Penalty shootout alternative divides opinion

FIFA President Sepp Blatter's comments regarding finding an alternative to penalty shootouts to decide matches have caused a stir among current and former managers in English football.

Blatter labelled spot-kicks a "tragedy" after Chelsea's Champions League victory against Bayern Munich, criticising shootouts as a match-decider and asking for alternative methods to settle games to be considered.

England suffered familiar agony on Sunday night after exiting yet another major tournament after penalty kicks.

Following a goalless 120 minutes against Italy in the quarter finals of Euro 2012, Roy Hodgson’s men failed to break their penalty hoodoo.

And former Tottenham Hotspur manager Glenn Hoddle, who experienced penalty shootout agony as England manager against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup, agrees that an alternative should be sought.

"I can see where he [Blatter] is coming from, maybe the television companies and the neutrals of the game like it but when your country is in it I'm sure the fan doesn't like it at all," he told Yahoo!

"I've always thought that penalties should be done after 90 minutes. The reason why I think that is because it doesn't fall on one or two people's shoulders that they’ve lost the World Cup.

"If you take the penalties after 90 minutes, the teams will know who has won the shootout and then you get more of an open game."

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez echoed Hoddle's sentiments, adding: "Sometimes a penalty shootout can be quite harsh; all that preparation you do in the weeks, months of the competition can come down to a bit of luck and I don't think penalty shootouts are a fair way to decide a title or who the next team is to go through.

"I would like to see other ways to find a winner; I know the golden goal was tried as an alternative and it didn't seem to be successful. I don't really like the idea of a player being blamed for missing a penalty and costing the season to a football club; that can be a real negative in your career so I do think we should find an alternative to decide between two sides.

Both Fulham manager Martin Jol and former Chelsea coach Ray Wilkins rejected the theory to find an alternative, with Jol stating that it would be hard to steer clear of concluding a match without penalties.

"What could an alternative be? Play twice? No, it is our culture, it's what we do in football," he said.

"Everyone who takes penalties knows there is the pressure and the tension but for me it is still a competition, it is still competitive to take a penalty.

"Maybe we should have done better, the English aren’t great with penalties, the Germans always seem to win with penalties. But hopefully things can change."

While Wilkins believes it would be wrong to take away an element of the game that has provided some of the most dramatic moments in football history.

"I think it's the only way to end a classic game; it's what the average supporter wants to see and to enjoy the drama of a penalty shootout," he said.

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By Matt Maltby