Leighton Baines Spot-Kick King: Coolest Of Customers

Leighton Baines cooly despatches another penalty

Roberto Martinez hails Blues left-back Leighton Baines as Everton’s Mr Cool

His perfect penalty record is unsurpassed in Premier League history and as Everton prepare to travel to Newcastle for this evenings crucial fixture, Blues boss Martinez has showered Everton’s dead-ball specialist Leighton Baines with praise.

The Everton manager though, was mindful not to jinx the Toffees and England defender’s unblemished record from the spot.

Asked whether he had ever seen a better penalty taker in the Premier League than Leighton Baines, a smiling Martinez was aware of how his praise for Baines could come back to bite him:

“Well, it’s one of those comments,” said Martinez with a smile. “If we mention it he’s going to miss the next one.”

“So I would rather just wait until the season ends.”

Martinez on Leighton Baines
Roberto Martinez in good spirits as Everton prepare to face Newcastle United

“The truth is, Leighton Baines is such a cool character in those situations – not just with penalties but with any dead-ball situation. He’s a real master at putting the ball where he visions and that’s a real strength.”

“It’s a real threat to be able to have two full-backs we have and the amount of goals they score is a real strength and shows the balance we have in the side.”

“It’s a real good asset and it’s important to have players like Leighton Baines at the top of their game for us to be as good as we can from now until the end of the season.

It’s been a very long time since Evertonians have had such a feeling of assurance as when Leighton Baines places the ball on the spot. Roberto Martinez agreed the cool and confident demeanor of Baines’ approach to taking penalties resonates around the stadium.

The studious Spaniard also talked of some of the greatest penalty-takers from the past and he believes Leighton Baines has shown the same vital qualities that has allowed the full-back to set his ongoing Premier League record.

“I think looking over the history of the game there’s only a few players that gave you the feeling of that confidence; Eric Cantona, Matt Le Tissier and even in Spain, Ronald Koeman. There are only a few – if you look at the amount of players that take penalties who bring the composure and assurance and that quality in those moments it is quite unique.

“It’s the strength Leighton has in controlling the moment because obviously the actual technicality of kicking the ball from the penalty spot shouldn’t be that difficult.

“It’s being able to control the moment and the psychology that goes with it and Leighton Baines is as good as you will see.”

Questioned on his own ability to take penalties, a mischievous Martinez revealed to the press conference how retirement can leave a somewhat rosy memory of a playing career:

“You should know that once you retire you’ve never had a bad game and you’ve never missed a penalty,” smiled Martinez. “So that answers your question.”

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Leighton Baines Record Premier League Penalty Run

Leighton Baines is the only player in Premier League history to have taken at least 10 penalties and scored every one.

He has now converted 12 from 12, having scored his first for Wigan Athletic v Manchester United at Old Trafford on Boxing Day in 2006.

  1. Wigan Athletic v Manchester United Leighton Baines: Penalty King
  2. Everton v Wigan
  3. Everton v Aston Villa
  4. Everton v Blackburn
  5. Wigan v Everton
  6. Everton v Aston Villa
  7. Everton v Wolves
  8. Sunderland v Everton
  9. Wigan v Everton
  10. Everton v West Brom
  11. Stoke v Everton
  12. Everton v Swansea


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