GDANSK, Poland: Ahead of Thursday’s Euro 2012 semi-final against Italy, goalkeeping coach Andreas Kopke has said Germany will not be taking too many spot-kicks to prepare for a dreaded penalty shoot-out.
Germany face the Azzurri in Warsaw on Thursday for a place in Sunday’s final, but after Italy needed a penalty shoot-out to beat England in their quarter-final, Kopke insisted the Germans will not become spot-kick obsessed.
Although there is a clear argument for preparing players to deal with the nerve-shredding tension of the dreaded spot-kicks, Kopke insists it is impossible to replicate the same fraught environment exhausted players face.
“It is nearly impossible to “practise” penalty shoot-outs in training, it doesn’t yield much in terms of results, because you can’t really simulate the psychological pressure goalkeepers and players will be under,” said Kopke.
“The players just whack it in when it comes to training and you can’t really recreate that pressure, so it makes little sense to practise penalties.
“As far as I am concerned, I hated (penalties) when I was a player.
“Sometimes you have to lure the goalkeeper the other way, or wait until the last possible moment for him to have moved before you kick.”
Kopke did reveal Germany’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will be fully briefed about what to expect against the Italians should Thursday’s game come down to penalties and the Germans will have done their homework.
By the same token, the German goalkeeping staff will know, and have passed on to their players, all of the habits and preferences Italy shot-stopper Gianluigi Buffon favours between the posts by Thursday.