Pitchside Europe

Is Jonathan Walters the worst-ever Premier League penalty-taker?


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Jonathan Walters became the opening-day villain for Stoke City when Liverpool's Simon Mignolet saved his scuffed penalty.

The Irish international squandered a golden opportunity to score a late equaliser, and Liverpool held on for a 1-0 win.

It was Walters' third failure in his last five attempts from the spot, and the latest high-profile embarrassment.

Last season he scored TWO own goals, then blasted a penalty over in a 4-0 defeat to Chelsea. He then saw his next attempt, against Fulham, saved.

Jonathan Walters's Premier League penalties

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Perhaps surprisingly, however, his record is far from the worst of the Premier League era.

Walters converted six of his first eight attempts before his recent slump, giving him an overall 61% success rate.

That's far better than the Premier League's joint-worst - El-Hadji Diouf and Stewart Downing - who both scored only two of five penalties (we imposed a five-penalty minimum to weed out non-regular takers).

In fact, Walters has a better conversion rate than some Premier League greats, including Fabrizio Ravanelli, Dwight Yorke and Cesc Fabregas.

However, he is still well below the Premier League average over the last decade. From 2002/03 to 2012/13 Premier League players scored 79% of all penalties.

Time for Walters to get back to the training pitch.

Worst Premier League penalty takers

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Stats: Opta

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