Twelve Yards

Ben Lyttleton
Celebrating penalty glory and disaster
Created 06 Jan 2021
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  • England, Southgate and penalties
    12 Jul 2021 • 6 min read • 5 6
    Let’s get one thing clear here. This is not a return of England’s penalty curse. This is not England ‘reverting to type’ by losing another shoot-out. If anything, the events of the Euro 2020 final are...
  • Mbappé, Culture & the Superstar Curse
    05 Jul 2021 • 7 min read
    The fall-out whenever France is eliminated from a major tournament is always fascinating. All sorts of reasons were put forward for last week’s dramatic defeat on penalties to Switzerland: compared to...
  • Picking England players for a shoot-out
    28 Jun 2021 • 5 min read
    ‘Own the shoot-out.’ That’s the messages that Gareth Southgate told his players to help them break England’s penalty hoodoo and win their last TWO penalty shoot-outs. England’s players have learned ho...
  • Southgate, Germany & Euro 96 trauma
    24 Jun 2021 • 6 min read • 1 6
    He may not have won a trophy, but Gareth Southgate has already succeeded as England coach; he has rid the England national team, and indeed the nation, of its penalty shoot-out trauma. Southgate turne...
  • Time to sub GKs for a shoot-out!
    21 Jun 2021 • 8 min read • 0 1
    As the Euro 2020 knock-out matches approach, the prospect of a penalty shoot-out is never far away. Historically, the Euros has provided plenty of penalty drama (Panenka 76, Van Basten 92, Southgate 9...
  • Frank de Boer and Dutch penalty trauma
    14 Jun 2021 • 6 min read • 1 0
    It was ironic that Frank de Boer’s first match as Holland coach ended in defeat to Mexico after a penalty. De Boer, you may remember, was the chief culprit of Holland’s penalty nadir, when he missed t...
  • The worst shoot-out ever?
    07 Jun 2021 • 7 min read • 0 4
    The recent Europa League final between Villarreal and Manchester United featured 21 consecutive scored penalties and was memorable for the denouement in which United goalkeeper David de Gea had his vi...
  • Analysis: Villarreal 11 Manchester United 10
    27 May 2021 • 6 min read • 0 9
    What a way to win, and lose, a final. After 21 consecutive converted penalties, Villarreal won the Europa League when Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea saw his penalty, struck right-footed, GK...
  • Chelsea’s shoot-out selection dilemma
    24 May 2021 • 6 min read • 0 1
    Imagine the scene. It’s Saturday night in Portugal and the local time is close to 2230. The Champions League final is going to a penalty shoot-out. You’re Thomas Tuchel, the Chelsea coach. Which playe...
  • Bruno Fernandes’s penalty secret
    17 May 2021 • 7 min read
    With Manchester United playing in the Europa League final next week, it’s time to talk about Bruno Fernandes. Since joining United in January 2020, he is 21/22 in penalty conversion, and 13/14 for thi...