Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Daniels had to run a long way for his penalty kick

It struck me that Charlie Daniels as well as a few in the crowd around me were far from certain that AFCB had won a penalty when they did against Everton. Charlie had taken the corner on the left that had struck the forearm of James McCarthy and referee Martin Atkinson had pointed to the spot. Still Charlie Daniels was seen running back towards his left back position to get the ball that had been belted down the pitch by Aaron Lennon.
Charlie Daniels could not take his goal tally to three this time.
That meant that Charlie had perhaps a little too much time to gather his thoughts before coming up to take the spot kick. Penalty taking is a fine art and more of a mental battle than anything else. Picturing the ball hitting the back of the net is all players should have in their mind, but if they dwell too long on the specifics of how high should I hit it and the thoughts of I almost missed last time, then it invariably goes wrong. I have not heard any comment from Daniels yet, but I'm sure he has tried to put the fact that Robles saved it out of his mind quickly. You can't re-take it so we move on.

Just as critical was the follow up between Daniels, Francis and Iturbe that saw them try to salvage the situation only to put each other off. The blind haze that sometimes comes down in front of players when they see the ball lying there and blanking out everyone else in their efforts to hit the ball as hard as they can did not do AFCB any favours this time. They see the ball and the goal ,but not the other players and the confusion and frustration at missing was clearly etched on the player's faces when it should have been a moment of jubilation.

I have no qualms if Daniels still wants to take the next penalty - by along way he has been the player of the season for me. However, it may be that Benik Afobe asked to take the penalties from now on. One saved penalty is hardly a bad record for Daniels considering he has stuck a couple away in fine fashion, but it is a question of who wants the goals now and who is prepared to take them in what will be an even more pressured series of games coming up. 

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