England penalty takers to be actual penalty takers

Players who can kick straight preferred to those who can't.

Rickie Lambert, one of the England penalty takers
Rick sure (Image: JJ Hall)

If it’s England penalty takers you’re looking for, it’s probably best to assign actual penalty takers to the task – you know, instead of getting Gareth Southgate or David Batty or someone.

That’s the opinion of England manager Roy ‘Psycho’ Hodgson, who resisted the temptation to draft Michael Dawson and Lee Cattermole into his World Cup squad in favour of the able-to-actually-shoot-straight likes of Rickie Lambert, Leighton Baines, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney.

The plethora of apparently competent England penalty takers has stoked up Brazil 2014 fever across the nation – especially in Stoke, who are just stoked to be even getting a mention in this article about the World Cup.

Was Ryan Shawcross even under discussion, anyway? I mean Chris Smalling, really?

Speaking exclusively to Football Burp, Hodgson didn’t really have much to say as the move to bring penalty specialists to Rio is fairly self-explanatory.

He snarled: “We always lose on penalties, right?

“And people always speculate on the reason being some psychological English defect, don’t they? Like we just can’t handle the pressure like them foreign geezers.

“Well now we can find out for sure. I once saw Lambert and Baines stage a one-on-one penalty shoot-out that lasted for three weeks.

“Their scoring was relentless, albeit neither are much cop in goal. We only had one saved once we started introducing more and more goalkeepers with each round.

“It took about half the squad to save one, and even then they could only tip it onto the bar.

“In fact it crossed the line as it bounced back down but the goal line technology we’d had installed got smashed in the mad scramble to save the penalty.

“The verdict it gave was ‘no goat no goat no goat’, then it fizzled and flickered and exploded. We just decided to let that mean no goal.”

“So yeah, England penalty takers have never been more unerring. Let’s find out once and for all whether or not we really are a nation of jittery nobheads.”

Okay, so he did have something to say.