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Gerrard explains why the new ABBA penalty format is not an improvement

Date Posted,August 5, 2017

Steven Gerrard has hit the nail on the head with his explanation as to why the new ABBA penalty format is not an improvement on the previous system.

Arsenal made British football history by becoming the first team to win a shoot-out using the new system, after they beat Chelsea 4-1 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the Community Shield.

The new format has been modelled on the one used for tennis tie-breaks, and is supposed to be fairer on the person taking the second penalty.

The original system favours the team going first as added pressure is placed on their opponents if they convert their spot-kick, as they are then forced to play catch-up.

Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud scores the deciding penalty (Image: PA)

So instead of two teams alternating, the first side take the initial penalty and then the fourth and fifth, while their opponents take the second and third, and so on.

Discussing the new format on BT Sport after the game, Liverpool legend Gerrard explained why he isn’t sold on the system.

“I liked the format that we already had. It was very exciting, it was tense,” said Gerrard. “It does change the advantage, if you like.

Arsenal players celebrate winning the penalty shootout (Image: REUTERS)

“If you miss that first penalty – which is the advantage if you score it – and the other team scores their first two then 2-0 is a big advantage to the second team.”

Former England manager Glenn Hoddle agreed with Gerrard, and pointed out that while the system solves the original problem, it creates a brand new one.

Thibaut Courtois missed in the shootout (Image: Rex Features)

“Before you’d want to go first, but you would think twice now.

“If they miss you’ve got two opportunities (to score), so do you give them the opportunity to go first?”

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