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Rooney: I Gave Up Penalty Duty After Missing Too Many

When Manchester United were awarded a penalty against Fulham in the FA Cup, there was much surprise when Ryan Giggs stepped up to take it, despite Wayne Rooney being on the pitch.

It was assumed that following a string of misses, Sir Alex Ferguson had relieved him of penalty taking duty. However, Rooney has today revealed that he decided to let Robin van Persie take them from now on.

“To be honest, it was my choice,” Rooney told MUTV. “It wasn’t good enough. I went in to speak with the manager and said I’d spoken with Robin and told him he could take them. At a club like this, to miss two penalties like I did and not hit the target, it wasn’t good enough.”

Dec 2004 – Crystal Palace (H)
Oct 2007 – Aston Villa (A)
Mar 2010 – Liverpool (H)
Dec 2010 – Arsenal (H)
Sep 2011 – Chelsea (H)
Jan 2012 – Man City (A)
Jan 2012 – Bolton (H)
Nov 2012 – Arsenal (H)
Jan 2013 – West Ham (H)

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Quiza says:


  2. Fergie's gum says:


  3. Diego says:

    Didn’t he score the rebound in the games against Liverpool (March 2010) and Man City (2012). At least that goes to show that when he manages to hit the target he usually stays alert for the rebound. That’s the only positive though, he has completely missed the target on to many occasions and he is way to volatile with his penalties. Lampard’s close your eyes and hit it as hard as you can trough the middle tactic seems to work well.

  4. Unitedfanatic says:

    Good that he could read between the lines.. Good for the team spirit rather than wait to be instructed by the gaffer

  5. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Sir Alex talked about this in his presser last week. Rooney will take a break, but will be back according to the boss. Needs to relaxe and get his head back into it. Can’t be out to long though. We are coming to that point of the season where cup ties get decided and we might need a shoot out come May/June.

    We need Rooney hitting from all angles and in all situations.

    That said. We owe it to Giggs to get an EPL goal this year to continue the streak. He has hit the net on 5 of his last 5 and so has to be our in form penalty taker right now!

    But any way you slice it. All of our forwards should have their hand up every week. They should all be cold calm killers of their pens.

  6. Quiza says:

    com’on fergie’s gum, don’t be a sore loser.

  7. King Eric says:

    Diego – You are right about Lampard . He ALWAYS hits them down the middle. Knows how to take a penalty though. Rooney’s miss against the Rentboys was a shocker.

  8. Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson says:

    Robin missed a pen earlier this season, too. So did Chicharito, come to think of it. Giggsy should be first choice whenever he’s on the pitch, IMO. Lad is money.

  9. ak47 says:

    Those footballers up on a sexual assault charge – one of them is Brendan Rodgers’ son???????

    Why is this the first i’ve heard about this? Surely deserving of more press time. Looks like Brendan isn’t the only cunt in the family.
    Oh and on the same day the boy who’s allegedly got more kids than professional football goals has been charged with hitting a woman. Classy bunch.

  10. domunited says:

    Must be the “hair”

  11. dMuzikManUnited says:

    Seems misses are mostly at home. Home pressure?

  12. NBI Red Onion says:

    Goes for the spectacular, just like he sometimes tries to lob the keeper instead of just rifling it in. It’s surprising a player of his calibre can’t hit more, Ronnie and Messi ahead. Giggs best taker at United as noted, Robin, Nani and Pea should do ok.

  13. murt73 says:

    Think this will be great for wayne and now he will feel a huge weight off his shoulders, and we could really see him going on a run of doubt this had to be causing him some anxiety and could have affected his overall game.

  14. medumtum says:

    Dennis Irwin and Cantona were special at penalties. Wonder if we dont have someone as comfortable as the King, then perhaps we should think of a specialist designated taker. The way Baines is for Everton. Giggs is certainly not going to be around for the long haul. Van Persies missed as well.

  15. ak47 says:

    RVP is a better penalty taker than Rooney. Always has been IMO. I was surprised when he didn’t take over PK duties at the start. There’s no crisper striker of the ball in the EPL than RVP

  16. DreadedRed says:

    Sir Alex says: “It must be hard for our fans. It’s the sadistic nature of our team. It [Wednesday's win] was poor from us, though. We should have been 5-0 up at half-time. In my experience, there are always one or two games a season where you say to yourself: ‘We were lucky today.’ I think we were lucky in the second half.”

