Ten worst Premier League penalty takers

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Penalty taking is a dying art. Gone are the days of near unblemished records like Southampton legend Matthew Le Tissier - who scored a remarkable 48 of his 49 spot-kicks for the south coast club.

Today, some of the Premier League's most prolific marksmen have been guilty of failing from 12-yards with alarming regularity, so much so that it has prompted GiveMeFootball to identify the biggest culprits unable to handle the pressure.

With a busy schedule of League Cup, FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League knockout fixtures to follow, 'shootout season' is about to go into overdrive, where numerous Premier League penalty kings will be asked to step up to the plate.

Score, and you're a hero, but miss, and your individual action could be the difference between a season of misery, or glory and silverware for a player's respective club.

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is one of the last remaining modern day penalty specialists with an impressive record having converted 40 of his 44 spot-kicks for the Blues - including three this campaign - as well as nine for England.

Southampton's current number seven, Rickie Lambert, is another player boasting a 100 per cent record this season, along with West Ham midfielder Mark Noble and Reading striker Adam Le Fondre, who have all converted three out of three Premier League penalties in 2012/13.

But, as a warning to fans up and down the land, and based on players to have taken at least eight penalty kicks in England's top-flight, here are the ten worst offenders in the Premier League era.

10. Steven Gerrard | Liverpool

A poor penalty taker by Premier League standards. Here's Gerrard missing a spot-kick during Liverpool's 3-1 defeat against Blackburn at Ewood Park in January 2011.

Penalties taken: 21 Penalties scored: 15 Conversion rate: 71.4%

9. Robin van Persie | Manchester United

It might seem odd to see the Dutchman feature here, considering how lethal Van Persie is from open play, but he still misses from the spot. Below Southampton's goalkeeper Kelvin Davis saves one of his cheekier efforts earlier in the season.

Penalties taken: 14 Penalties scored: 10 Conversion rate: 71.4%

8. Michael Owen | Stoke City

Penalties taken: 20 Penalties scored: 14 Conversion rate: 70%

7. Wayne Rooney | Manchester United

The Manchester United striker's latest miss, against West Ham in the FA Cup replay at Old Trafford on Wednesday night isn't the first.

Penalties taken: 21 Penalties scored: 14 Conversion rate: 66.7%

6. Jonathan Walters | Stoke City

Walters hasn't taken many penalties, but the stats don't lie! His latest miss against Chelsea last weekend capped a day to forget for the Potters striker on his 100th Premier League appearance, marking the occasion with two own goals.

Penalties taken: 9 Penalties scored: 6 Conversion rate: 66.7%

5. Ashley Young | Manchester United

He may win plenty of penalties for Manchester United but Young doesn't convert them well at all. Here he is against old club Aston Villa at Old Trafford last season.

Penalties taken: 8 Penalties scored: 5 Conversion rate: 62.5%

4. Kevin Phillips | Blackpool

Journeyman striker Phillips has scored 271 career goals in 620 appearances, yet he is still fourth on the all-time worst penalty takers list.

Penalties taken: 18 Penalties scored: 11 Conversion rate: 61.1%

3. Steed Malbranque | Lyons

The former Fulham and Sunderland midfielder now plays back in his native France. During his time in England he proved to be quite profligate from 12 yards.

Penalties taken: 10 Penalties scored: 6 Conversion rate: 60%

2. Jermain Defoe | Tottenham Hotspur

Penalties taken: 14 Penalties scored: 8 Conversion rate: 57.1%

England international striker, Defoe, is similarly skittish when faced with a goalkeeper from the penalty spot. The Spurs star makes up for it from open play, though!

1. Juan Pablo Angel | unattached

The Colombian is the last player to have scored more than 20 goals in a season for Aston Villa, but his predatory instincts did not translate to the white circle. He managed to score only half the time, even missing two penalties in the same match – against Fulham in 2005.

Penalties taken: 10 Penalties scored: 5 Conversion rate: 50%

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