World Cup 2014: England goalkeeper Joe Hart is a 'better penalty taker than Daniel Sturridge', reveals Stuart Pearce
Pearce backs the shot-stopper to step up and take a penalty if England are taken to a shootout
Stuart Pearce believes that England goalkeeper Joe Hart is a better penalty taker than striker Daniel Sturridge, and insists that is he were the Three Lions manager, Hart would be the first name down on the list of penalty takers in a shootout.
Pearce worked with Hart during their time together with the England Under-21s, in which he selected Hart to take a penalty in the shootout victory over Sweden in the 2009 European Under-21 Championship semi-finals.
Speaking on TalkSPORT, who Pearce is working for in Brazil before taking up his role as Nottingham Forest manager, he said that Hart should be considered by manager Roy Hodgson if England find themselves in a dreaded penalty shootout in Brazil.
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“My five penalty takers would be Joe Hart, Leighton Baines, Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and whoever was statistically better out of Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney.
“I’ve seen Hart take 250 penalties and he’s, statistically, a better penalty taker than Sturridge.”
Hart’s confidence form the spot unfortunately cannot be said of the England teams of the past, with the Three Lions yet to win a penalty shootout in a World Cup encounter having needed to exceed 120 minutes of action on four occasions.
The squad were also seen on Tuesday to be going through a practice penalty shootout, except that neither Hart, Fraser Forster nor Ben Foster were in the goal to try and save them. Instead, Hodgson set up a netting in the goal-mouth with five designated targets, and each player had to nominate one before making their attempt to hit the target.
If it pays off this summer, we’re all for keeper-less penalties.
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