Manchester United legend on penalties - 'That's why they put rubbers on pencils'

Gary Neville has had his say on the 'art' of a penalty kick - after watching his beloved United tumble out of the League Cup v Sunderland.

Manchester United are out of the Capital One Cup at the final hurdle - after going out on penalties against Sunderland at Old Trafford.

After winning the game 2-1 after extra time, which in itself carried his own drama, United took the game to penalties - and then gave us a demonstration in how not to win a penalty shootout.

Sunderland were not much better - with Craig Gardner firing over the bar and David de Gea preventing Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson.

However Danny Welbeck, Adnan Januzaj, Phil Jones and Rafael da Silva’s terrible efforts from 12 yards gave Sunderland the glory at Old Trafford.

When you look at the names who missed you certainly expected the likes of Welbeck, Januzaj, Fletcher and Johnson to have put the ball in the back of the net from the spot - but of course when you step up to take a penalty it is so rarely about how well you strike a ball.

Some of the best penalty takers in history are not always potent strikers. The likes of Dennis Irwin and David Unsworth come to mind as defenders who simply have the mental aptitude to thrash a ball into the back of the net from 12 yards away.

Confidence, composure and a little bit of luck are of course three more vital factors needed if taking a penalty - and one person who agrees is Gary Neville.

The former Manchester United right-back has been Tweeting his thoughts on the woeful attempts from both sides yesterday - worryingly of which four were missed by Englishman - and he has shared his view that ‘cool heads’ are needed from the spot…

image: © Gordon Flood

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