Corners and other set pieces

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Di Maria's angel, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. Feb 28, 2018
    #41

    Cheekiey Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,341
    Location:
    London
    Get Lukaku on them, there I said it... yes he can be more dangerous in the box but if 80% of our corners can't get past the first man then he's not a threat and won't get a sniff of the ball.
  2. Feb 28, 2018
    #42

    LLMU Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Messages:
    3,851
    Location:
    currently unknown
    I like the idea of Pogba hitting in those corners because he barely jump for headers, so there is no point putting him in the box to attack balls being delivered in.
  3. Feb 28, 2018
    #43

    Gopher Brown Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Messages:
    3,034
    I don’t think we’re comparatively bad at corners, but we are dogshite at them.

    We probably feel like we’re the worst at them simply because you watch a lot more Man Utd games and pay more attention to them, so you notice them more.
  4. Feb 28, 2018
    #44

    cyril C Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Messages:
    615
    Would you say we conceded more goals from set pieces than from scoring one?
  5. Feb 28, 2018
    #45

    Jim Beam Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2017
    Messages:
    4,398
    Location:
    Bat Country
    I honestly don't know, even tried to find some stats the other day, but couldn't. Don't remember us conceding many that way and we don't let many goals in, so I think it's pretty even. Generally, don't have a sense that we have problems in defending it.
  6. Feb 28, 2018
    #46

    Adisa likes to take afvanadva wothowi doubt Scouse Lover

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    Messages:
    27,259
    Location:
    Birmingham
    I don't get why people hate the short-corner so much.
    The chances of scoring from taking one directly into the box are very low.
  7. Feb 28, 2018
    #47

    Di Maria's angel Captain of Moanchester United

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,477
    Location:
    London
    Our short corners normally follow this pattern:

    Corner taker passes to closest man so for example Young to Mata. Mata then reverses to Young. Young looks up, can't cross so shimmies back and forth and eventually passes to Matic, on the edge of the box. Matic can't cross, so he passes to Valencia, on the halfway line. Valencia then hustles for a few seconds before pinging the ball back to Young on the left wing. Young will then:

    1) dummy back and forth before hitting the first man from his eventual cross.
    2) 1% chance of launching a successful cross into the box
    3) pass to Mata

    Short corners amount to nothing.
  8. Feb 28, 2018
    #48

    mitchmouse Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2014
    Messages:
    4,503
    In one word: crap
  9. Feb 28, 2018
    #49

    James Peril Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    2,079
    Whatever the level, because in the divisions there might be players with excellent delivery, the most important thing is consistency. If a guy hits the area 4/5, the players get interested. Put 2/3 in the block and your players only get half-assed on the next attempt, which can be the difference between a goal and an easy clearance.

    I hate seeing us switch the takers every game, let one guy do it depending on the side.
  10. Mar 1, 2018
    #50

    cyril C Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Messages:
    615
    I thought you would remember, because this was my perception. Count 2 on City loss, 1 on Burnley (although a great one), 1 on Newcastle loss.....
  11. Mar 1, 2018
    #51

    kundalini Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Messages:
    3,850
    https://understat.com/team/Manchester_United/2017

    Corners scored 4 conceded 3

    Set pieces (other than corners, direct free kicks or penalties) scored 5 conceded 3

    Direct free kicks scored 2 conceded 1

    (just PL matches)
  12. Mar 1, 2018
    #52

    joeunited Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Messages:
    236
    Location:
    Bangkok
    Not just the takers. The headers too. No one is really brave and go hard for it.

    If football is like NFL, we should get Beckham and Vidic back for the special team. Haha
  13. Mar 1, 2018
    #53

    POF Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Messages:
    2,059
    100%. The taker is important obviously but the weakness in the current squad is those attacking the ball. Smalling is about the only genuine aerial threat from set pieces and even he isn't that great at attacking the ball.

