Paul Gallagher has one of the most unique penalty-taking techniques that we’ve ever seen.
While the awarding of a spot-kick always sees the ball lined up in the exact same position from 12 yards out, how the taker goes about trying to find the back of the net depends on the individual.
After all, we are talking about the most pressurising situation in all of football, so it’s only natural that players will work out their own techniques in order to remain calm and beat the goalkeeper.
Unique penalty techniques
And that, in turn, leads to some penalty-taking routines that are so idiosyncratic that you could identify a single player out of thousands simply based on the style of their run-up and shooting.
Take, for example, the method that Paul Pogba and Lyle Taylor champion by way of walking up to the ball as if they’re taking a Sunday stroll, before adding in the power and pace at the very last second.
Then there’s the hop, skip and a jump of Bruno Fernandes and Jorginho, the speeding up and slowing down of Neymar’s routine and Eden Hazard’s preference to have his eyes locked in on the ‘keeper.
However, of all the penalty-taking techniques that we’ve come across here at GIVEMESPORT, we think it’s pretty hard to top Gallagher when it comes to both uniqueness and pure ruthlessness.
Premier League fans might be most familiar with the one-cap Scotland international from his time with Blackburn Rovers between 2002 and 2009, going on to amass 61 appearances and six goals in England’s top-flight.
Gallagher was actually on Leicester City’s books during the season they became champions of England, but wasn’t there to enjoy the celebrations as he was out on loan at Preston North End.
The midfielder then made his move to Deepdale a permanent one in the summer of 2015 and saw out his professional career at the club, hanging up his boots in 2021 having become club captain with over 300 appearances.
Gallagher’s brilliant penalty routine
And amidst what undoubtedly makes for an impressive career, Gallagher would often turn heads by lining up for penalties by, well, standing right next to the ball with his back turned away from goal.
Yes, that’s right, if you were ever lucky enough to see the former Preston captain lining up for a spot-kick, then you’d have been forgiven for thinking that he was going to back-heel the ball home.
In fact, Gallagher would remain in this utterly bizarre-looking position until the referee blew his whistle, at which point… well, actually, be sure to find out for yourself by indulging in some of his penalties down below:
Paul Gallagher’s penalty run-up technique – 10/10:pic.twitter.com/4CoxkWxO8m— Tom Carnduff (@TomC_22) November 4, 2019
Paul Gallagher's equalising penalty for Preston North End against Hull today in the Championship. This is how you take a penalty. 😎#PNEFC | @pnefc | @Gally_7 | @PNEhomeandaway | @PNEFansForum pic.twitter.com/SNtk43a1Ox— Footy Moments (@Footyments) February 22, 2020
How was more of a big deal not made of this during his playing career? That’s class.
You love to see it
There’s something Happy-Gilmour-smashing-a-drive-off-the-tee to the way that Gallagher walks in completely the wrong direction, before springing into action with a quick spin and incredibly fast run-up.
And what makes the entire technique so enjoyable to watch upon its completion is that so many of the ex-Leicester man’s conversions would see him simply thunder the ball past the goalkeeper.
It’s almost like watching the tension slowly, slowly, slowly building in a fully-loaded spring that eventually goes off in one explosive movement that’s over before you know it.
🎧 Paul Gallagher discusses his penalty taking technique on this week's #PNEPodcast and tells us when he started using it and why.— Preston North End FC (@pnefc) October 11, 2018
Listen to more from @Gally_7 on that and much more on the latest episode. ➡️ https://t.co/RMEPo4G0t0 #pnefc pic.twitter.com/mbAqREZoUH
And it clearly worked an absolute treat for Gallagher because his penalty record is an enviable one with Transfermarkt clocking him in at 23 goals and five misses for an overall conversion rate of approximately 82%.
Frankly, though, even if every other one landed in Row Z, we’d still be fascinated watching a truly unique penalty technique that is sorely missed on our television screens.