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Oh please not another corner!

A corner kick, a free kick and is there a VS member left who doesn't sigh and head for the fridge when we get one rather than watch the inevitable shambolic result?

So here's the question? How would you change the situation? I studied martial arts for years and one thing I learnt was in battle (be it against one or an army) was doing the unexpected or changing the timing were often crucial and as our plan B is no longer in place (I miss our walking Derrick don't you) what do we do? One obvious one is why the hell don't we (and every other team) develop our own Rory Delap? Would it that hard to do?

Another is don't go for the obvious in the corners. One way would to use the 'moneyball' approach and see where the resulting clearances end up the most and position a player there (something I've seen Wayne Rooney do several times) or not have anyone in the goal box but all waiting on the penalty box line instead.

For free kicks, chip the wall and have everyone trained to move the minute the kicker touches the ball or going for the angled ball and have Bale or Lennon say steaming in unmarked etc, etc. The whole premise here isn't to be cute, it's to leave the defenders and the goalie in two minds as to what's going to happen next and tactically that's always a plus especially considering our main striker ain't the tallest. (Is piggybacking illegal in soccer?)

Remember this is just an exercise in imagination and who knows, one of you might have the answer and I for one am already sick of the transfer window angst and the (get rid of...lets get...arguments) so lets have a little fun for a change. For your next trick? A: Lets see if you actually read to the end before firing off and B: Let's see how many of you can actually talk tactics without jumping on your hobby horses and bagging out one of our players, which to be honest, is getting really old as well. Enjoy.

Written by Underspur.

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The journalist

Writer: Underspur Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday January 13 2013

Time: 1:13PM

Your Comments

firstly is it the tactical issue that are the problem or the simple fact that we haven't really got that taker to plant it where he says he will with any consistency
The moneyball suggestion is spot on. One tends to think of moneyball in terms of player acquisition, but the basic idea is that one uses statistics to discover what works, and statistical analyses can, at times, uncover patterns that the naked eye isn't likely to notice. What are, indeed, the highest percentage ways of knocking the ball in the net on corners and on free kicks? Statistical analyses can play a valuable part in such dicovery.

Second point regarding mixing it up. Of course, if on every corner kick a team always tries the same thing, it doesn't take any more tactical brilliance than your average Harry to prepare for it. If one varies the approach, it become difficult, if not impossible, to set up a defense successfully each time.

The kicker in all plans, of course, is in execution. The best laid plans go wonkers when execution is botched. Practice, practice, and then some additional practice to get the execution down pat. But we all know this when we were young lads, didn't we. Then why do we need to remind outselves so often?

