Did Steven Gerrard Miss His Penalty Kick On Purpose?

Video: PL Highlights: Blackburn/Liverpool

Watching Steven Gerrard walk up to the spot to take the penalty late in the game against Blackburn Rovers, I was confident he would score for Liverpool. When faced with adversity, Gerrard often rises to the occasion. Earlier in the season, Gerrard cooly slotted home a penalty against fiercest rivals Manchester United even though the vast majority at Old Trafford was begging him to miss.

Except Gerrard’s penalty against Blackburn didn’t go according to script. After Gerrard pulled one back for Liverpool and then won a penalty, the Reds had a chance – with five minutes left – to find an equalizer. That is, if Gerrard could first slot the penalty away. But he didn’t and the ball sailed over the bar.

Usually I don’t question a player’s character, but in this particular instance with a chance to put Liverpool in the ascendency, Gerrard flubbed his shot. Now whether he did this on purpose or not, we’ll probably never know. I respect the man as a footballer, but based on how Gerrard took the penalty, I have to question whether he tried to miss it on purpose or not.

The way that Gerrard chipped the ball over the bar seemed to look so unlike the way that Gerrard normally takes a penalty kick. He seemed so nonchalant when he took the shot. And even after it sailed over the bar, he didn’t seem that bothered.

Realizing the precarious position that manager Roy Hodgson is in, I have to question whether Gerrard thought about missing that penalty on purpose or not. Yes, Gerrard is Liverpool through and through, but in his deep psyche he must have considered the thought. It certainly seemed that way judging by how he took the penalty kick.

By shooting the penalty kick over the bar, Gerrard has most probably decided the fate of Hodgson’s future at Liverpool. Hodgson was on the chopping block already, but Gerrard’s miss condemned his manager to a near certain departure. How soon it happens depends on the Fenway Sports Group.

To see Gerrard’s penalty, fast forward to minute 1:57 in the above video.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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64 Responses to Did Steven Gerrard Miss His Penalty Kick On Purpose?

  1. EDub says:

    Not one for conspiracy theories, but I have to agree … it didn’t look like he was really trying…

    But there were still maybe 10min. left, and at 2-3, they would have been right in it. I find it hard to believe he would consciously try to miss …

  2. BA14 says:

    I disagree, he scored their lone goal and he was the man brought down in the box. I think he flat out missed it.

  3. che says:

    He did, he knows Hodgson must go.

    • Mr Gerrard says:

      I disagree, Gerrard is a professional player. When talked about professional player, they are the one that usually unaffected by the crowd or other thing that we think might affected them on the pitch. my point is None of the management problem may affect him to act for not scoring from the 12 yards. I see the game, and i see his faces before he took the kick… He looked really nervous to took the kick. That why he missed the shot.

  4. Ocko70 says:

    I saw this live. I thought for sure he missed it on purpose. His run up was like he was taking a fk. He went and grabbed the ball to make sure it was on him. Like anyone else was going to take that kick!! No question that he is Liverpool through and through and to best serve club and get dead man Woy out, missing a pk isnt out of question. It just might best serve the club.

    Ynwa!

  5. Nick says:

    My guess is that he saw the GK guess correctly and tried to hit the top of the net to keep him from saving it.

  6. jbm says:

    I think there will be books written about tonight and the week LFC was sold. Many.

    Rumors abound about back room deals, a supposed fight in the locker room during the half, and Hodgson being “relieved of his duties” immediately after the game.

    Tomorrow is going to be a VERY interesting day.

  7. Mike says:

    We could take the whole conspiracy thing one step further — what of Torres’ uncharacteristic, ongoing hesitancy in the box? The sure-thing shots not taken? Could an uninspired Torres frame of mind be blamed on the manager? Just something else to ponder…

  8. Joe says:

    This article is a joke…right?

  9. Nelly says:

    Seriously? C’mon now. Gerard was the only one making things happen in the game.

    • Joe says:

      Glen Johnson had some life towards the end of the first half, but that was only after his terrible defense in giving up the first goal.

