Sir Alex demands better penalties
Wayne Rooney’s penalty miss against West Ham may not have proved costly – but Sir Alex Ferguson still wants his spot-kick takers to improve.
Penalties awarded to Manchester United this season have resulted in more misses than goals, and the boss admits it’s a concern. Sir Alex told MUTV: “I don’t think it is [just] one of those things, we must improve on that, I must say.
“There’s been a lot of talk about the boy (Rickie) Lambert at Southampton, who has scored 31 out of 31 – that’s what penalty-kick taking is all about.
“There have been several other great examples from over the years. Matt Le Tissier scored 47 out of 48 and there was a player in Scotland who played for Rangers [Johnny Hubbard, who scored 65 out of 68].
“A penalty kick is your opportunity to take an advantage, whether it was a foul or a handball that led to it. You have to score a goal.”
Rooney’s failure from the spot in Wednesday’s FA Cup replay was his second of the season – he also missed in the November win over Arsenal – and the team’s fifth penalty miss of the campaign overall.
The other players who’ve spurned spot-kick opportunities are Javier Hernandez at home to Wigan, Nani against Galatasaray in the Champions League and Robin van Persie at Southampton, where he scored a hat-trick in open play.
So far, all of this season’s penalty failures have come in victories for the Reds but Sir Alex will insist his side don’t take that statistic for granted going forward.
United’s 2012/13 penalties
The story so far…
Missed – Van Persie vs Southampton (A)
Missed – Hernandez vs Wigan (H)
Missed – Nani vs Galatasaray (H)
Scored – Van Persie vs Liverpool (A)
Scored – Giggs vs Chelsea (A)
Missed – Rooney vs Arsenal (H)
Scored – Rooney vs Braga (A)
Scored – Rooney vs Reading (A)
Missed – Rooney vs West Ham (H)