Penalties saved. Luck or skill?

Saving penalties is a Lottery, a Skill, a Plan or none of those?
Whatever camp you are in we have our fair share against us so would be interested in views from the UTS board.
My memory over the years gives me the impression that some of our previous keepers had more helpings of the above than our current incumbent?
I recall penalties saved by Wacka and ROD and Etheridge on a regular basis although in these worrying times I admit my memory may be playing tricks on me.
I certainly remember that Cutler did his homework on forthcoming opponents and coached the likely shots taken by the likely candidates in the next match and that probably helped as well. Be surprised if that happens now!
My personal view is that Robbo would finish bottom of a comparison list against the keepers named above based on % over games played. Add that to the skills of kicking and distribution that are the poorest I have seen for decades. That’s my opinion having seen them since the 1960’s.
I am sure one of the UTS team has the statistics to format a “keepers table” based on % and numbers of games played. I might be completely wrong of course but would be interesting to see.

Plan. Every pelanty taker has a preferred style. Do your research and back the odds.

Penalty saves involve both luck and some kind of ability it’s no surprise the better keepers always have the better “luck” bit like our current team it’s no surprise the better teams get better luck.
David Seaman said he used to just pick side to dive and hope the penalty taker went that way and he did alright.

Robbo doesn’t save pens.

This has two effects. The first is that a penalty against us is as good as a goal. The second is that in training our penalty takers always score.

There are three things. The first is to do some prep, I remember ODonnell saving a late penalty against Oldham. Afterwards he showed a drawing that Cutler had done about where to expect the taker to put it. It was a “spot the ball” champion effort.

The second is to try to take ownership of the moment. Get in the head of the taker, be and look confident. I remember Ince and Gerrard doing a double hander on the taker at Doncaster. The take completely lost his nerve and it dribbled wide.

The third is timing when the pen is taken. Robbo sometimes goes too early to the point he leaves half the goal empty and sometimes goes too late meaning the ball is past him before he moves.

Walker was pretty good at these things. He knew the blasters down the middle from the corner pickers. Remember him tipping one over the bar at Stoke.

Now, in fairness, these last two were close to unstoppable. But others this season not so much. I’m not sure Robbo has a strategy.

There’s an element of luck but there’s a lot of skill. Roberts isn’t very good at saving pens, he’s far too slow to get down, but I guess that’s a weakness in his entire game rather than just when trying to save a pen.

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I don’t remember Roberts EVER saving a penalty in a game.

Can someone enlighten me if there was one - I’m guessing that he has probably faced around 30 in his career (but, again, I don’t have the stats at my fingertips).

The problem for me is that we can’t keep clean sheets and we can’t score goals. I will be amazed if we win another game (including Southend and Grimsby).

We would need an O.G., a red card, a penalty or a worldie.

Our strikers don’t seem to have any presence at all in the box so it presents difficulties.

I honestly think that Tyriek Wright needs to be played more centrally because at least he has a bit of pace (for the slide rule pass).

Back to Roberts, bring back Rose, Vincent and Wright on Tuesday. We need a bit of energy and impetus…

At grass roots level luck I used to guess when I played but at a higher level you can now watch penalty takers previous penalties and look into stats on where they’ve put one before giving keepers a better idea but even then the taker could change his usually place so a heck of a lot of luck is my opinion.

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To me all the technique is on the player to score, they should score. If a keeper saves it it was a poor penalty.

If I’ve often wondered why Roberts doesn’t just stand still though, he’s got a big frame, take the chance on them hitting it straight :smile:

Agree mate if your getting a free shot at goal from 12 yards without a challenge from a defender you should really be scoring.

According to Transfer Market stats Robers has saved 5 out 25 penalties at professional level, including league and cups, so that is a 20% success rate.

Without looking through a complete table of every other goalkeepper’s stats it is difficult to say if that is good or bad? I would probably say that saving 1 in 5 is what keepers would expect. But say he doesn’t save penalties is wrong.


I think it’s skill. The best keepers tend to have a decent record with pelanties. Jimmy was excellent at it.

Does that include shoot-outs, or is it just from “normal” play?

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Totally agree with that. But then if you look at say Peter Shilton’s stats he saved 2 out of 44 penalties apparently. So does that make him a bad keeper?

Normal play.


There are always going to be exceptions I suppose. It was often mentioned during his career that Shilts had a poor record facing pens. One of his contemporaries who had a really good record was Paul Cooper, of Ipswich.

Now Copper was superb at stopping penalties. What was it, 10 or 11 on the trot he saved? Now he got in the heads of the penalty takers before they even took it.

Goalkeepers need to look at the direction of a penalty taker’s hips just before he kicks the ball as it betrays which side of the net he is aiming at,

No, but England should have named Dave Beasant as a sub in italia 90 against ze Germans and brought him in just before full time.

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I’m surprised by that stat Westie. Can’t remember any of them tbh.

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Skill and plan. How you defend it, how the kicker takes them, how to disturb his composure and not lose your own.

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