  10. myleftball says:

    You were obviously hoping he was going to miss

  11. stan jones says:

    Not sure why but it was my first thought when i watched it live.
    If you watch his penalties he usually picks his spot and is commited, never seems the type to wait on goalie movement, can’t remember him putting too many in the middle either, usually picks a corner and blasts.

  12. Ballz says:

    What complete rubbish!! Talk about lazy ‘journalism’

  13. old33 says:

    It’s an interesting thought. I agree that Gerrard was the only one of the 11 on the pitch, sans Reina. However in all my years of watching him take penalty shots, I can’t ever remember the ball going above halfway between the ground and the crossbar. It’s always to one side or the other. This was flat in the middle, over the crossbar. When I have seen him miss, the ball was saved by the keeper lunging to the side towards ground, never elevating. While it seems like the penalty tanked on purpose, Gerrard did draw it in the first place. I wonder if he was thinking that Hodgson will not help him raise the title before he turns 34.

  14. Jocko says:

    One of the stupidest pieces of conjecture I’ve ever seen. How dare you. Gerrard is Liverpool through and through and he’s a professional. Did you not see him bursting in to the box to even get the penalty in the first place? That showed strong desire. Notice how he scored the first goal? Why didn’t he try to miss that as well? And you question if he’s trying to sabotage Hodgson and the club he’s been with his whole life? Goodness, man, it’s outrageous, this kind of article belongs in the S**!

    He’s missed penalties, before. He doesn’t always take them the same way. I think he saw the keeper going right and that’s where he wanted to go so he pulled back a bit trying to send it high and down the middle and that’s what led him to get too much under it and have it sail over.

    Perhaps you should best leave these kinds of thoughts in your brain. Of course the penalty would only have pulled one back and had he scored it, there was no guarantee Liverpool would have scored another and achieved a draw. It wasn’t his miss that lost the match.

    And Ocko70, he didn’t run up to get the ball so it was on him. He’s the penalty taker as determined before every match. It’s usually always Gerrard appointed to take penalties if there happens to be one. He ran up so he could get on with it and score quickly and then continue the match so Liverpool could try to grab another goal. Just a lot of outlandish guessing here that belongs in the tabloids, really.

    • summer says:

      Completely agree. “On Penalties” is a good read for a history of missed penalty kicks and the psychology of taking them; missing happens to the best of them. Gerrard’s work rate cannot be questioned and even though he’s experienced in taking pk’s, he’s human. Suggesting that he would intentionally sabotage their chances for an equalizer just to ensure that Hodgson goes is ridiculous.

  15. Gaz Hunt says:

    He didn’t purposely miss it – he rushed the shot.

    As soon as the penalty was earned he was racing to pick up the ball. Then he rushed to place it and nervously glanced towards the referee in anticipation of the whistle. As soon as the referee did, he was in such a rush to get the shot away and the ball in the goal – all the while thinking about how he would then pick it back up again and run back to the center circle in an attempt to get a point out of the match.

    He was one step ahead of himself the whole time.

  16. JC says:

    Seems a bit far-fetched, even for EPLtalk standards. ;)

    I didn’t watch the match live, but I just watched the penalty (and build-up to it) on foxsoccertv and I still don’t agree…but maybe there was a “feel” to the game I’m not getting by not sitting through the whole thing. Dunno, but I doubt it. I mean, even if he makes it, what are the chances they would have scored again before full time?

    If Gerrad wants Hodgson out, he doesn’t need to miss a penalty down 3-1. He just has to say so in the press. Why damage his own goal tally the potentially important GD of his team?

    • JC says:

      Sorry, that should read “If GERRARD….”

      and “Why damage his own goal tally AND the potentially important GD of his team?”

    • The Gaffer says:

      JC, that’s not something a player would say in the press. Not until a manager leaves, at least. If he did miss the penalty on purpose, that would be the quickest way to get Hodgson out. I’m not saying he did miss it on purpose. But it certainly seemed like the thought entered his mind judging by how poor the kick was taken.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • JC says:

        I would say it’s far more plausible for him to say something in the press than damage the integrity of the sport, the league, the team, and his career by throwing the game. Not that I disagree with you about players not normally doing that. But they don’t normally miss penalties on purpose either.

