The striker’s fear of the penalty

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 ‘The goalkeeper’s fear of the penalty’ –
but shouldn’t a striker fear it
so much more? The keeper isn’t
expected to save; the forward
is obliged to score. A penalty
can help break the duck,
if you’re blazing chances over the bar
that seem more difficult to miss,
going through a spell of bad luck.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 And yet, and yet. Spain’s Morata
spurned a penalty rebound,
then missed his own pen
in the next match, while
his country notched up five
including two own goals,
regardless. So cruel,
so unsure. He failed at Chelsea
as well, this unhappy matador.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 A chance of redemption.
Dropped for the semi-final,
he came off the bench
to nonchalantly notch
the equaliser. Then came
the penalty shoot-out.
He walked to the spot,
knowing he would miss.
Briefly a saviour. Always
remembered as martyr.


What else is there to say? The troubled psychology of being a top-class striker. And then there is Timo Werner’s first – and last? – season at Chelsea; another suitable case for treatment?

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/the-strikers-fear-of-the-penalty/