Q: Which Tottenham players wanted to take a penalty in the Carling Cup shoot-out?

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A: None of them!

spurspenalties

Tottenham Hotspur employ several people whose sole purpose is to score goals. They are called ’strikers’, and they were distinctly absent from the Carling Cup penalty shoot-out, an occasion when the skill of scoring goals is extremely useful.

According to talkSPORT’s breakfast show, the reason for Spurs’ unlikely penalty-taker line-up (and subsequent underwhelming performance) was a general reticence to step up to the spot. When Harry Redknapp asked “who wants to take a penalty?” not a single player raised his hand.

Luka Modric
 is the first player to speak out about his penalty-taking anxiety, which stems from his failure to convert against Turkey during Euro 2008:

“I need to get over the fear. I do not want taking penalties to become a continuous problem for me.”

Messrs bent and Pavlyuchenko, we await your excuses. [Actually Mr Pavlyuchenko, you had been substituted by that point so your excuse is valid – Ed.]

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