard scored two minutes later from open play as Gladbach won 2-0 to stay within touching distance of Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund.
While Arijanet Muric’s heroics ensured Man City’s place in the League Cup semi-finals, leaving Ward somewhat red-faced.
More Panenkas please, be they successful or not.
- Kidnapped and driven to the brink of homelessness and extinction — what next for Coventry City?
- A three-point plan which can restore Man United to their former glory
- Ranking every Premier League club by how much of a one-man team they are