A classic from John Carver as claims that he knew Aleksandar Mitrovic would miss penalty
John Carver is back in work.
Only two and a half months into the job and it has been a case of instant success.
Joining Steve Clarke’s coaching staff at the end of August, Scotland have drawn one and won five of their matches since John Carver got involved.
This culminating of course in that dramatic Thursday night qualification for next summer’s 2020 Euros, beating Serbia on penalties.
John Carver has spoken to Sky Sports (see below) and most of the headlines have been about him having tore his calf when running onto the pitch to celebrate.
However, another part of his interview caught my eye…
David Marshall dived low to his left and brilliantly kept out Aleksandar Mitrovic’ penalty that was destined to the bottom right corner.
John Carver explaining how he knew Mitro would miss: ‘The adrenaline is flowing and I knew [Aleksandar] Mitrovic was going to miss that penalty. I sat next to [Scotland goalkeeping coach] Stevie Woods on the plane and I watched him [Mitrovic] miss a couple, so I was concentrating on that area.’
Intrigued by what John Carver had said and wondering indeed if it was maybe the former Newcastle man who had advised Marshall where to dive, I thought I would see what clues you would have picked up from Mitro’s recent penalties.
The most recent Aleksandar Mitrovic penalties (before Thursday) have been:
18 October 2020
Missed – Hit straight down the middle but hit bar, against Sheffield United.
19 September 2020
Scored – Bottom left corner against Leeds.
18 July 2020
Scored -Straight down the middle against Sheffield Wednesday.
10 July 2020
Scored – Fired it into the very top right corner.
26 February 2020
Saved – Puts it in bottom left corner but great save by Freddie Woodman, on loan at Swansea.
There was one other penalty taken by Mitro in 2020 but can’t find any footage of that Turkey 2 Serbia 2 match, where Mitrovic scored his penalty.
John Carver says he ‘knew’ Mitrovic was going to miss because he knew where he would place the penalty.
Well having looked back at the footage of all the penalties the Serbian striker has taken this year, not one of them (Turkey one unknown) was bottom right corner.
if John Carver really did predict where the penalty would go on Thursday and that it would be saved, then clearly he (John Carver) is even better than we thought. Able to ignore all recent evidence and know to base his prediction on other penalties taken years ago instead!
John Carver talking to Sky Sports:
“It [tearing his calf in post-match celebrations] was pretty embarrassing.
“The adrenaline is flowing and I knew [Aleksandar] Mitrovic was going to miss that penalty.
“I sat next to [Scotland goalkeeping coach] Stevie Woods on the plane and I watched him [Mitrovic] miss a couple, so I was concentrating on that area.
“We were on our marks ready to go and when David Marshall produced that wonderful save, that was it, the starting gun and off we went.
“Within five steps the goalie coach tried to trip me up, Steven Reid jumped on my back and then the next thing I felt like I had been shot in the calf.
“I was in so much pain and haven’t felt anything like it.
“The performance director then tried to jump on my back and then I saw the guys celebrating but the pain was incredible.
“Despite this it was an incredible feeling to be part of it.
“You see how much it means to the nation, especially in the current times.
“Any big tournament needs the likes of Scotland and hopefully the way it is going we will have crowds in.
“Yes I am English but I am a professional and I have given everything for Scotland, including a torn calf.”
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