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England news

Capello settles on penalty takers

June 24, 2010
By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

England's penalty takers, should it come to another nerve-wracking shoot-out against Germany, will be Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole and John Terry.

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Joe Cole, should he be on the field, which is highly likely if extra time and penalties are needed, will also come into consideration, though Fabio Capello will also judge his players on their state of mind at that time.

A Soccernet source inside the England camp says: "We know the five best penalty takers we see every day in training, but taking penalties for real is vastly different from taking them when there is intense pressure. Therefore it is important to look closely to see how the players are feeling, to look at them and make a judgement, better than just asking them because they might say they are ok, when they are not.

"Ideally you want the penalty taker to be in the right frame of mind, so it depends on performance on the pitch which would make a player confident to take the penalty. Sometimes, it is not who is best at taking penalties, but who is feeling best to take them, as this is vital and must be taken into consideration..

"Fabio will ask the players, but will make his own mind up, but I have got to tell you, it is not Fabio's intention to get as far as penalties."

Capello has no hang-ups about the England team taking penalties against the Germans. But he will be seeking to beat Germany without it getting that far.

But if it does come to penalties, then one of Capello's close aides inside the Rustenburg training camp tells Soccernet: "Can England beat Germany in a penalty shoot out? Why not? Much better though to beat them before penalties. That will be Fabio Capello's message to the players.

"There will be no need for extra penalty taking practice, as the players practice penalties every day after training as part of their normal routine. There is no need for more than this.

"We don't want to to let the players start to think about penalties, or to concern themselves with them, that would create apprehension that does not need to exist. Fabio will want the players just to play, with the spirit they showed in their last match."