    Ronaldo, Vidic and Evra were fantastic at attacking corners. Any sort of decent ball was a threat with Vidic and Ronaldo in the team.
  14. Mar 1, 2018
    #54

    eat_grass Full Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2017
    Messages:
    385
    Location:
    Mars Orbit
    :lol: I laugh because it's true ... and sad. :(

    These players have been playing football their entire lives, and make enough money where all they have to worry about is football. And yet they can't even come up with a decent plan for corners? WTF. Or maybe it's worse: maybe that is the plan they came up with. :eek:
  15. Mar 1, 2018
    #55

    12OunceEpilogue Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2016
    Messages:
    5,795
    Location:
    Wigan
    They are disappointing, and have been for some time.

    I'd love one or two players to take on the duty of being the takers but the merry-go-round of players taking corners is indicative of a team that doesn't know what it wants to do with the set piece and has no proper plans for them, which seems a waste of our height in the box.

    I don't automatically hate short corners but a plan of where you want to move the ball, executed quickly, is surely a must unlike our dithering loads of shite. There was one against Sevilla that I think ended up back with De Gea, who had to wait for the CBs to get back into position before passing it out. When you're at the point where you're not only wasting your own time but actively helping the other team by dragging your players out of position for nothing you know you need fresh ideas.
  16. Mar 1, 2018
    #56

    Jim Beam Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2017
    Messages:
    4,398
    Location:
    Bat Country
    Cheers, that's what I was searching. Looking just goals from corners it doesn't look so bad. Same as Chelsea, while Spurs and Liverpool have 1 more. This stats don't have a number of corners won, so I found it here.

    http://www.footcharts.co.uk/index.cfm?task=basics_corners

    And when you put that stats into consideration, you end up with this.

    [​IMG]

    Chelsea are a little bit worse, but they had 70 shots on goal after corner compared to our 49, so that would suggest they create far more danger from it, but are even more shit when it comes to scoring them.
    One more annoying fact looking at the stats is that Burnley didn't score a single goal from a corner, just 1 from free-kick and 2 from set-pieces in the whole season. 2 of 3 ended up in our goal at Old Trafford.

    And yeah, it's been a slow day in the office...
  17. Mar 1, 2018
    #57

    Sparky Rhiwabon Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    8,968
    We've got loads of tall players as well, we should get a real advantage from corners and indirect free kicks. It boggles my mind how a top level professional player can't deliver a decent ball in.
  18. Mar 1, 2018
    #58

    kundalini Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Messages:
    3,850
    Thanks for working out the success rate.

    I posted the expected goals from corners on the previous page. Chelsea's 70 shots only work out as 4.30 xG. Spurs xG 5.67. Liverpool 4.80. United 5.28. Arsenal 4.28 so either good finishing or crap keeping, poor defensive organisation, has got them to 8 goals.

    We should do a bit better but not sure I'd spend ages working on corners in the hope of gaining say another 4 goals, more realistically perhaps 2, over the course of a season. There are other aspects of our play that need huge amounts of work.

    It is hard enough trying to figure out who should take our corners. Rashford's corners have decent pace but rarely the accuracy to beat the first man. Young's haven't been great recently. Lukaku perhaps. Pogba another option. The run up on corners is often tricky so does require practice in the real environment, rather than the training ground.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  19. Mar 1, 2018
    #59

    kundalini Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Messages:
    3,850
    Football grounds are not designed with the taking of corners in mind. The run up is often problematic to say the least. If you practice taking corners at the training ground, with plenty of space to run up, and a level surface, you'll get a reality check when trying to repeat that on many modern grounds.
  20. Mar 1, 2018
    #60

    suhaylah New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    343
    Then they should modify the areas where the players take corners at Old trafford
  21. Mar 1, 2018
    #61

    Sparky Rhiwabon Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    8,968
    They could have a gap in the advertising hoardings and a flat "runway".
  22. Mar 1, 2018
    #62

    Jim Beam Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2017
    Messages:
    4,398
    Location:
    Bat Country
    We do have other issues and probably wouldn't even talk about this if anything is smooth in our general play. However, since there are lots of tight games it wouldn't mind if we are little better in the area in which our players already have a physical advantage. Ironically, City with all their ability in possession and creating chances beat us with 2 set-pieces at OT. Chelsea last season when they won EPL had double figures from corners, so it does make a difference in such a competitive league. Just Cahill scored more than our whole team I think. And in the end, I don't see this aspect of play as something you need to spend such huge amounts of work.
    We were also really bad last season, mind you, with under 2% success rate and second worst in the league.

