Problems from the penalty spot continue to make the headlines as Manchester City match on to the Premier League title. After several poor takes and misses, the latest player to step up to the plate is Rodri.
The Spaniard stated after the 3-0 win against Tottenham that he decided to take the next penalty the team was given because he was angry.
“I was a bit angry in the last weeks because we missed many penalties, much more than we expected to, and in big games you have to score penalties,” Rodri told Sky Sports.
“I was angry, I told my team-mates in the week that the next time we have a penalty I’ll grab the ball and no one will take it away from me. Fortunately, I scored but the win is the most important thing.”
He made good on his promise when he stepped up to take the spot-kick against Tottenham. He was so resolute he refused to listen to even advice from Ederson who was already on the half-way line expecting to do the honours. Rodri simply went with his guts.
Saying of not listening to Ederson, “Goalkeepers know each other, Ederson told me some specific points about Lloris, where I should shoot the penalty I didn’t listen!”
“As it’s better to focus on what you are confident about and I was confident in shooting in the way I did.
Although the ball hit the back of the net, it was anything but a convincing penalty kick.
The 24-year-old just about managed to get the ball through, as Hugo Lloris got a hand to the shot, low to his right-hand-side, only failing to keep it out. That the Spurs goalkeeper not only followed the ball but also got a hand to it is concerning. It shows Rodri may not be the solution the manager is looking for, after all.
Despite commending the player for his courage to step up to the challenge, the manager was not impressed with the final output.
“Is Rodri the taker now? No,” Guardiola told BBC Sport.
“I would say I admire the courage to take the penalty but it was not a good penalty. I am not laughing, I am concerned about this.
“We will have a real specialist to take them with quality. We have to practice.”
So it is safe to say, the search for a specialist penalty taker for Manchester City goes on.