Using the Bradford City template for penalty victory, there’s a few conclusions we can draw (in addition to the previous penalty post, in which I covered international penalty shootouts – again, if you have any information on Cup of Nations shootouts from the 1980s, get in touch; highlights on YouTube, taker order, that sort of thing). I’ll give you a five point guide to success – in chronological order to the shootout.
1. Have a tall goalkeeper.
Matt Duke’s statistics here are particularly interesting – the three penalties he has saved have been from Santi Cazorla, Jordi Gomez and Tommy Miller – but he has seen 7 of the 19 spot kicks he’s face be put off target. Matt Duke, its worth noting at this point, is six feet five inches tall (it’s a good height to be, I can confirm) – that’s three inches taller than any of the other three and Duke’s height seems to be enough that he can ‘put people off’ – the bigger you are, I would say, as a goalkeeper, the smaller the goal looks. The other thing here is that only McLaughlin has seen more penalties scored against him than those which haven’t found the net – and he was keeping goal in the ‘epic’ 16 penalty shootout against Sheffield United.
2. Put your best taker second
Bradford take the lead with the second kick. The first kick, the Bantams have a 5/9 success rate, while their opposition have 6/9. The second kick, Bradford go to 8/9 while the opposition rate falls to 3/9. That continues, as the pressure cranks up, to 7/9 for Bradford and 4/9 for their opponents.
You need to avoid falling behind with kick 2 – it’s the same statistic as I discovered while looking at the international shootouts; kick 2 is the pressure kick, and if you miss that, you’re in trouble.
3. Don’t worry about who is taking the kick
Of the 20 takers who have taken only one penalty for Bradford, only 7 have missed. Of the 10 who have taken more than 1, 3 have a 100% record (Connell, Doyle, and Gary Jones, if you wondered). As such, it doesn’t really matter if the kicker is a regular taker or otherwise – they might miss.
4. Try to kick first
Of the 9 shootouts Bradford have been involved in, they have kicked first in the last four – won them all without even needing sudden death. They went to extra kicks in two of the previous five when they kicked second in all of them. It might not affect them, but if you can knock them out of their stride, you might as well try to.
5. Don’t get to penalties.
Its an obvious one, this. Since October 2009, Bradford have lost cup games to…Carlisle Utd, Preston North End, Hartlepool Utd, Colchester Utd, Leeds Utd, Oldham Athletic, Waford and Brentford. All were either in normal play or extra time. It can be done. Just best not risk penalties, eh?