Appalling Arsenal Stats and Set Piece Importance
Interestingly, the player with the best ratio is Dani Ceballos. It’s hardly anything to shout about, mind you, as he’s connected with two of his five taken. If you wanted evidence of the problem then that being the best tally is more than enough.
It’s costing the side points. Taking the Palace game as a recent example, there was no way Arsenal were going to break down Roy Hodgson’s side in open play. No incision, stretching of the opposition or speed of play meant that the visitors were comfortable. However, Palace had conceded the fourth-most goals from set pieces this season with six prior to kick-off.
Mistakes and set pieces account for a large percentage of goals scored. Simple fact. Early on last season, Luiz scored the only goal with a glancing header from Pepe’s corner as Arsenal limped past Bournemouth on home soil. Three points, not especially deserved, clinched by two touches.
Liverpool and Manchester City blew all other sides out of the water last term. Finishing first and second in the division, they netted 17 apiece from set pieces. The most in the entire league.
Now more than ever, when Arsenal aren’t capable of dominating matches for extended spells and have come unstuck when they fail to find the back of the net during these sequences, goals from set pieces can be so crucial. Perhaps not the most glamorous way of scoring, they will nonetheless win you points. And ultimately, matches.
Defensively they have already, so now it’s about building on steel in one box and adding threat in the other.
It will be meticulously worked on, of that there is little doubt. Yet for all Georgson’s methods, maybe a few extra corner taking sessions wouldn’t go amiss. It’s an untapped resource that is limiting Arsenal’s attacking output. And, quite frankly, it’s infuriatingly poor.