England practice penalty routine of looking dejected and walking back to halfway line ​

Practice makes perfect


England’s players have been rehearsing their penalty routine for tonight’s Round of 16 clash with Germany by walking back to the halfway line and looking dejected, Paddy Power News can exclusively reveal.

Gareth Southgate, who perfected the technique following a penalty shootout against the Germans at Euro 96, instructed his squad to utilise the tried and trusted method which has served the English well in major tournaments.

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‘Hands on hips, wobbly chin and plod back to the halfway line’, Southgate barked at his stars this morning.

The Three Lions boss also confirmed which players will miss their spot-kicks before trudging their way back to the centre circle to be consoled by teammates who are just thankful it wasn’t them.

‘Harry Kane will take the first one and smash it into the top bin. Marcus and Mason will score the second and third’, the 50-year-old told Paddy Power News.


‘Then, while the rest of our forwards and wingers are hiding under a pile of bibs, the likes of Hendo, Maguire and Rice will reluctantly volunteer their services’.

‘And as the German’s dispatch spot-kick after spot-kick with all the anxiety of a Terminator on Valium, Wembley ball boys will be fetching Hendo’s pen out of the carpark’.

‘After they’ve missed, they should bow their heads, untuck their jerseys and meet the rest of us in the centre circle where I can thank them individually for costing me my job’.

The former Middlesbrough boss said players guilty of missing their spot-kicks could look forward to 30-years of ridicule as well as featuring in the odd television advert in which they’re the butt of the joke.

26 Jun 1996: Stuart Pearce (left) consoles teammate Gareth Southgate after his penalty miss during the European soccer championships semi final match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium, London. Germany won the match after extra time in a penalty shoot out by 1(6) 1(5). Mandatory Credit: Ross Kinnaird/Allsport UK

‘I’ve told Hendo, if he plays his cards right, 10-years from now he could be sat in a pizza parlour with a paper bag over his head. It depends on how much he wants it I guess?’.

Meanwhile, Southgate has revealed which root vegetable he’d like photoshopped onto his head by the tabloids should England exit the tournament tonight.

‘I’ve always had a fondness for parsnips though I wouldn’t be disappointed to see a horseradish on there either’, he said whilst rubbing his scalp.


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