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Decision to let our set piece coach leave..

I don't think we were bad at all today, lots of positives but yet again we were opposed by a low blocks. We also conceded yet another set piece whilst not looking like scoring from one at all.

I go back to our decision to let Gianni Vio our set piece specialist leave the club. We were one of the best attacking/defending teams on set pieces last season and a lot of our points in a very poor team came from this avenue. I feel we are now down quite a lot of points this season due to lacking in both areas. These games which are tight are often one by set pieces. 30% of goals come from them but we just look ineffective at both ends.

I understand Ryan mason is on these now and if so I'm not convinced at all by his input this far.

Vio has recently joined the US national team after being very successful at his previous clubs and nations. An extract from an article below. Just wondered what the thoughts are here ? Have we let a good one go ? Think what you'd pay for a player who go you those extra goals per season !?

As a pioneer of the soccer sub-genre, Vio is naturally of the opinion that a lack of focus on set pieces is a missed opportunity for teams, telling The Athletic last year, "Normally, teams will spend nearly two hours per week warming up, but just 10 minutes for set pieces. Considering this is 30 percent of the goals scored, this is a mistake in my opinion."

He has delivered big results, too. Italy scored three of their 13 goals at the Euros off of set pieces (one off a corner, two from indirect freekicks), while Tottenham led the Premier League with 5.9% of their goals scored from dead-ball situations during the 2022-23 season, the lone season in which Vio was on their books. The intent is clearly to give the USMNT a boost in the category in similar fashion, and Vio's hiring is only part of Berhalter's big emphasis on set pieces.

posted 2 weeks ago

The Ben Davies point is one, as much a fan of his I am, and probably overrate him, I’d say it’s one of his biggest weaknesses.
Similarly VDV doesn’t challenge from goalkicks as he’d rather win the ball back after the second action with his pace - but he isn’t as bad as Lenglet who loses track of the ball. He should be better for his height but he’s not Lenglet bad, move average than anything.

Also you are leaving out players who have been played lots of minutes and are great in the air like Richarlison. Similarly Vicario is significantly better than Lloris in the air who was awful.


A lot of the players you listed played regular minutes this season and we still looked woeful. While Kane is a big miss and Perisic is probably the best corner taker we’ve ever had - there are so many shocking errors with set pieces we’ve made this season. It took a facking month to realise we shouldn’t let a player to freely shove our keeper

comment by Hengy (U9129)

posted 2 weeks ago

They guy we let go only did the attacking set pieces

posted 2 weeks ago

I don’t think he was good in the air, just that he’s better than Udogie. Lenglet is crap but he wins the ball in the air far more, it’s clearly a weakness that causes you problems on set pieces. I think Dier, Kane and Perisic alone make a massive difference when it comes to defending them. Add in the extra defender - Emerson who has played a lot less - and Hoijberg and that’s five players that aren’t really in the team when defending set pieces. I’m sure the change in coach has had an impact, but the difference in aerial ability among the players regularly playing is significant.

posted 2 weeks ago

comment by Hengy (U9129)
posted 5 minutes ago
They guy we let go only did the attacking set pieces
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Yeah I was going to get to that, it is our defensive set piece drop-off that has been most significant this season.

posted 2 weeks ago

i wouldn't recommend sacrificing time warming up thanks! we already have enough injuries!

posted 2 weeks ago

comment by Kobbie The King Mainoo (U10026)
posted 8 hours, 3 minutes ago
I don’t think he was good in the air, just that he’s better than Udogie. Lenglet is crap but he wins the ball in the air far more, it’s clearly a weakness that causes you problems on set pieces. I think Dier, Kane and Perisic alone make a massive difference when it comes to defending them. Add in the extra defender - Emerson who has played a lot less - and Hoijberg and that’s five players that aren’t really in the team when defending set pieces. I’m sure the change in coach has had an impact, but the difference in aerial ability among the players regularly playing is significant.
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I would disagree.

I do not believe its down to the individuals, per se, more the organisation.

You just have to look at how Zouma stood on the back post, unmarked and made a run across the keeper to score untracked the whole way while the keeper was obstructed by Antonio.

The organisation is poor. The keeper needs protecting because he is being targeted now (in fact unfairly in many cases, but ignored by the ref). I am amazed we are not countering that threat with how we defend corners

I agree with the OP that its the coaching at fault here, not the ability to head a ball.

The other thing is that we have lost Kane who was often first head on the ball often at set pieces and we aint a big team. We maybe have 3 six footers.

posted 2 weeks ago

The good news is this is something that can be remedied in the summer with coaching, we don’t need spend millions, just need to improve our organisation.

posted 2 weeks ago

Organisation can only do so much when you have a group of players that are weak in the air.

posted 2 weeks ago

The ball dropped in the six yard box. That's Vicario's territory. This isn't about a set piece coach specialist. It's about basic defending and protecting a goalkeeper. Bissouma didn't do enough to protect Vicario which meant he wasn't able to come out and claim or punch away. A goalkeeper should never be beaten to a ball in the six yard box. Never. That's just our boys not reacting quick enough and knowing who's responsible for creating that protection. Also, loads of goalkeepers hate crowding, even from their own players as it makes it harder for them to come out. I hate to say it but this is on Vicario really. He needs to be stronger. Be commanding. Come out and take the ball and feck the potential injury. Knock people over if you have to. It's becoming a big problem and it's not really one a set piece coach can rectify.

posted 2 weeks ago

Also, who the feck was marking the scorer? He fumbled it in but he was completely unmarked in the six yard box. Completely unforgivable. It's easy to blame Vicario alone but no one was picking up the scorer.

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