Why Are Arsenal So Dreadful at Corners?
Three minutes into the second half of the opening day 3-0 win over Fulham, Arsenal wrapped up three points as Gabriel headed Willian’s corner through Marek Rodák’s legs.
By all accounts it was a terrible goal. Fulham’s defending was abject at best, Gabriel was totally unmarked, and it actually hit his shoulder. Nobody cares how it goes in as long as it does, but all those components paint a clear picture of what Arsenal need to score from corners: luck and healthy slice of assistance.
Georgson is evidently a fan of crowding the goalkeeper. Arsenal will huddle inside the six-yard box and prevent whoever is in net from getting any sight of the ball, let alone purchase, usually with David Luiz (or someone else) peeling off the back of the ruck beyond the back post.
If contact is made it will go back into the melee in front of the goalkeeper and aim to be flicked on.
Given only 12 corners have found a teammate this season and the only goal was a direct header, there are no prizes for realising it hasn’t worked. Arsenal do try other varieties, with 42 inswinging corners and 32 outswinging ones (Fbref), although this is usually dependent on who is on the pitch and which side the corner is taken from.
The new set piece specialist has to find a more effective strategy from corner kicks. However, you have to feel a great degree of pity for him as he watches player after player hopelessly see their effort either fail to beat the first man or land plump on the head of an opposition defender.