Total knobhead
Oh, and I forget to bring into this thread the pernicious influence of vulture capitalists on corner kicks and free kicks. They've sold off the requisite assets that were built up after all that practice and sold them to a team in Qatar or Los Angeles. lol. (Sorry gents, can't restrain my perverse sense of humour some times.)
Total knobhead
siggy has the best delivery from corners, caulker offers the best threat in the box. caulker should be ahead of dawson for me. he cost us two goals by failing to the leave the ball to the keeper but i think he will feature again soon and when he does he will score a few from set plays.
Interesting article. You've touched on something I was thinking about a couple of days ago... didn't mention it on here. If I am not mistaken, in basketball and American football, they have "plays". Now in my mind this is like a set tactic ( I don't watch either of those sports) that could be incorporated into football? Say for example on corners and free-kicks you could have 3 different "plays" for each perhaps... That way you could each player exactly where you wanted them to do a specific job and at the same time mixing it up... As I mentioned this was just a thought but something that could work. When I was playing football in school as well, on offensive corners none of our players went into the box until the corner was taken, thus gaining momentum for a better attack on the ball... It worked a few times but we didn't practice it to the extent that a PL team could do (obviously).
rahn DMC
One thing that is proven fact in football, is that you can coach and practice set pieces at both ends of the pitch, ie attacking and defending. What is obvious is that either we don't or if we o not enough, it needs to be drummed in. Tony Pullis has proved at Stoke that you can turn moderate players and a poor team, into contention in many games, by perfecting set piece techniques. We have a head start over them, some of ours can actually play, so why are we so poor, over to you AVB.
What has Lloris done to get 38% of yesterday's MOTM poll. He must have got 19% for turning up, and 19% for staying awake.
Apparently only 2% of corners result in a goal. It seems to be a frustration shared amongst most football fans.
Tactically Challenge
Frank, do you ever have anything positive to say?
Because Frank, he made having sweet ***** all to do all game look really easy, whereas the other players didn't ;)
rahn DMC
Fanman, when we do positive things, yes I will make positive comments and have done, check the archives. When we fail to get a result against the bottom team in the league, having had 16 shots on goal and 7 on target, no I can't see anything positive in that. Re set pieces, we have been vulnerable to them at our end, and totally inept with them at the attacking end for several seasons, it ain't rocket science ask Tony Pullis and Stoke City.
Frank, That's the whole point. One has to check "archives" to find positive comments from you. We are off the back off 4 straight wins. We get a draw against QPR who just beat Chelsea and all you do is complain. Fact is we took the game to QPR for 90 minutes, and they just camped in there own half. It is obvious that we don't have a playmaker to thread the ball through tight spaces, nor do we have a clinical finisher, yet the team tried their best and that's good enough for me. The stats of the game are so heavily in our favour yet you see no positives? The fact that QPR fave us so much respect is a demonstration of how good we have become. Obviously your glass half-empty.
Make that completely empty.
Frank, Where were Stoke's set-pieces yesterday? If they were so good at set-pieces why are they languishing in mid-table?
Fanman, we want, need, should be competing to qualify for the CL, we can't afford to throw away 2 points v QPR. The team and the coaching staff may have tried their best, but their best was not good enough. Yes we need a play-maker, yes we need a striker, have done for 4 years, but that's the first I have heard from you on the subject, all we get is "everything in the garden is lovely", but it clearly isn't. Regarding Stoke and their set pieces, it is only their set pieces i.e. Delap's throws, their corners and free kicks, the narrowing of their pitch to allow them the throw-in advantage, these are the things that have kept them in the PL, even though their quality is poor, that's the importance of set pieces.
I am lucky enough to witness this club winning championships, trophies, teaching the rest how to play the modern game, and win trophies in Europe, signing players to make the crowd drool. Because of all of this, I am not prepared to accept second, or even third best, without having my two penneth, so yes whilst our results like yesterday's are negative, then I will continue to express my opinion, which inevitably will be negative, especially when the club and especially it's ownership show no inclination, little desire, and less ambition and bottle, to get us back where we belong. If that's half empty then yes that's how it is. Whilst we continue to plead poverty, and continue Lewis/Levy's austerity program, and lack of meaningful investment on the pitch, I'm afraid our glass will remain half empty, at least for the duration of the ENIC tenure.
Frank, when can we afford to "throw away" points? Never. However it is completely ridiculous to expect us to win and play well all of the time. Players dip in and out of form, that is the reality. Yes we want to be in the Champions League, but we have to accept that we might not get it. If we don't its not teh end of the world. That's another reality. I have been saying that we need a striker and a playmaker for ages now, you must have missed my comments on the subject. The team is not perfect, but we're a good team that is capable of finishing 4th. The way that you talk about how things are the club, anyone would think that we're in danger of relegation. If you didn't notice we've scored a few goals from set-pieces, maybe you think that we should be scoring from every set-piece?
Well Frank so be it, you can try to hold onto old glory days if you like. I accept that the game has changed a great deal since those days, and we're not as successful as we once were. I am not frustrated by this, because there are teams around us with alot more financial resources, and that is what matters in today's game. I don't think that "today's" Spurs are going to live up to your expectations, unless we are bought by some mega rich investor. You should be happy with the fact that we're competing at the top even though we don't have the resources of the teams around us. You don't hear Everton fans or even Liverpool fans complaining as much ass some Spurs fans do. Give QPR some credit, because they worked hard and almost got all three points.
