A professor from The London School of Economics has found that the team who takes the first kick in the penalty shootout wins 60.6% of the time.1 As the team who wins the coin toss can always elect to kick first, it's an inherently unfair situation for the opposition. The scoring rate for penalties in the shootout is 73%.30 So, the team kicking second is usually playing catch-up and therefore experiences greater pressure with each kick. In contrast, ADG's scoring rate will be about 25%. And when rates drop to this level, there won't be any discernible advantage in winning the toss and attacking first in ADG. Read more.
All of a team's players will compete in ADG, so it's a fairer test of a team's overall ability.
The skill and athleticism exhibited in normal play is also showcased during ADG.
While missed goals are usually the contributing factor in deciding a penalty shootout, it will be the goals that decide ADG. This distinction is crucial, as it changes a negative natured contest into a positive natured contest. Where the penalty shootout creates victims and villains, ADG creates heroes. In fact there's evidence that missed penalties in critical matches foster serious long-term psychological trauma. Read more.
The manager selects his five attacking players and the order in which they will compete. He then tells his remaining players who they should defend against. The manager can then strategise with his defenders on the best way to defend against a specific attacker. Modern football has brought the manager centre stage and this is a great opportunity to utilise their knowledge and tactical skills to influence the outcome of the match. Contrast this with the shootout lottery, where the extent of their involvement is limited to asking players if they are willing to take a penalty.
Teams will be discouraged from substituting creative attacking players during the match, as their skills will be invaluable if ADG eventuates. And by keeping these players on the field it increases the likelihood of a winning goal during normal play. See example.
ADG also counteracts a scenario of a team playing totally defensively, in the belief that their best chance of winning is via the penalty shootout. This is especially common when a team has had a player sent off and is referred to as “playing for penalties.” Read quote.
While the likelihood of receiving yellow or red cards during the shootout is almost non-existent, these sanctions are more likely during ADG. And as any additional sanctions will hinder teams as they progress through the knockout stages of tournaments, there's more incentive for teams to attack and try and win the game in normal play.
Teams who have received yellow and red cards are at a disadvantage during ADG. This is fairer for teams who have played within the laws and the spirit of the game. See example.
"It is loading a bullet into the chamber of a gun and asking everyone to pull the trigger.
Someone will get the bullet, you know that.
And it will reduce them to nothing."
Former French Player
Attacker Defender Goalkeeper (ADG) was created in 2008 by Timothy Farrell. ADG is a self-funded project and Mr Farrell has no affiliation with any football federation/association,
football club or governing body. ADG was borne out of a deep love of football and the strong belief that the penalty kick shootout is a blight on an otherwise beautiful game.
ADG was discussed by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in Zurich on 14th January 2009.