Ademola Lookman might have to explain himself at training on Monday morning after his disastrous failed ‘panenka’ penalty was easily saved by West Ham’s Lukasz Fabianski in Fulham’s 1-0 Premier League defeat on Saturday evening.
Lookman, who is on loan in West London from German side RB Leipzig, had an opportunity to rescue a point for relegation-threatened Fulham from the penalty sport after Tomas Soucek has given the Hammers an injury time lead.
However, instead of powering the ball to either side of the goalkeeper Lookman opted to go the finesse route and ‘dinked’ the ball towards the goal in an attempt to fool Fabianski. The Polish ‘keeper held his nerve, though, collecting the ball gratefully in his hands and condemned Fulham to their sixth defeat in eight Premier League games so far this season.
Somewhat predictably, the failed panenka attempt hasn’t gone down well with Fulham boss Scott Parker – the former tough-tacking English international who authored Fulham’s ascent to the Premier League this season.
#Lookman 🤔 pic.twitter.com/Rvtzwezoza
“I’m disappointed and angry,” Parker said afterwards. “You can’t take penalties like that and he knows that. He’s a young player and he’s learning.
“The boy has made a mistake. Ade is the first to understand that. When you’re young and you’re learning you have to learn quick. He is disappointed and rightly so. This is part and parcel of football, of growing as players and as a team. We’ll get around him now.”
🗣 “Disappointment, anger. When you decide to take a penalty like that, at that moment it needs to go in.”Scott Parker expresses his frustration with Ademola Lookman’s panenka penalty miss in the 98th minute of the game pic.twitter.com/i0HIsTa4nP
After yesterdays mistake, I take full responsibility and onus for it. To my teammates, manager and the supporters I vow to put the next one in. I will not let one failure hold me back. @FulhamFC pic.twitter.com/LpI0Z3pqk8
Lookman, meanwhile, issued a social media apology on Sunday afternoon in which he “vowed” to make amends the next time he stands at the penalty spot.
“After yesterday’s mistake, I take full responsibility and onus for it,” he wrote. “To my teammates, manager and the supporters I vow to put the next one in. I will not let one failure hold me back.”
Several of Lookman’s Fulham teammates refused to join in on any pile-on for their on-loan star, with midfielder Tom Cairney telling the media that Lookman was “devastated and apologetic“, while Harrison Reed commented that he was “gutted in there, we all are.”
Years to come……Absolutely, this level of stupidity n unprofessionalism I have never seen before
How stupid can you be? Ademola Lookman! He’s let his team down. Ridiculous.
I feel sorry for Ademola Lookman .Hopefully the coach can come in to console in.That was the lad being brave, it didnt just go in .
Several Fulham fans weren’t quite so conciliatory, with several fans declaring Lookman as being “stupid and unprofessional“, while another stated that he had “let his team down.”
However, others weren’t so hard on the 23-year-old and noted the player’s bravery for stepping up to take an injury time penalty of this magnitude and questioned why some of Fulham’s more senior players didn’t put their names forward to take the decisive spot-kick.