Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez is currently football’s number 1 penalty shooter disruptor. How?

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez is currently football’s number 1 penalty shooter disruptor. How?

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez is currently football’s number 1 penalty shooter disruptor. How?

Here’s a brief historical & scientific analysis of 5 goalkeeper disruption techniques for penalty kicks, ending with Martinez’ “master class” last Saturday.

Emi Martinez Playing for Aston Villa v Manchester United arguing with referee re penalty

1) Visual distraction technique. Goalkeepers sometimes engage in erratic movements to disturb the visual field of the shooter, command attention, and create disorder. Study shows players are 10% less likely to score when faced with distraction

 

Table showing the diffrence in percentage of penalties scored vs saved
Historically, visual distraction has been creatively and successfully used on many big occasions: Grobbelar’s wobbly knees (A), Dudek on the line (B), Krul warming up in the 18-yard box (C), & Everson taking a reverse knee (D). Key is being asymmetrical or unpredictable.
4 Images of world famous goalkeepers saving classic penalties
(2) Physical confrontation technique. When goalkeepers shamelessly take up position at the penalty mark. It’s direct, intended to intimidate, and difficult to ignore. Can emotionally destabilize and cognitively distract. Richardo (A), van Breukelen (B) and Krul (C).
3 Goalkeepers attempting to put the striker off his penalty
(3) Verbal confrontation technique. Some goalkeepers engage in old school trash talk, by verbally addressing, insulting and/or humiliating the shooter. In this summer's no-crowd, Copa America semi final, Martinez' words were easily identified. Colombia missed 3 shots.
3 Missed penalties for Columbia v Argentina
(4) Delaying technique. A more subtle, indirect technique is to simply take time getting ready. In our study, if the shooter is forced to wait for the referee signal (because the goalkeeper takes time), the probability of a goal drops by 20-30%
Signal waiting time in relevance to saving penalties
Edwin van der Sar was brilliant at delaying. Keeping his towel by the corner flag, taking forever to get into the goal, forcing the shooter to wait. This way, he indirectly takes the initiative, disrupts the shooter’s rhythm, and forces on him extra seconds of rumination.
Edwin Van Der Sar slowly walking over to his goal in champions league penalty shoot out
(5) Social manipulation technique. A truly Machiavellian ploy. When United gets the overtime penalty against Villa, Martinez is not addressing the penalty taker, Bruno Fernandes. Rather, he confronts Bruno’s TEAMMATE Cristiano Ronaldo saying: «HE should take the penalty».
Emi Martinez asking Cristano Ronaldo to take Man uniteds penalty
This plays on the emerging rivalry between Bruno and Cristiano, providing an oblique nudge to Bruno that if he misses, Cristiano is the next penalty taker for United. Bruno missed a penalty for the first time in almost a year (12 straight goals), and Villa wins the game. (9/10)
Bruno Fernandes Holding Football just before he takes penalty for Man United
There is a moral question about these techniques, which should be addressed by governing bodies and referees. For now, disruption techniques are effective. Goalkeepers need to employ such techniques skillfully & shooters need to use effective counter measures. (10/10)
Bruno Fernandes about to take a penalty for Man United v Emi Martinez of Aston Villa
Written By Geir Jordet - @GeirJordet

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