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This is a discussion on Red Is The Colour For Keepers within the Meaningless Stats forum, part of the Stats and Facts category; It’s too late for Peter Shilton and David Seaman but perhaps Robert Green or David James can make amends on their behalf. Sports psychologists believe ...

  1. #1
    Veritas is offline Administrator
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    Smile Red Is The Colour For Keepers

    It’s too late for Peter Shilton and David Seaman but perhaps Robert Green or David James can make amends on their behalf.

    Sports psychologists believe that England’s goalkeeper should change his strip to red at this summer’s World Cup to maximise the team’s chances of winning a penalty shoot-out.

    Research has found that players missed spot-kicks almost twice as often when the keeper wore a red shirt compared with a blue, green or yellow one.

    Over a week, 40 footballers took dozens of penalties against a single keeper who changed his strip between the four colours. The fewest goals by far were scored when the keeper wore red, at 54 per cent of kicks. The success rates against yellow, blue and green were 69, 72 and 75 per cent respectively.

    The findings do not bode well for England, who lost penalty shoot-outs in the 1990, 1998 and 2006 World Cups with Shilton, Seaman and Paul Robinson in goal. Some observers think that James, who plays for Porstmouth in pink, should be the first choice in South Africa — but his England kit is green at home and yellow away.

    Iain Greenlees, reader in sports psychology at the University of Chichester, said that in a highly stressed situation, people could easily be distracted by “threatening stimuli”, such as colour. “We have evolved to strongly associate red with danger, dominance or anger and at times of great stress we pay more attention to threats in our environment,” he said. “It is too late to change the whole goalkeeping strip to red but the manager should think about integrating red into part of the kit, in the gloves or boots for example.”

    Dr Greenlees said that the research team was not able to establish whether wearing red had made the goalkeeper perform better or the penalty-takers lose their form.

    Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle missed crucial penalties when England played West Germany in 1990; Gareth Southgate missed his spot-kick against the Germans in Euro 96 and more recent misses against Portugal by Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Jamie Carragher cost England a place in the 2006 World Cup semi-finals.

    One study suggested that England players were so stressed by the event that they rushed their penalties. Players who responded fastest to the referee’s whistle were much more likely to miss than those who paused before their run-up.

    No substitute for dazzling form

    When football freed itself from the regulation green goalkeeper’s jersey in the 1990s, pitches around the world were soon bathed in a dazzling kaleidoscope of colours, Tom Dart writes.

    Jorge Campos, the possibly colour blind Mexican goalkeeper, became famous for his garish, self-designed kits — and for changing position to striker midway through matches.

    While David Seaman’s team-mates wore dull grey in their Euro 96 semi-final against Germany, the England goalkeeper had a red kit with splashes of contrasting colours. If Seaman, left, was trying put his opponents off, it didn’t work.The Germany goalkeeper’s “home” kit for this year’s World Cup is red, but then the Germans always did have the edge over England at shoot-outs.

    Petr Cech, of Chelsea, wears bright orange because he believes that it attracts opponents and makes them more likely to shoot straight at him. That is a moot point, but there is no doubt that wearing the shirt would make Cech much safer crossing the road at night.

    Man on the spot won’t notice

    I can’t remember what colour shirt Romania’s goalkeeper wore when I scored past him for Ireland during a shoot-out in the 1990 World Cup, Tony Cascarino writes. That’s not because it was 20 years ago — if you’d asked me ten minutes later I couldn’t have told you.

    I never took any notice of goalkeepers’ shirts, or anything they did to try to distract me. I was oblivious. Successful penalty-taking is all about the taker, not the goalkeeper. When I came to strike the ball, I knew exactly where I wanted to place it.

    Run up, aiming for the top corner, execute correctly and who cares what the keeper’s wearing? He won’t save it. Bright goalkeeping jerseys ought to help outfield players, not the reverse. You can see where the keeper is, even in peripheral vision, and adjust your shot.

    Source: Rosemary Bennett (The Times)

    Link: University of Chichester

  2. #2
    DaveBrett is offline 11v11 Forum Member
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    Default Uniform Color

    This is an interesting article. I've often wondered whether one particular uniform
    color has a higher winning percentage in all sports. Has anyone studied that?

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