Lou Macari: Pulis right to put faith in Walters for spot-kick duty
WHO'D have thought that winning a penalty would cause so much trouble?
Jon Walters is getting it in the neck for missing that one for Stoke against Fulham on Saturday.
Then we see Demba Ba being put under the microscope for the way he won Chelsea's penalty at Manchester City.
And then we have two Swansea players squabbling over who takes a spot-kick when they are already 3-0 up against Bradford in the League Cup final at Wembley.
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Walters will be the first to admit that wasn't the best penalty he's ever hit – and he will feel even worse after Stoke ended up losing a tight game 1-0 at Craven Cottage.
It was costly, we'll just never know for sure how costly.
At least he was in good company at the weekend because Frank Lampard is probably the best penalty taker out there, but he still missed that one that Ba won against Man City.
I see Tony Pulis came out after the Stoke game and said he would leave it up to Walters to decide if he will carry on taking them.
That has to be right because you have to let the players themselves decide who is comfortable and confident taking them.
The various different camera angles showed that Ba left his leg in to ensure there was contact from Joe Hart to win Chelsea's penalty.
As a striker, it's not your job to get around people and avoid them if they might be taking you out in the penalty area.
So I wouldn't go along with anyone who says Ba is technically guilty of cheating, because it certainly wasn't a dive.
And now to that game at Wembley. I don't think I've ever seen such a spectacle on the big stage after watching Nathan Dyer try, try and try again to get the ball off regular penalty taker Jonathan De Guzman.
It was pathetic and I was cringing as I watched it on TV.
Dyer's argument that he should have the spot-kick to complete his hat-trick just doesn't wash with me.
With more than 20 minutes remaining it would have been disrespectful to Bradford if Swansea had started thinking about who they could get a hat-trick for.
Do you think Dyer would have been grabbing for the ball if he'd got two goals, but it was 3-2 to Bradford? Not a chance.
Personally, if I'd have been his manager I'd have subbed Dyer straight away.
I think Swansea manager Michael Laudrup took the same view as me, but didn't want to make it obvious and cause a further talking point, so he waited 10 or 15 minutes and then he did take him off.
Hopefully, in the cold light of day, Dyer realises how his silly behaviour was on what was otherwise a great occasion that was a credit to both sets of supporters.
I BET Clint Hill hasn't been compared to Ryan Giggs very often in his life, but I'm more than happy to do that.
I know Hill was a big favourite among the Stoke faithful during his five years at the club because he was such a whole-hearted performer.
And I bet when he left for Crystal Palace in 2008 there weren't too many Stoke supporters who'd think he'd be playing in the Premier League come 2013.
But there he was playing for QPR against Manchester United on Saturday at the age of 34.
There's two reasons for that.
One is the lack of talent out there, something I have been highlighting for longer than I care to remember.
The other is that players like Hill and Ryan Giggs, who are prepared to look after themselves, conduct themselves properly and give everything to the cause, can fill the gap left by the lack of talent in today's game.
Hill is not the second Franz Beckenbauer, but he is a trier, and that can't half get you a long way in today's game.
As for Giggs, the fact he is nearly 40 and still playing at the top level says everything about his attitude.
Ten years ago, when he was surrounded by players of a better calibre than he is today, he could never have imagined he would be still going strong a decade later.
But as time went on, he realised he could carry on longer than he could have ever imagined because there isn't the same quality of player around any more.