        He could also just have a heated argument with Hodgson on camera. That would be enough to get rid of the manager at this point, considering his precarious standing with the fans and ownership.

        And I’m still I’m having a hard time reasoning how a 3-1 defeat is more likely to get a manager fired than a 3-2 defeat…which is the central tenet of your theory.

        Regards

        JC

      • Yespage says:

        The shot just barely went over the crossbar. For a guy desperately trying to get Liverpool back into the game in the end, that’d be a strange way to keep trying.

        Gerrard usually puts them away. He hasn’t missed in a year and a half… it seems like he was due for a miss.

        And in other news, lets explore why Chelsea allowed itself to lose to Wolves. The question is so baseless!

      • Dave C says:

        I think Gerrard carries enough weight at Liverpool to simply speak directly to the board/owners, rather than via the press.

  17. Clampdown says:

    I’m sorry, Gaffer. I’m usually willing to go to bat for you, but this is very unfair of you. How would you like it if someone questioned your credibility, character, and professionalism just because you got something wrong? When was the last time you took a penalty? They’re not as easy as they look. Gerrard’s missed them before (you know he is English), and he’ll miss again, no matter who his manager is at the time.

    I know, you’re just asking the question. “I’m not saying your mother’s a whore, I’m just asking: Is your mother a whore?” (taken from Jon Stewart talking about FOX News’ method of stirring up story where there is none).

    Ugh. It really is the kind of nonsense I expect from one of your less-enlightened contributors.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Clampdown, you may be right. But the thought entered my mind, as it did many of the other people who commented in this thread. I certainly hope he didn’t miss it on purpose, but it sure seemed that way.

      Penalties are not easy (trust me, I have some nightmare misses from my high school soccer days), but Gerrard usually puts his penalty kicks away pretty easily for ‘Pool.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • brn442 says:

        “Gerrard usually puts his penalty kicks away pretty easily for ‘Pool.” – Really? Gerrard’s penalty history isn’t as spotless as you think. Please tell us that your account was hacked, as this is beyond muggybonehead.

        Gaffer, maybe you’ve had some left-over eggnog but I have to second Clampdown, I am beyond disappointed (based on your video “evidence”)that you would put your name on such a thing. Why stop there, maybe Gerrard is in with Asian based bookies? Does he do performance enhancers? The only motives that should be in question, are the ones of the author.

  18. Bishopville Red says:

    Stevie Mee throw away a chance to go kissing cameras? Not on your life!

  19. Carl says:

    Disagree! Hodgson doesn’t need another reason to get the boot. More importantly, it is utterly disrespectful to suggest that Gerrard would let even the slightest chance of getting a point out of last night’s game vanish by missing a penalty. Moreover, if he’s determined to lose the game, why did he unleash the fierce shot for the first goal, and marched into the box like an arrow which earned him the penalty?

    Too many unnecessary speculations at a time when we need to stick together, when King Kenny calls for unity.

    Having that all said, HODGSON MUST GO! There is quality in the squad and there’s no explanation to the extremely poor results so far this season, except that the manager not having any clues leading the training and deploying the right tactics in the games.

    By the way, agree with Gaz Hunt’s comment… Stevie G was a step ahead of himself.

  20. MarkB says:

    You do pose an interesting thought with that question. So now I have a question: Would anybody on here have the balls to ask Gerrard that question to his face? Thought not.

  21. Red20 says:

    Gaffer I gotta say you’re probably way off base on this one. None of the events that proceed the missed pen, would explain blatantly missing it.

    For starters he scored the opening goal, and secondly, he drew the penalty on an aggressive run into the box. Why make the run, go down, any of it- if his endgame was contributing to a shocking loss to Blackburn? Hell everyone was just standing around and that point anyways watching the ball, so why would Gerrard do anything different and make the run?

    There’s another conspiracy theory out there that Gerrard and Carra are the reason that Hodgson is there in the first place, so now these two thoughts conflict against each other. Of course, neither could be true, but it shows how easy it is to dream up conspiracy theories.

    I want Hodgson out as much as the next guy, but it never crossed my mind for a second that the pen was missed deliberately.

