This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Frank Lampard has told BT Sport (via The Guardian) that Ross Barkley was right to take Chelsea’s penalty against Valencia, even though there appeared to be discussions between the former Everton man, Jorginho and Willian before he missed the spot-kick.
The Blues were gifted a lifeline late in the second half while 1-0 down thanks to a dubious penalty decision for a handball by Daniel Wass.
With several potential options to choose from, Barkley was the man who eventually stepped up, but he failed to hit the target. Instead, the ball hit the bar and then sailed over the top.
Lampard, though, backed his midfielder and said it was his penalty to take.
He explained: “Ross is the penalty taker. He was in pre-season and scored a couple. He has been when he started.
“He was when he came on today and he missed it. That is the clear story. I don’t know what the conversation was, but Jorginho and Willian were the takers on the pitch. When Ross comes on he becomes the penalty taker.”
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Given that the former Derby County boss and his backroom staff have given the 25-year-old the responsibility to take penalties, there can be no debate as to whether he was right to line this one up. However, it can certainly be questioned why he has been given such an important task.
Jorginho was the first choice for spot-kicks in normal play in the absence of Eden Hazard last term and this was one aspect of his game in which he was flawless. In all fairness, he did take just one, but it ended up in the back of net.
In fact, he has a track record of being reliable from 12 yards. He has, to date, taken 15 penalties (excluding shootouts), and only once has he failed to score. That includes recent, important strikes for Italy against Finland and for Chelsea against Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup final. Clearly, when the pressure is on, the 27-year-old is full of confidence from the spot. On Tuesday, Barkley looked anything but.
Penalties are situations from which goals are expected, and they offer the perfect opportunity to get on the scoresheet but only when they are taken correctly. As such, Jorginho should take the baton moving forward.