big cockeral, that comment is borderline, careful son.
Fanman, don't forget we have an owner in Joe Lewis worth 3.5 Billion, together with leaing share holders like Michael Ashcroft and Allan Sugar, both billionaires so "resources" shouldn't be a problem. The problem is lack of interest, ambition, drive and determination to see the club succeed. You mention Everton, they compete with us most seasons, yet Bill Kenwright is a pauper compared to our lot, but still funds them to the limits of his means, an owner who is a true fan, must be nice,.
Frank - wait just a minute here. We spent over 52m in the summer window for a new manager... is THAT not ambition? Everton occasionally compete with us because money and wealth are no guarantee of success. Liverpool spent 50 million last season - and saw NO improvement....and that does not include the amount they spent on Carroll and Suarez in the season before. Spurs have been steadily improving since ENIC took over, and if I asked you 9 years ago if you would moan if Spurs finished 4th 5th 4th, you would say "of course not". Everton fans are not content with their scenario at Everton by the way. Neither are Arsenal. Nor Chelsea. Man U fans hate the glazers. Are Liverpool fans happy? Villa fans? ALL FANS MOAN. Just be grateful that we are going in the right direction!
majority...need to be "inswinging".....whoever takes them. Aim for the penalty spot...and allow them to Draw inwards....landing in a area appx. 4 metres squared. Not that difficult....or shouldn't be to a Well paid proffessional. Prefer all tall guns in the box, rather than taking the corner.
big cockeral, calling you "son" was merely a figure of speech. I did not intend to offend you. I'm not stereo-typing, I just know what you were getting at when you said "Someone will come along & build a shop on it." I've heard that joke since I was at school.
Frank, THFC is a profit making business. The owners are investing millions into the teamm while also trying to make a profit, so we can continually invest in the first team. Its a cycle, we are operating within our means. If we overspend on players and wages we'll go bust, like Pompey, Leeds and Rangers. Why should the owners put their own personal money into the club? Abramovich and the Shieks do it, but that is their choice. They both have alot more money than Lewis. You want our club to become like Chelsea or City...? I shudder at the thought. I love the way that Spurs are run it adds to the challenge.
Every time a corner or penalty is given (especially when vdv was playing) , I take a sudden interest in the carpet pile much to the amusement of the lady of the house. I am never left wondering either.
van der haart lane
Tony Rich don't resurrect the fallacy of the "52M spend" when Redknapp came in, it is total bollox, an exercise in creative accounting, something that HMRC are well used to, when dealing with Joe Lewis. Defoe, Kaboul and Keane were not bought at the declared, and well publicised fees. Defoe and Kaboul were re-possessed from Portsmouth, and Keane from Liverpool, all had big chunks of unpaid fees still owing on them. Does nobody wonder why we concentrated on recently former Spurs players. Incidently our NETT spend on players, in the last 5 years, puts us in the bottom 3rd of PL clubs.
Never mind Abramovich and the "shieks" at Man City, many other owners invest their own cash into THEIR football clubs to try and ensure some success, many of them comparitive paupers when compared to Lewis an his cohorts. People like Bill Kenwright at Everton, Coates at Stoke City, Ashley at Newcastle, Whelan at Wigan, all try in their own small way to support their team with investment. We the 12th richest Football club on the planet are in the bottom 6 of the PL in terms of NETT spend in the last 5 years, it just shows that we are not run as a FC but as a property empire.
Fanman, if you are sattisfied with same 36,000 capacity stadium, 13 years after announcing the priority of increasing match day revenue, the finish date now extended to 2018, while almost all of our direct rivals have either enlarged their ground, or moved into bigger, with showing a profit in every transfer window, selling off all of the best players as their value peaks (Carrick, Berbatov, Modric, VDV, and soon Bale and Sandro), 1 trophy in their thirteen seasons, 8 managers hired and fired during their tenure, and a place in the bottom 6 of the PL in terms of NETT spend in the last 5 years on players, good luck to you, I hope you and ENIC will be very happy, but I suspect it will be a long time before you celebrate a trophy. I am not bothered, I have had my celebrations re Championship and Cup doubles, Uefa Cup, European Cup Winners cup, FA Cups etc. but that was before we were owned by this lot who are only interested in THFC as a cash cow to be groomed and sold at a profit. The Tavistock Group have a history of owning and knackering Football Clus, ask Glasgow Rangers amongst several others.
Nice article Underspur. The corner situation is far too predictable I agree. Some different variations of the short corner kick is needed, just to change the angle and timing of runs into the box. Someone mentioned Caulker over Dawson and I totally agree. Caulker is a geniune threat in the air, withour doubt one of the best in the PL. The other thing we seem to have difficulty is with the throw ins. Bale and Walker can launch the ball (no as fierce as Delap, but still very handy) and this needs to be utilised more often. Sometime very quickly as a suprise counter attack, other times very slowly to pack the box like Stoke do. Maybe we need a special teams coach from the NFL :)
We can't take a throw in our own half and retain possession from it, what makes anyone think that we could employ the long throw in and get a better result from it. Walkers throwins have been brutal not much he can do seeing as no player will move into space for him. Our corner situation? Well before we can judge the tactical set-up for set pieces it would be nice to see the ball make it into the area. When VDV left I thought that would be the end of the corner being crossed into the first defender! Perhaps if we put one of our players standing infront of the first defender we would have more joy from set pieces.
Slurms McKenzie
I have always thought it would be good to have two players start behind the ball and run to the Right / Left post areas as the kicker takes a shot or chips the wall, this would help in rebounds and confuse the enemy .. whoops the opposition