  22. Mike says:

    Looks like he dove to draw the penalty. Why would he dive then miss on purpose?

  23. trickybrkn says:

    ever play football gaffer… 85 mins of running and just brought down in the box after a run forward. I’d imagine he was running on empty. Lined it up and tried for power up the middle and the lactic acid built up in his leg drove through the bottom of the ball as opposed to through it.

    there is NO WAY… NO WAY EVER. he’d give up a goal, for any reason EVER. NEVER. EVER.

    This is just the dumbest thing I’ve ever read.

  24. john bagley says:

    He missed it on purpose. Look at his reaction, he doesn’t care which doesn’t say much for Liverpool and its Captain.

    Class act that Stevie Gerrard……

  25. Joe says:

    There’s a difference between journalism and blogging. EPL Talk is not meant to be seen as a news source, or anything beyond a place to have virtual pub conversations. I think it’s completely ridiculous to believe that Steven Gerrard, the heart and soul of Liverpool for 550 matches, would ever think of missing a shot on purpose to get his manager fired. But if someone said to me to at a pub, I’d just laugh and say they’re nuts and we’d move on.

    Hahaha Gaffer, you’re nuts. Anyway…

  26. SoccerLimey says:

    Somewhat ridiculous to suggest that Gerrard would miss a penalty on purpose, although I think it’s definitely true that it might be the final nail in Hodgson’s coffin.

    Gerrard is a horrible penalty taker at the best of times as England have found out to their cost on occasion.

  27. shuggieo says:

    The Hodgson factor did have an effect on Steven Gerrard missing the pen, but only in the way that he was so desperate to save Roy’s job. I knew he was going to miss the pen. As soon as he was was fouled there was something frantic about his body lang, like time was runing out…not for the game but for Roy Hodgsons future he was in the mind set like it was Istanbul all over again. He lost his composer because of that and thats why he skied the ball over the bar. This is why Arsene Wenger does not let his players who were fouled for the pen take the pen. It funny cause if Steven had of scored, im sure liverpool would of went on to level the game. I think the question is if Glenn Johnson had a stinker to get Hogdson the sack?

  28. declan says:

    What a pile of rubbish this is.

    Does anyone remember a few years ago Stevie G said he wouldn’t take any more penalties after missing a few? He missed quote a few in fact.

    So he missed another one? Tired after being the only person to care on the pitch. Under pressure to score. Facing thousands of booing home fans.

    He is not the kind of player to do that.

    The writer of this blog is just the kind of person that needs something to write about and this is the best he could come up with.

  29. ioana says:

    it’s a disgrace to say something like this!!! a disgrace to steven gerrard, to liverpool and to all the fans this club has all over the world. disgrace!

  30. Richard the Manc says:

    Out come all the scousers, erm. The 60′s and 70′s are over-like. Your days of winning titles are long gone, erm. A bunch of whinging benders, erm. Pathetic-like.

  31. Locode says:

    That kind of character assassination / unfound allegation isn’t journalism. It’s gutter sniping.

    I’m sure Mr. Gerrard would be more than happy to have a one on one discussion with you about his integrity.

  32. Jake says:

    Gaffer, you are way off base on this one. Gerard and Carragher were the ones who wanted Hodgson in the first place. I don’t think he missed on purpose but if he did then it shows a lack of character on his part. If anything, he should be playing harder to keep Hodgson in charge since he wanted him there in the first place. Otherwise, it shows how quickly and easily players turn on their manager. In Liverpool’s case the players have performed miserably and have shown no passion whatsoever. Hodgson has been equally guilty of selecting poorly and his tactics haven’t changed in 35 years which is why he is ill-suited for Liverpool. Hodgson will be replaced sooner or later but more interesting will be how many players will be shown the door as well. Players like Gerard, Torres and company should be playing for the club and supporters and not not the manager. If NESV is serious in ushering a new era at Anfield they need to bring in a better manager and sell all the underperfroming players, including Torres and company. That would send a clear message that they are serious about taking the club forward and will not tolerate players with no mpassion for the club.

  33. Dave C says:

    I’ll state what might be an unfashionable viewpoint: Gerrard is simply a bottler.

