London: England`s star players Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Jamie Carragher could have been suffering from "self regulatory breakdown" when they missed the penalties against Portugal at the 2006 Soccer World Cup.
Psychologists explain that it is a natural form of human behaviour, where someone feels such intense distress from a situation that they do whatever they possibly can to end it without regard to their performance.
They explained English players` failure in penalty shoot-outs during previous World Cups, European Championships and the UEFA Champions League in the same lines.
Researchers observed that those players who responded fastest to the referee`s whistle were more likely to miss than players who paused for a short moment before starting their run up.
The Norwegian School of Sport Sciences noted the time players took to complete a kick, to find that those who started their run up less than two milliseconds after the referee`s whistle scored only around 57 per cent of the time.
And those who took more than a second to respond were successful in scoring a goal more than 80 per cent of the time.
The study further suggested that players who took longer to place the ball had a higher success rate, as they were more relaxed.
However, if the referee delayed the penalty they were more prone to miss it.
England`s penalty blues apparently started from the 1990 World Cup in Italy, when they lost to West Germany in the semi-final.