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England used new "buddy system" in Euro 2024 penalty shoot-out win over Switzerland

England used new "buddy system" in Euro 2024 penalty shoot-out win over Switzerland

England's new approach for the penalty shoot-out proved successful as all five players scored in the triumph over Switzerland.

England used a new "buddy system" in the Euro 2024 quarter final penalty shoot-out win over Switzerland on Saturday.

The Three Lions drew 1-1 with the Swiss in Dusseldorf, after Bukayo Saka quickly cancelled out a strike from Breel Embolo.

But following 120 minutes of action, the clash became the second quarter final of the tournament to go to penalties.

England rose to the occasion though and won 5-3 on spot-kicks - with Cole Palmer, Jude Bellingham, Saka, Ivan Toney and Trent Alexander-Arnold all scoring past Yann Sommer.

Jordan Pickford made a crucial fourth tournament penalty shoot-out save to deny Manuel Akanji, following the advice on his water bottle and correctly guessing the right way.

Having lost the Euro 2020 final on penalties, England got their psychology spot on and a notable and effective instruction saw players pause before shooting.

But another interesting tactic employed has been highlighted by The Athletic.

During his team talk before spot-kicks, Southgate was in discussions with Declan Rice, Luke Shaw, Kyle Walker and John Stones - all players who did not take a penalty.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

This was done deliberately as every aforementioned player was essentially a "buddy" for one of the takers.

Walker was with Palmer, Shaw was Bellingham's guy, Saka had Stones and Rice was paired with Toney.

Their job was a simple but necessary one - support and then congratulate afterwards. In the event that one missed, the task would have been to console.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

It's presumed that Alexander-Arnold also had a player allocated but there was immediate euphoria and celebration after he smashed in from 12 yards.

Geir Jordet, author of the book Pressure: Lessons From The Psychology Of The Penalty Shootout, explained the thinking.

“They’ve invented a way to approach this individual event as a collective, team event.

“They have a structure for preventing the players from going at this alone. A support structure takes down the pressure just a little bit.”

England will now take on the Netherlands in the semi finals in Berlin on Wednesday.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: England, Euro 2024, Switzerland, Gareth Southgate