A goalkeeper taking a penalty? You must be joking?
After missing a penalty against Arsenal in the Community Shield final on Sunday, many fans will likely be praying that Courtois is never allowed back near a penalty spot ever again.
Yet, despite missing his penalty against Arsenal, Thibaut Courtois should be allowed to keep taking spot-kicks, and here’s why!
Sunday wasn’t the first time that Courtois had taken a penalty. During the club’s pre-season tour of America two years ago, the 25-year-old took a penalty against PSG.
Although, at first, this seemed like an odd decision, the Chelsea no.1 stepped up to the spot and absolutely smashed the ball into the top corner of Sirigu’s net. Not only was this the decisive penalty of the shoot-out but it was also, by far, the best penalty of the night.
If Courtois had reproduced this effort against Arsenal on Sunday, would would have all been screaming for him to become our regular penalty taker would we not? So why judge his abilities on one missed penalty.
Thibaut Courtois isn’t the first goalkeeper to have taken a penalty in a competitive final. In the 2012 Champions League Final, Manuel Neuer was given the task of scoring past Petr Cech as Bayern Munich faced Chelsea in Munich.
After taking a slow jog to the spot, the German international slotted the ball past the Chelsea goalkeeper, scoring in one of football’s most high-pressured scenarios.
In light of Courtois’ penalty against PSG two years ago and Neuer’s brilliance in Munich, I believe that we should abandon the archaic idea that goalkeepers can’t take a penalty and give Thibaut Courtois another crack at the whip.
After all, who knows where to place a penalty better than a goalkeeper?