Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson has revealed he ‘didn’t actually see’ the extent to which Leeds United’s Joel Robles tried to put him off his second penalty.
Wilson was speaking on the latest episode of the The Footballer’s Football Podcast, where he discussed how he was able to stay focused to ensure he doubled his tally from the penalty spot for the afternoon.
The England international had already got his name on the scoresheet from 12-yards on the half-hour mark, but a crazy handball from Junior Firpo handed him the chance to step up again.
After sliding low into Robles’ right corner for the first, Wilson found the roof of the net with his second to put the away side 2-1 ahead, before Rasmus Kristensen’s deflected effort brought it back to 2-2.
Wilson didn’t realise extent of Robles ‘mind games’
‘Mind games’ have become a key part of a goalkeeper’s routine for penalties in recent years, with Emiliano Martinez setting the precedence for his antics in the World Cup for Argentina.
Given just how important Wilson’s second spot-kick was at the weekend, Robles tried everything in his power to put Wilson off, so much so that he was booked.
The 32-year-old delayed the taking as much as he could a number of different ways but Wilson says he was so ‘zoned out’ on the taking of the penalty, he didn’t realise until after the game what Robles was doing.
“I didn’t actually see what he was doing until I watched the penalties back on the replay after the game.
“You’re fully zoned out, focused. You have to be because it’s a big moment, second one of the game.
“There’s a lot of mind games going on in terms of him trying to guess where I’m going, trying to get in my head, put me off with it being second penalty and all that. I will always pick two spots before a game anyway.”
Without the rebound being scored, the last goalkeeper to save a penalty for Leeds was Bailey Peacock-Farrell all the way back in November 2018.
While it may not have worked on this occasion, it was good to see Robles doing all he could to put Wilson off and establishing himself as a presence on his line, rather than making it easy.