Macclesfield penalties

Did anybody else notice Macclesfield won another penalty shootout last night making it nine in a row

Not bad eh!

After another 3-3 draw.

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They must be extremely lucky, since the odds of that happening in a true penalty “lottery” are 1/512.

Or well practiced💪

They must be extremely lucky, since the odds of that happening in a true penalty “lottery” are 1/512.

Exactly. Penalties are not a lottery.

There is an element of luck involved, but the better you are at taking penalties the more likely it is that you will score. This ought to be agreed and nobody who knows anything about football should ever say that “Penalties are a lottery”. Unfortunately Keates, despite all his experience in the game, does not know this. Both in his post match interview and in his programme notes he implied that our defeat to Macclesfield was like losing a lottery.

Our penalties last week were all weak and along the ground. This gave their goalkeeper every chance of saving them if he went the right way. Their penalties were fast and in the air, which greatly reduced the chances of them being saved. Their players had to be confident and accurate enough to risk using power and height since this could have increased the chances of them missing. It seems likely that they have been practising penalties in order to be skilful and confident at them. It is clear that Walsall have not, and we presumably will not while Keates thinks that they are just a lottery.


First, it was a nothing cup game against Macclesfield. I reckon we might have prepared a little more in depth than that if it was a play off final or something.

Second, this is the first time I have ever heard that hitting a penalty in the air is better than along the ground. Sure, you need to hit it with more conviction than we did but “a good height for a keeper” doesn’t mean as low as possible. It means in the air.

Third, just because Keates thinks they are a lottery (they are. These players are all very similarly skilled and can be won on one player guessing a correct direction) that doesn’t mean we won’t put in more preparation in a higher profile game.

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The Macclesfield match was not a “nothing” game. It was a competitive professional cup match in front of a paying public.The Walsall fans who had paid money to watch that game wanted their side to win, and preparing the side for a penalty shoot-out should have taken place.

There is a lot of research into what makes a successful penalty. This is from one article which summarises the findings:

Studies have found that the key factor in success is the height, not the direction. In one analysis of nearly 300 penalties taken in top-level professional soccer, for example, not one penalty that was kicked to the upper third of the goal was saved.

Left, right or down the middle: It didn’t matter. They all went in.

Meanwhile 20% of all penalties kicked low were saved. (The figure for those kicked at middling height: 13%).

In other words, keep it up – middle-to-high. Shoot as high as you can, so long as you don’t put it over the top – as Roberto Baggio famously did in the 1994 final.

In terms of direction, you are better off kicking it straight at the goalie than to either side. If you have to choose a side, go left (ie, the keeper’s right). Overall, absolutely the worst place to kick the penalty (other than missing) is to kick it low and to your right (ie the goal’s left). Penalties kicked there were saved 24% of the time.

If Keates thinks that penalties are a lottery then he will not practise for them. When buying lottery tickets practice does not help.


Nah you’re right I’m sure we will never practice penalties.

I’m amazed you need a study to tell you banging it top corner meant penalties went in by the way. Any news on how many hit the post or went over the bar? Because that’s my point. It’s all well and good saying just kick it high until Waddle steps up and slams it over the ■■■■■■■ bar.

I’ve never once seen a ball struck toward the bottom corner along the floor described as a good height for the keeper, saved or not.

Don’t have this “penalties are a lottery” ■■■■■■■■. Preparation and practice make a difference 100%. Not saying we didn’t practice or prepare for them by the way, I’m saying that Macclesfield prepared better. I guess they also had the advantage of already beating Bradford in one the round before so may have been better prepared mentally.

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The probability of Bernie making the final post on this thread is 0.


How is it ■■■■■■■■? It can literally be decided on one split decision technically proficient or not. It can be decided on one slip even.

Take England in the World Cup. The keeper got to Dier’s Penalty and it wasn’t a particularly good one. But the odds are in the takers favour and that’s all it needed to go in. That isn’t a lottery? It’s the keepers fault he should have prepared better? How can he possibly have he did everything right?

Lets just not practice them then. For both keepers and players it’s a waste of time. It’s a lottery after all. You can’t practice and prepare for a lottery. All penalties are luck. You’ve changed my opinion. Well done. :joy:

Yeah, that’s what I’m saying :roll_eyes:

Just show them a video of Mart O Connor taking a penalty! That’s how it’s done. None of this tippy tappy rubbish.

The lottery logic indicates that. A lottery is luck based. Penalties aren’t luck. If you have a keeper who has a good penalty saving record then your chances of winning a shoot out increases dramatically. If you have a group who have mentally and physically prepared well then you increase your chances further. A lottery suggests non of that matters when it clearly does. Yes, you may prepare better than the opposing team and lose, but you’ll win the majority. That’s goes for football in general. You can batter an opponent, have all the luck against you and lose 1-0. That’s football.

Last Tuesday it was absolutely clear that we were less prepared than them. You could see it in the body language of our players compared to theirs and the quality of the penalties. It’s mental more than anything and I’m positive that Macclesfields penalty win against Bradford stood them in good stead for the one against us. Rather than dwell on it let’s just learn from it and move on.


I disagree, but then I’m not writing your opinion off as ■■■■■■■■ or implying it’s as easy as just putting everything top bins like the other bloke.

Obviously you need to prepare to a certain degree. And I am absolutely sure you are correct and Macclesfield did that better than us. Personally I think that is probably something to do with it being the Milk Cup, nobody has cared about it for ages, and again I agree it probably had something to do with their win against Bradford.

But it’s not as simple as x hours of prep = better degree of success. Once a player has practised to a certain degree there’s nothing more they can do. It’s all on both player and keeper guessing the correct/wrong way and trusting that you execute as well as you’ve prepared, whether that incorporates conditions or fatigue.

It wasn’t your opinion specifically I’m writing off. It’s the notion that a penalty shootout in general is a lottery.

I know it’s not as simple as that. Never said it was. I’m saying it’s not a lottery.

That’s the way I took it so fair enough my mistake.

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This is nothing new. Our team has been badly prepared for penalty shoot-outs for a long time, much to the frustration of the fans.

Walsall have been involved in eleven penalty shoot-outs since 2006 and only won two of them. The only two we have won were in 2014 against Tranmere, when Dean Smith was the boss, and in 2015 just after Smith had left when John Ward was caretaker manager.

Losing in a shoot-out is really frustrating, and doing so because the manager thinks that penalties are just a lottery is doubly frustrating.

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Eurghh. We didn’t lose just because the manager thinks they are a lottery. We lost because it’s the milk cup and nobody gives a ■■■■.

If you genuinely believe we don’t practice them at all you are delusional. We look a million times better drilled and prepared this season so aiming a lack of preparation at Keates is massively unfair to be honest.