Scientists have found that England’s goalkeepers are not responsible for penalties losses. They also discovered that English keepers can save as many kicks per game than other countries. 

According to experts from the German Sport University in Cologne, this could explain why penalties shootouts have been so disappointing for the nation.

Since their introduction in 1970, penalty shootouts played a critical role in the outcomes of the two FIFA World Cup finals, the two UEFA European Championship finals as well as seven UEFA Champions League finals.

German experts reviewed thousands upon thousands of penalty kicks during and in-game, and found that about one in five saves penalties regardless of nationality.

English keepers were not the greatest performers in shootouts but performed well for penalty saves ‘in-game,’ the team learned.

Other factors may be at work when English keepers fail to perform well, and researchers blame the media or public. 

A scientific study has found the reason some football players 'choke' when taking a penalty kick. Pictured, the notorious 1996 effort by the now-England manager Gareth Southgate, which led to defeat at the hands of the clinical Germans in the Euro '96 final

Scientific research has revealed the cause of some football players’ choking when they take a penalty kick. Pictured, the notorious 1996 effort by the now-England manager Gareth Southgate, which led to defeat at the hands of the clinical Germans in the Euro ’96 final

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford attempts to save a penalty during the shoot out of the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final between Italy and England at Wembley Stadium on July 11, 2021

Jordan Pickford of England attempts to save a spot during the shoot-out at the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final, between Italy and England. This was on July 11, 2021.

Brain scans have shown that people who miss the shot think too highly about what it means. 

The reason why certain football players choke when taking penalties has been revealed by a scientific study. 

Brain scans reveal that in the crucible of competition, some people activate a region of their brain called the pre-frontal cortex which is linked with long-term thinking. 

They begin to think about the possible consequences and dwell on what if any of them fail. This hinders their ability to perform. 

Research has revealed the secret to the sport phrase “getting inside your own head” 

England has only managed to win three out of ten shootouts against Spain, Colombia and Switzerland, which is a poor record in penalty history.

After losing to Italy in penalties at Wembley in the final, England lost the European Cup in 2020.   

Researchers wanted to get rid of a common myth that English goalkeepers were ‘not good enough’. Germans, however, are described as being ‘exceptionally competent’.

According to researchers, British journalists are especially critical of goalkeepers and have been ignoring the problem for years.

The same goes for football officials, who believe that German players are more skilled than others, despite not having the right data.

The International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) and UEFA who give out the most prestigious goalkeeper awards have handed German keepers the most awards.

Germans lead the winners list up until last year. They won the IFFHS Best Goalkeeper title with nine wins, UEFA Best European Goalkeeper (13 wins) and UEFA Best Club Goalkeeper (6 winners).

One reason is the myth that Germany won England by penalties at the 1990 World Cup and in the Euro 96 semifinal. This was in addition to German clubs knocking out English teams in European club competitions.

After reviewing thousands upon thousands of penalties kicked, researchers in Germany found that England’s goalkeepers are equally adept at stopping penalty kicks.

Prof. Daniel Memmert was the lead author. He stated: “Scientific evidence supports this public opinion.” [that English keepers are not as good]Does not exist.

‘If these stereotypes are true, they should be evident in sports performance data but  the results show no significant differences between the success rates.

“The average was 22.23 percent, meaning that less than one fifth of penalties were saved by goalkeepers. 

To get an understanding of the number of goals saved, researchers analyzed 2,379 penalties against 629 goalkeepers in Europe, European Championship and Champions League.

Pictured, David Beckham's penalty slip against Turkey in qualifying for Euro '04 against Turkey

Pictured is David Beckham’s penalty against Turkey when he qualified for Euro 2004 against Turkey 

Study finds that goalkeepers have less chance of saving a free kick when they are facing a wall.  

According to research, a goalkeeper who is faced with a wall of people is less likely than one that is not. 

Although the ten yard barrier was placed side by side to prevent free kick-takers from scoring a goal, this method has since been challenged. 

Queen’s University Belfast researchers discovered that the wall blocks the eye of goalkeepers and slows down their reactions. 

For around 200 milliseconds, the goalkeeper’s vision is obscured and their response time can be up to 90 milliseconds slower when there is no wall. 

Researchers found that the chances of a successful save by a “keeper” are 13 percent lower when a wall is in place.  

It applies to all kinds of kicks, from pile drivers like Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo to people who bend it – such as David Beckham. 

Professor Cathy Craig was co-author. She stated that putting up a defensive wall can lead to the goalkeeper conceding many more goals. 

In general, goalkeepers are successful at saving five of the most common penalties regardless of origin.

The researchers concluded that England’s poor luck in penalty shootouts is not due to the goalkeeper but rather other factors.

In a similar vein, British players are not worse at the penalty spot than other nations’, researchers discovered in an earlier study.

Michel Brinkschulte (lead author, doctoral student) stated that it was vital to investigate whether penalty kicks were terribly performed by English keepers. 

‘If they do indeed perform poorly, a subpar performance of English goalkeepers should be apparent when comparing their success rates with the ones of goalkeepers from other countries,’ Brinkschulte said.

These results suggest that English goalkeepers have not been responsible for England’s past poor performances in crucial penalty shootouts.

He explained that the English team’s failure to perform in penalties shootouts is due to several factors.

These include enormous external pressure when it comes to this decisive moment at the end of an important match, the expectations of their own fans and the expected negative media coverage if success is not achieved. 

England was penalized seven times in the history of shootouts, which includes World Cups in 1998, 1999, 2006, and European Championships in 1996 and 2012. The most recent 2021 edition included penalties in Europe in 2004, 2012, 2016 and 2016.

Scientists also suggested that part of the problem may be due to the misconception among the public that England has worse penalties than other nations.

Philip Furley was co-author and said that the negative perception of England’s penalty performance could also result from an inexact measurement of penalty kicks, as well as a tendency to stereotyping people in every day life and in sport.

The journal Scientific Reports published the findings.

For the perfect penalty save, RESEARCHERS CREATE A FORMULA

Dutch mathematicians discovered the secret formula that can save you a penalty.

After reviewing previous research into saving penalties, researchers came up with this complex formula.

They modified an existing formula for ball catching that took information from ball flight into account by adding information about player intent available from studies that looked at the movements of penalty takers. 

This new model, known as an “affordance-based controller model”, takes into consideration both when and where to dive, and captures any constraints necessary to save you a penalty.

It measures the power and size of any dive and enables goalkeepers and other personnel to take their best actions.