    He always looks bed-wettingly nervous when he’s England captain, and he’s always the first to resort to aimless hoof’n'hope if his team are getting desperate.

    I know people will say “what about that time in Istanul, or the FA Cup against West Ham”….but seriously, they were what, five/six years ago now??

  34. Tilly says:

    The way he touched his badge before he took it is what convinced me he missed on purpose.

  35. don’t be so stupid. he did not miss the pen on purpose. if you’ve actually ever watched his penalties you’ll see that he does sometimes aim for the top corner. 99.99% of the time they go in and look emphatic, however this was 0.1%. he’s human and he will miss them. although at least hodgson’s a cert for the sack now.

  36. colin says:

    Your a joke gaffer. This one may be an alltime low for you.

  37. Jason says:

    No, I do not believe Gerard missed the penalty on purpose. He has been one of the few players that has played well the last couple of games. He was terrific against Bolton. If he, or others on the team, were trying to get rid of the manager then they would have done it against Bolton. Had they lost that game Hodgson would have been fired immediately. No, the problem here is with the manager whose teams have never been good away from home.

  38. M says:

    iDont Blamee Him , He Obviously Knows That Liverpool Are Flopping At The Moment, Maybe He’s Just Had Anough :/ iKnow He Shouldnt Give Up , But Really It Is Getting Quite Annoying, Despie The Fact That They Beat The Better Teams Than The Shiiter Teamz!
    iLove Gerrarddd His A Good Footballer, But iGuess iDont Blame Him!
    And Remember When Torres Assisted Gerrard’s Goal in One Match, Tores Went Straight 2 The Start , Not Celebrating! iReally Dont Blame Them :)
    Buh They Shoulndt Give Up!

  39. The Gaffer says:

    Looks like Liverpool supporters are questioning whether Gerrard missed the penalty on purpose too. Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8MSm-ayaGo&feature=player_embedded

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

    • Locode says:

      So what if they are? 2 wrongs don’t make a right.

      Suggesting that Steven Gerrard would miss a penalty on purpose is retarded, and immediately makes whatever else you post worthless.

      Go crawl back under a rock.

  40. Lauraa says:

    Aw Come On! You ever hear of a bad day? Believe it or not people make mistakes! Best player and most professional player in the league he wouldn’t do that. Team Stevie G all the way!

    Bring back Daghlish!

  41. Simon Burke says:

    Nonsense. Scored one, made the penalty. Didnt miss it by much.

  42. Carolyn says:

    To miss on purpose you have to have a purpose. Right now none of the Liverpool players or coaches seem to have any purpose.

  43. John says:

    Brilliant! Well done.

  44. Kim says:

    Whether he missed on purpose or not, this could be looked back at as an heroic moment and act for his club if a fresh approach with a new manager saves some decency from this season and pushes us up to the next level. All conjecture of course

  45. dvb says:

    the way he looked around,itched and looked so un focused. the shot that he never takes for penatlies.

    his head down walk away look as if to say”ive done it,wele lose this game,but wele win in the long run by roy going out the window”.

    the whole teams effort has looked lacking,in all goals conceded in the last few games,i keep watching the players attempts to defend,it doesnt look like they put full effort into stopping goals go in,as if they will take a few defeats to get the victory of roy sacked,new manager in,in the long run a man who will get them playing the style of football that suits them and gets them performing and achieving again.

    roy has failed with team selections,failed with not putting confidence in the players,failed to get them to playing at the level the once played at before,failed at getting tactics and attitude to be acceptable.

  46. GEDtheRED says:

    Are you kidding me!? This is just stupid! this is Stevie G we’re talking about… the lad’s not going to miss a penalty on purpose to get a manager sacked! He is Liverpool through and through and he will always do whatever it takes to win a game for the Reds. He missed because his confidence was down, because the entire team was having a bad day, and because he’s human. Everybody messes up at some point especially when the pressure is on you and the whole team is having a bad day. And his seemingly non-nonchalant attitude afterwards was the sign of a good footballer. It showed that he realizes that there is nothing he can do except get on with the game! Im sorry but blogs like this are pointless

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