This Player’s Absence Has Caused Steve Bruce A Penalty Problem

The absence of Matt Ritchie not only gives Steve Bruce selection issues but also he has to identify a new penalty taker for the next few months. There is not a lot of experience in the squad with penalties.

This is what Steve Bruce said as reported in the Shields Gazette about the penalty situation in Ritchie’s absence.

“Matt Ritchie was our taker. We have to find a new one now. That’s one thing we’ve been doing on the training ground.

“Joelinton took one in training the other day. Jonjo and Isaac smashed them in the top corner, Muto and Schar missed.”

Of these likely replacements for Ritchie, none have much experience in taking penalties. Judging by the penalty shoot-out at Leicester City in the Carabao Cup, both Jonjo and Hayden were not too convincing in their attempts. However, both Muto and Schar took excellent penalties.

Joelinton’s history with penalty taking is minimal at best. Last season at Hoffenheim, Andrej Kramaric took 7 of the 8 total penalties with Vincenzo Grifo taking the other.

However, at Rapid Vienna Joelinton took 3 penalties and converted 2 of them over his two seasons there.

Andy Carroll also did not take many penalties while at West Ham with Mark Noble being their usual taker. Big Andy’s last penalty was in April of 2016, which was a successful one.

With the lack of an obvious choice, we would expect Joelinton to be the penalty taker if we get awarded one in the next few months. Though we wouldn’t be surprised with Fabian Schar getting the nod as he seems to have the perfect temperament for it.

This article was originally posted here