I know that seems a little simplistic but may mix things up a bit, have noticed that Defoe and Ade rarely attack rebounds. COYS
Set pieces account for approximately 25% of goals in games, down from 30%, looking at previous world cups (see FIFA technical reports). A possible explanation for the decrease is that they are easier to prepare defensively (zonal/man 2 man) as teams have become more aware of their importance during games. Set pieces rely on organisation in defence/attack for success, with emphasis on delivery and timing of runs. The slightest deviance in a well set plan (a ball going a metre either way or running a second too early/late) can lead to failure, so the second phase becomes important. I encourage my teams to create space in what is a compact area, for example- Bale takes a corner, one player (Lennon) runs forward from the near post, three players (Dembele, Parker, Vertonghen) run toward the near post creating space for another player (Caulker) to run and arrive on the penalty spot to attack the ball. The movement of the players should deceive the opposition immediately before the corner and the three players moving forward should look for secondary scoring opportunities in the second phase, with the runner attacking the ball as if his life depended on it. Additionally you should have a player on the edge of the box (Sandro) to shoot/regain possession if the ball is cleared, a player on the far post should the ball be overhit or for second phases. Two players (Walker, BAE) are even deeper than the man on the edge of the box on the halfway line to counter the counter attack and you have the goalie (Hugo) on the edge of his area ready to be a keeper sweeper if needed. This is simple but it works. AVOID SET PIECES AT YOUR PERIL, ORGANISE AND REMEMBER THEY ARE A GAME WITHIN A GAME, A GAME OF INCHES. This is simple stuff, I usually have a diagram to help explain but you get the picture :-)
* the player on the far post is Defoe!
Still after all the weekend results it wasn't a complete disaster we maintained the gap from Everton and extended our lead over arsenal we've lost a bit of ground on Chelsea who still have to win their game in hand to stay more than one result ahead of us. We're playing for third with Chelsea, Everton and arsenal.
Slurms McKenzie
I personally don't head for the fridge as more often than not I'm at the GAME.
Frank you are a negative old man. Back where we belong? Since we have only won the league twice in our history and spent a fair bit of time outside the top flight I would say that we are actually doing reasonably well. Maybe alzheimer's has already set in.

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