    Agree on this, constant changing of players who take them most likely doesn't help either.
  23. Mar 2, 2018
    #63

    kundalini Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Messages:
    3,850
    I don't know if you are aware of Ted Knutson, currently owner of StatsBomb Services, who posts on Twitter. Anyway, he was previously the head data guy for Brentford and Midtjylland (who are owned by the same person/group). While there he did research on all the best corner ideas used over the last few years and they put those ideas in place. He has said numerous times on Twitter that it takes a huge amount of time to practice the moves if you want to improve your success rate. You need a lot of players to understand the roles they are to perform. A lot of it relates to creating space inside the box for the player you hope to score. Somewhere there is a video and perhaps an article on the subject. Found it.

    https://statsbomb.com/2017/02/changing-how-the-world-thinks-about-set-pieces/

    Currently we are a million miles away from the sophisticated routines used by Midtylland. We don't even have a reliable corner taker. Nor many players with much of a track record of scoring headers, once you discount those leaving in the near future (Zlatan and Fellaini).

    Another article on corners, this one mentions Knutson's work but is written by someone else.

    http://howtowatchfootball.co.uk/Pos...ail-to-beat-the-first-man-and-other-mysteries
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  24. Mar 2, 2018
    #64

    Luke1995 Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Messages:
    1,094
    Di Maria did one thing right at United and that was taking corners. From the current squad, Pogba probably should take all of them.
  25. Mar 2, 2018
    #65

    Jim Beam Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2017
    Messages:
    4,398
    Location:
    Bat Country

    That certainly puts much more perspective into "just whip it in the dangerous area" theory that most of us have. From Midtylland article:

    Very true. It isn't a coincidence that teams who are in the bottom half of the table have more success rate from corners/set-pieces. By simple logic and since they don't have the same quality as opposition in open play they see their opportunity in breaking teams through set-pieces and when that quality is on equal terms. WBA avoided a relegation battle last season and boost their scoring mainly thanks to their ability on set-pieces (scored 15 goals just from corners). It's safe to assume that those teams work much harder on them in the training ground as 2/4/6 goals more can be the difference between the relegation and staying in the league.

    And although both of those articles explain how hard it is to score from them, along with other worries (fear of counter-attack), both articles also highlight how much a team can gain from working on them. When you say we're a million miles away from something that Midtylland use, I think we shouldn't be if that's the case. As pointed in the article most of the stuff they use isn't some rocket science and I presume when it comes to personnel, technology or data we already have it or can introduce anything they have.
    In the end, I'm not saying we should go to the extremes and spend most of our time in practising set-pieces on the training ground. We don't have to come to the numbers that Middtylland or WBA of last season have, but the truth is that our success rate is lower than average for two seasons in a row now and some of the things we have problems with are pretty basic. Not having a reliable corner taker for example in a team with Alexis or Young who both have very good crossing ability.
    We're also a team who will set ourselves defensively in most big games and look to hit the opponent on the counter while not having much possession, so even in that sense we should look to get more from set-pieces. Something that Atletico Madrid does. As for not having many players with a track record of scoring headers, I would say Pogba, Lukaku, Smalling and even Rashford when he plays are pretty good in the air. If Fergie managed to get someone like Evra to score pretty often one season, can't see a problem when looking at our current players.

    I was wrong when I said it doesn't need much hard work to improve the success rate, but I still disagree with your thought that 2-4 goals more aren't worth it.

    Btw. some of the things Midtjylland use are very interesting, the part with marking players with colours based on their personality is taken from management training courses in learning how to deal or understand other colleagues.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  26. Mar 2, 2018
    #66

    Offsideagain Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Messages:
    374
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Agreed we are not as good as we should be at corners. They complicate them. It’s easy as we were taught at school a long time ago. The cross should be an outswinger to land between the penalty spot and the five yard line. The player should be running in towards the goal to head it.