    “We didn’t enjoy last season. You couldn’t enjoy that. A few times this season we’ve been in comfortable positions but haven’t dug our nails into the game. It’s frustrating because I know we’re capable of doing that. It could go to goal difference again and that’s an issue. At the moment we’re only two goals better off than Manchester City but that could be undone in one game. We’ve had opportunities to be better.”

    “It’s very tempting to think about being 10 points clear but the most important thing is to keep our feet on the ground and try and win our game at Fulham. Then we’ll see where that takes us. There’s a long way to go. Fourteen games. A lot can happen.”

    “We’re not certainties. Nobody’s a certainty in this league – they never have been. We were 11 points clear of Arsenal one year and lost the league. We were 12 points behind Newcastle one year and won it. It’s an unremitting league. If you make mistakes you get punished.”

    “I don’t think we can afford to drop any points. When you drop points it only encourages everybody around you. I know fine well that points will be dropped, I suppose, by both ourselves and Manchester City. But I hope we don’t drop points, particularly in the next few games.”

  17. Dela says:

    @DreadedRed –> Ye, a lot of wisdom from Sir Alex there. I think it really confuses him as much as it can confuse us at times. We have these moments in games where we can tear open any opposition, we did it several times against City, for example, so its quite clear we have the ability to dominate games, but for one reason or another our players sit back way too easily.

    What I’m loving about Fergie this season is when we do start to slow down on the pitch, he’s up off the seat again and right out on the touchline barking orders, then celebrating with the coaches when we score. He saw what happened last season and you can see the determination on his face not to allow it to happen again.

  18. DreadedRed says:

    Dela – It’s reasonable to expect that a team winning 19 out of 24 games should heavily out-score the opposition more than we have. Only three wins have added 3 or more goals to our GD. The more pertinent aspect of not scoring more when dominating, is dropping points due to late concessions of equalizers. Another side-effect is 95 minute crackers are a lot more draining than games that have been put to bed in an hour.

    Further to SAF’s quote, here’s Mancini’s view on United’s lead in the title-race: “It could also be 12 but this doesn’t change [anything]. When we arrive at the end of February, the gap will be very, very small. In every championship, never has one team won a title in January. We should fight until April.

    “If they have seven, eight, nine points in April it could be difficult. But in this moment we have a big chance. Every team during the season has two or three weeks when they don’t play well, when their performances go down and they don’t score. Even if you have fantastic strikers, like the situation we had last year, there were some moments when we scored three or four goals a game but then didn’t score for three or four games and we didn’t know why. It could be the same for them now.”

    “They [CL ties against Real Madrid] are two important games for United so I think February and March could be the time when it’s possible to decide this championship.”

  19. DreadedRed says:

    Rio reminds us of the inescapable fact that United > England: “Before I signed for United in 2002, I remember talking to Nicky Butt at the World Cup in Japan. He said, ‘If you think you get a big following with England, wait until you sign for United’. I didn’t really get it at the time but he was absolutely right. The interest is so much more than anything you experience with England.”

  20. DreadedRed says:

    3 min video of SAF’s presser re GD, complacency, Blackburn last season, Fulham tonight, etc:

  21. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Penaltykicks – looks easy but soon as you get forward and the pressure cooker boils up, the goal posts metaphorically shrinks. It requires composure, accuracy and precision, not everyone posseses that but i think relentless practising helps, players also have to pick a spot and not change it. It seems an art and even the best miss because ultimately it’s a gamble, you only hope it doesn’t affect the team or united come out of it positively.

  22. DreadedRed says:

    A revealing article by Andrew Cole, formerly known by many as as Andy Cole:

    “Ferguson does not publicly criticise his players, even if he is fuming at them”

  23. Ravi says:

    Didn’t some UK newspaper do an analysis showing that Robin’s penalty strike rate wasn’t much better than Wayne’s? Giggs hasn’t missed many, but the sample is much smaller – he’s never been the first choice taker despite 20+ years at the club. I thought Schwarzer was pretty close to saving the last one Giggs took! There is certainly an element of luck to the thing… for my money, quiet Denis Irwin was the most reliable taker we’ve had in my time as a supporter.

