Kyogo’s off-target attempt at a penalty kick on Sunday brought into focus a concern we should have ahead of the Scottish Cup semi-final later this month. Josip Juranovic started the season as our designated penalty taker, with Giorgos Giakoumakis his deputy. Neither are still at the club, meaning Aaron Mooy was promoted from third to first choice.
Aaron has done well from the spot. When he was unavailable, Jota stepped forward. The Portuguese only just evaded David Marshall’s arm with his first attempt, before dinking his second penalty down the middle. Neither left me with much comfort.
If we are faced with a penalty kick competition in 10 days’ time, and Mooy and Jota are both on the field after 120 minutes – which is unlikely – we have to hope that Kyogo is also on the field and spends much of the time between now and then practising. Your guess is as good as mine as to who would hit the fourth and fifth penalties.
In short, our third-choice penalty taker from the start of the season is now our top man. He is recovering from injury and unlikely to last 120 minutes. Ange invariably changes his forwards during the second half and would almost certainly swap out Kyogo and Jota in an attempt to win the game before extra-time completes.
If the game goes to penalties, responsibility is likely to land on novices, some of whom have low expectations of playing right now, and remember, the other side get a lot more practice taking them than we do. Celtic would be clear second favourites.
Starting from a low base, we cannot fully resolve this problem, all we can do is spend the next nine days practising from the spot. Lots.