Everton manager Roberto Martinez has designated Leighton Baines to step up and take penalties when given. Baines, who has only missed once in 15 chances in Premier League play (October 5, 2014 at Manchester United), was clearly the team favorite to take Everton penalty chances until Kevin Mirallas passed him by last Monday against West Brom, and then put his shot wide.
In the interest of avoiding another ugly situation like Mirallas' miss and turn the attention to Saturday's match against Crystal Palace, Martinez has made Baines the official taker. Here's what he said about the decision:
"We all know we have one of the best penalty takers in the history of the Premier League. We know internally there is a designated penalty taker and if you have a player who has that desire to want to take a penalty and want to help the team that's something positive, having that character and personality to want to help the team. But it's something which has been internally addressed and is water under the bridge. We are looking forward to facing Crystal Palace now."
Let's hope the team can put this controversy (and really most of the month of January) behind them and go get three points against Crystal Palace on Saturday.