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The Penalty Taker Debate

Hal Robson-Kanu's missed penalty once again opened the debate on who should be Reading's designated penalty taker. We've had a look to see how the Royals' players' penalty records compare.

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Keiren Westwood has faced two penalties against Reading FC this season and saved them both. That would be some record if it wasn't for the sheer awfulness of both the spot kicks.

Think Hal Robson-Kanu's was as bad as it gets, well you've clearly forgotten Glenn Murray's terrible effort back in September. For me Murray wins it because at least Robson-Kanu's effort was in the corner.

Robson-Kanu's miss ruined a decent display from the Wales international. We should be talking about his two through balls that should have led to goals and his shot cleared off the line. Instead his performance will ultimately only be remembered for his pea roller into Westwood's hands.

The miss reopened the debate which is always reopened when a team misses a penalty. Who should take them?

Nigel Adkins went on record to say he was happy for whoever fancied it to take it. We do not know Steve Clarke's thoughts on the matter, but in case he does want to pick a player, we have looked at the penalty record for every current Reading player who we found to have taken a penalty.

Nick Blackman 10 10 0 0 100%
Simon Cox 11 9 0 2 82%
Pavel Pogrebnyak 5 4 0 1 80%
Hal Robson-Kanu 4 3 0 1 75%
Oliver Norwood 1 0 0 1 0%

The stats leave no doubt who should be the Royals' number one penalty taker. Nick Blackman's 100% record after 10 penalties is some record. Simon Cox's record isn't too shabby either, though most of the penalties were back in his Swindon Town days.

Given that before Saturday Robson-Kanu also boasted a 100% record it becomes clear why neither Cox or Pogrebnyak took the responsibility. Robson-Kanu had also scored Reading's last penalty last month.

We will have to wait and see whether he gets a chance to redeem himself but we strongly encourage no Reading player to try to stop Blackman be the taker if he is on the pitch. And if you think the Royals are bad at penalties then witness the infamous miss below by Peter Devine of Lancaster City. No serious 90s football funnies video could fail to include this beauty.

All stats from Stats do not include Football League Trophy, international, Russian or non-competitive matches.