  24. markynorbs says:

    Penalty taking for a pro footballer comes down to confidence.
    The only way to gain that confidence is from experience and practising.
    All pro footballer should have a 90% success rate if they are the designated penalty taker.

  25. Marq says:

    Rvp’s record from what I remember wasnt that spectacular as well. He usually just blast them in. The really good penalty takers are those who mix it up, not just using brute force

  26. NairobiDevil says:

    I’d say Rooney’s technique of hiting the ball as hard as possible is probably why he has been missing. I don’t remember his penalties being caught or saved but more of him missing the target. It does say something about his control of the football that he consistently misses such a large target from 12 yards out . David Luiz uses the same technique but he always hits the target, not saying he is a better footballer, just that when it comes to power over technique he has more control of where the ball will end.
    As for preffered penalty taker, I’d probably give it to Carrick. He strikes them clean and true, and his placement is exceptional, so when he aims for the bottom left corner, you are sure the ball will either hit the target or miss by 2-3 inches. With the goal being >7m wide a composed player like carrick could score them all day by hitting them with a bit of pace.

  27. BayoRed says:

    Rooney could have also been thinking he should help RvP compete more easily for the golden boot realising he has a greater chance of getting it. Players might not admit publicly but they do want to be topgoal scorer and might even be selfish at times to get it. So nuff respect Rooney!

  28. BayoRed says:

    Matchday :)

  29. Costas says:

    Looking strictly at the stats, 4 misses in the last 13 months are disappointing. Some of them were also badly taken penalties. However, during that time he’s also converted 7 of them. Lets not forget how we got the draw at Chelsea.

    Personally, I hope it’s a temporary decision he’s made. Because letting go of a responsibility instead of working to improve on it is a disappointing attitude to have.

  30. Costas says:

    Correction. Rooney has scored 9, not 7, penalties in the last 13 months.

  31. King Eric says:

    I love Carrick but the only pen he took in a league game from what I can remember was Burnley away. Look how that turned out.

  32. DreadedRed says:

    Sir Alex Ferguson on utilising his squad:

    “I think the freshness is good. If you trust players and believe in them, then why not play them? There’s not a player I’m reluctant to play.

    “Everybody can take part in the games, without question. When we played West Ham at home, I was surprised by how strong a side Sam Allardyce put out that night, but we made 10 changes and they played really well. It was a good performance and I was quite pleased with that. I made 10 other changes the next week.

    “It’s simply because these are international footballers. There’s only Alexander Büttner and Nick Powell who don’t have full senior caps. Nick Powell’s had an injury for the last few weeks, although he’s back in training now. He’s one player who could make a difference to us. He’s a talented boy. Büttner’s also settled in very well, but he’s not an international. But everyone around about him is, so why not play him?”

  33. DreadedRed says:

    Today has Zaha for Crystal Palace v Charlton @ 15:00 RoM Standard Time.

  34. DreadedRed says:

    Rio is unconcerned by a lack of discussions about a new contract: “Of course I would want to stay, 100 per cent, provided I’m still playing like I am and feeling as good as I am at the moment. Manchester United is a great club, the number one, and you would never want to play anywhere else if you can still play for them.”

    “I want to be able to contribute properly and to be a player they actually need. You can tell if you’re not really needed at a club any more. You just know. We are not in discussions about a new contract at the moment and I’m fine with that because of the understanding I have with the manager.”

    “I don’t expect to be treated any different to the other older players like Giggsy or Scholesy, who normally sign on again at the end of the season.”

  35. evisu says:

    Whatever people think of Balotelli, that guy can score penalties. Stone cold. Cantona was also a freak on penalties. Rickie Lambert sick good too but the best of all time is for sure Matthew Le Tissier 47/48!

  36. gfunk says:

    id still let rooney take em. id bet on him stepping up if needed……. not like that pussy torres for the rent boys

  37. gfunk says:

    @ evisu…… bang on re ballotelli, like a napolese mafia killer when it came to him taking pens!!!


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