Messi kicked the penalties in "goalkeeper dependent way" in the past, according to a specialist
Ben Lyttleton, a penalty-kicker expert and the writer of the book "Twelve Yards, the art and psychology of the perfect penalty", has analyzed for Weloba the problems that Messi is having this 2014-2015 season with the penalties.
The writer doesn't doubt: "Messi has changed the strategy to kick penaltis this season". Before this season, Messi "did a slow run up to the ball, looked to the goalkeeper and decided at the last moment. He is technically amazing and mentally very good".
Ben Lyttleton: "Why he has changed the strategy? That's the big question"
Lionel Messi all penalty miss in his career
The expert explains that there are two ways of kicking a penalty: "being goalkeeper dependent or a goalkeeper independent". Messi, in the past, was a "goalkeeper dependent". It means that he kicked the ball looking at the goalkeeper until the last moment and he finally kicked it to the other way. "Balotelli, for example, also does it this way".
Despite that, this season he has missed the penaltis against Levante, Atlético de Madrid and Manchester City in a "goalkeeper independent way". "Alan Shearer kicked the penalties in a goalkeeper independent way, as well as Rickie Lambert or Vidal". Why did he change the strategy?
As our expert says, "Messi had his own strategy during the last seasons, but I don't know why he has changed it". In fact, Messi missed a penalty last season in La Liga against Betis in the 32 fixture. In that occasion Messi did it in a "goalkeeper dependent way". Moreover, during the World Cup "he kicked the penalties in a goalkeeper dependent way, and he scored. He did it perfectly".
Here you have some of the penalties Messi kicked in the past. You must watch that he did it in a "goalkeeper dependent way".
And now what?
Lyttleton accepts that "Messi had a routine. When things are not working, you try to change the routine". After missing three out of six penalties this season, could be Messi mentally weak? “Score just the 50% is horrible!” assured the writer of "Twelve Yards, the art and psychology of the perfect penalty".
Lyttleton reminds, “Maradona was a bad penalty kicker. He missed five penalties in a row when he played in Boca Juniors… Someone in Barça must prevent Messi to miss three in a row… As more he miss, more pressure he has”.
Neymar, penalty kicker?
Lyttleton proposal is that “Neymar should kick the penalties in a bit, despite he missed the one against Villareal”. In fact, he accepts that “if Neymar had scored against Villareal, everything would be easier”. Messi should kick “an easy one to have confidence. Maybe Messi is feeling anxious… Maybe the relationship with Luis Enrique makes his pressure bigger”, reminds Littleton.