    Job done.
  27. Mar 3, 2018
    #67

    desmondisback Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2017
    Messages:
    334
    Best post I've read in a while. Hilarious and depressing at the same time. And totally accurate.
  28. Mar 3, 2018
    #68

    Foxbatt Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,198
    Spot on. If they cannot get to the far post at least position someone tall at the near post for the flick on. One of the most difficult aspects to defend against. We have so many tall players who can do that. Yet it is as you say above when we take a corner. The way you have described it is so true but so hilarious too.
    you can continue with number 4

    4) Mata brings it infield and passes to Valencia on the right who crosses and hits the first man in front of him and it goes out for a throw in. Then from the throw in the ball will come back to Smalling who will eventually punt it upfield and we lose possession.

    That is the life of our corners.
  29. Mar 3, 2018
    #69

    Ibi Dreams Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Messages:
    4,154
    It's not as easy as it seems, I think. I can't think of anyone who consistently delivers dangerous corners, it's difficult to get the right height, pace and curl on it. We should be doing better though, for sure. Doesn't feel like we have any dedicated takers really, but you'd think there would be a couple who stand out as being better in training
  30. Mar 4, 2018
    #70

    cyril C Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Messages:
    615
    What are you complaining about. As long as we don't pass the ball to opposition, we don't have to worry about conceding goal. We are in good position of time wasting even when we are 1 goal down into extra time - that was true in 1 of the match under LVG, we were a goal down with 2 min to play, we still played short corner.
  31. Mar 4, 2018
    #71

    Foxbatt Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,198
    That is the problem. This is not at the death end of a 1-0 victory. This is the life of our corners and eventually we give possession back as I have described.
  32. Mar 4, 2018
    #72

    desmondisback Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2017
    Messages:
    334

    .......and this is all happening right in front of the eyes of Jose , supposedly a genius of a manager who is paid huge amounts to sort things like this out. It beggars belief that he doesn't see this and correct it. Amateurish things like this basically become a deal breaker for me with Jose. It's a managers equivalent of a player consistently ball watching all the time. Such a player would be accused of not doing his job and not understanding the problem.

    I have no mental construct in my brain where these two ideas can co-exist - 1) Jose is a great manager 2) these pathetic corners. It does not compute for me and I have no idea how it could compute for others. . Has he got his eyes closed when we take corners? Has he never watched any football? The tall player not flicking it on at the near post thing is most damning thing. I thought Jose was into "big" tall players. Why are we not using them then? We should be really dangerous from corners with Pogba , Matic , Lukaku etc . Instead we are hilarious and Jose does nothing?

    Maybe I'm being too harsh but imagine if his name wasn't Mourinho and it was "Moggetano" instead and he didn't have Jose's history - we would say this is gross incompetence.

    I thought Jose was supposed to be a master of pragmatism. Well , the pragmatic thing to do is to use a corner to create trouble for the opposition with your big tall strong players. It's not pretty but it's darn effective. As an opposition defender I wouldn't like to have Pogba , Lukaku and Matic bearing down on me from a well delivered corner.

    After thought - I do wonder if the underlying problem is the defensive concern. Jose probably hates the idea of being caught on the break or counter from one of our own corners. He's so negative and defensive these days he might feel as if short corners are "safer" as we keep possession. If this is indeed true then he should go because it's a really pants philosophy IMO. Why on earth would we pass up the chance to hurt the opposition? It's pragmatism gone barmy! Or to be more accurate - pseudo pragmatism - ie not really pragmatic at all.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  33. Mar 4, 2018
    #73

    Foxbatt Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,198
    Some of the basics we see also makes me wonder if Jose sees them? Everything has basics. Putting in a cross that a team mate has a chance of heading it. Controlling the ball etc. We know now that Valencia has improved the use of his left foot but some of the things a lot of players do are immature at this level of this game.
    Is Jose actually taking the day to day training? I know we used to slate Mike Phelan a lot when SAF was here but why is Rui Faria getting a free ride now?
  34. Mar 4, 2018
    #74

    desmondisback Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2017
    Messages:
    334
    I think what happens is that human beings have a tendency to over complicate and believe what their own ego is telling them instead of what's actually in front of them. An over attachment to an ideology always results in psychological blindness. I wonder whether Jose is actually anywhere near as pragmatic as people seem to think. Our corners aren't working. There's a simple fix. He won't/can't fix it. That's not pragmatic.

