Q: Which Tottenham players wanted to take a penalty in the Carling Cup shoot-out?
A: None of them!
Tottenham Hotspur employ several people whose sole purpose is to score goals. They are called ‘strikers’, and they were distinctly absent from the Carling Cup penalty shoot-out, an occasion when the skill of scoring goals is extremely useful.
According to talkSPORT’s breakfast show, the reason for Spurs’ unlikely penalty-taker line-up (and subsequent underwhelming performance) was a general reticence to step up to the spot. When Harry Redknapp asked “who wants to take a penalty?” not a single player raised his hand.
Luka Modric is the first player to speak out about his penalty-taking anxiety, which stems from his failure to convert against Turkey during Euro 2008:
“I need to get over the fear. I do not want taking penalties to become a continuous problem for me.”
Messrs bent and Pavlyuchenko, we await your excuses. [Actually Mr Pavlyuchenko, you had been substituted by that point so your excuse is valid - Ed.]