    If you actually think you are the "special one" then your personal self image cannot accommodate the idea that you might miss something so painfully simple. And the moment someone thinks that something can't happen because they are too up themselves to imagine it? Guess what? ...... it happens. And then we are left like the little boy in the Emperor's new clothes story shouting " hey Jose ! Our corners are crap!" .

    The interesting thing about the Emperor story is that it's the dignitaries and noble men who cannot see that the Emperor has no clothes on. If you worship Jose (or the idea of Jose) then you will inevitably be blinded to the absolute shambles that our corners actually are sometimes. And's that's not getting into the rest of it.....
  35. Mar 4, 2018
    #75

    Foxbatt Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,198
    It is not anyone here who cannot see it. It has to be the coaches who work with him. If they cannot see it either then they are not good enough. If they see and tell him yet he does not accept it then what happens to Arsene will happen.
    From the information in the public domain he leaves a lot of the day to day to his coaches and if so Rui Faria has to take a lot of responsibility to the way we play.
  36. Mar 4, 2018
    #76

    desmondisback Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2017
    Messages:
    334

    Then my understanding of what a football manager is supposed to do is very out of touch? I did have this strange idea that a football manager would erm...manage the football? The last time I looked corners were part of the football.

    I'm not doubting you necessarily , it just seems quite bizarre.
  37. Mar 4, 2018
    #77

    Jim Beam Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2017
    Messages:
    4,398
    Location:
    Bat Country
    You're overreacting. There are some good articles above that show it's not so easy to improve your success rate from corners and there isn't any simple fix to it. I agree we should be doing better, but you sound like that's some kind of evidence of his total incompetence.
  38. Mar 4, 2018
    #78

    desmondisback Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2017
    Messages:
    334

    Am I overreacting? We seem to either do some crappy version of a short corner (as described above) or hit the first defender (with no tall guy there to flick it on). It;s not about "success rates". I don't expect that we score from every corner or even from some of them. I might even accept us not scoring from any of them. I just expect that we look a bit of a threat from corners. Right now , if we get a corner I feel it's time to put the kettle on. I'm not seeing or sensing any expectation from the team that they could score from a corner or try to score , which for me is unbelievable.

    For me it is evidence of incompetence. There maybe no simple fix as you say , but right now there's not much evidence of any fix. If there is any competence in our coaching then I would expect to see evidence of some attempt to change this. The only other explanation is that they are happy with this state of affairs. If so then that is also incompetent.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  39. Mar 4, 2018
    #79

    James Peril Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    2,079
    Think I read somewhere that we’ve scored the most goals from set-pieces this season, so perhaps someone can show some stats? If we’re best - or close to the top - then what’s the problem?
  40. Mar 4, 2018
    #80

    Rifer Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Messages:
    2,349
    Location:
    Fergie Times
    It's not totally bad, but being a top team, we should have been higher, more threats and more successful corners.

    Those aside, I think the reasons why we're so bad at it is we barely practice corner taking in training and no proper aerial threats player.

    Mourinho relies on individual talents when attacking, and similarly in corner, he relies on the players to score. Usually he have players suitable for this eg. John Terry and Cahill(?), but with us, we don't have that genuine aerial threats players who can be deadly in corner. The closest ones we had for that is Fellaini, Smalling and Rojo but even them are so bad at heading into goals.

    Our bad corner delivery, whoever the corner takers are, is very dreadful, but then I'm sure it's the same one with majority of football teams, except maybe very few small teams with corner delivery specialist player who perhaps practice it too much and is not a common player. Corner deliver tend to be hit and miss. Still, with practice should have been better and offers a lot more threats.

    Our trainings I assumed consist more on the fundamentals possession drills, interchanging movements and defensive structure with almost zero corner drill. Our free kicks are not that bad and if I'm not mistaken Jose and some players commented they practiced free kicks a lot.