Watford Fc - Set Piece Shamble Experts

Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by NathWFC, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. Burnsy

    Burnsy Squad Player

    When we were linked with Sarr, I remember looking at videos and marvelling at his crossing. Surely he can take a good corner? Rodriguez would have been signing purely for set pieces alone in January.
    Jumbolina likes this.
  2. Hope they take you up on it. Stops you posting your technical insight on here though.....
  3. reids

    reids Squad Player

    So far it's not looking good, my message was read yesterday afternoon but no reply.
  4. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    Place a bet on us scoring from a corner if they take you up on it.
  5. lowerrous

    lowerrous Squad Player

    The thing is it's kinda true that we're generally a big, physical and powerful team, but only in the sense that most of our players are around 6ft and quite tough.

    However, the problem for set pieces is that despite this we don't have any individuals that are especially large and powerful. There are a few players in the league, usually centre-backs, who can still dominate any of our players one-on-one, e.g. Mina, Dunk, Webster, Mings and van Dijk. This has cost us on a number of occasions. Both Kabs and Cathcart are fairly small for CBs.

    By the same token, none of our players are really capable of getting a march on opposition players at set-pieces unless the opposition really mucks up and somehow there's a mis-match.

    A lot of us did expect that Dawson might provide some of the aerial dominance we'd been missing, but despite his height, perhaps because his best days are gone, he has not seemed to have much of a leap on him and he also lacks a bit of determination and sharpness. He has been marked comfortable for basically all the set-pieces he's been involved in for us.

    An upgrade at CB that is excellent in the air (ideally to replace Cathcart first) remains very much needed.

    Though having said all that, this is also all irrelevant from an attacking sense when we can rarely even beat the first man anyway.
  6. reids

    reids Squad Player

    You can still create good chances with good planning and the right ideas though - Mee + Tarkowski are the main targets for Burnleys corners (who have a great record from corners this season), Mee is 6"0 and Tarkowski is 6"1. They have a plan and can execute it well.

    Similarly the club I was working for in America at the tail end of last season had one of the smallest squads in their league (one player who was 6"3 but useless in the air then nobody else above 6"0). So obviously I factored that into the planning of my routines and came up with ways to combat it. It was effective as well:

    Before hiring me:

    Games played: 26
    Corners taken: 155
    Shots taken: 24
    Goals scored: 5 (2 direct headers, 1 scored directly from the corner itself, 1 from a clearance to the edge of area which was then shot home, 1 from a goalmouth scramble)
    Conversion %: 3.23%
    xG: 2.29
    xG per corner: 0.0148

    After hiring me (small sample size but still):

    Games played: 9
    Corners taken: 49
    Shots taken: 13
    Goals scored: 1
    Conversion %: 2.04%
    xG: 1.31
    xG per corner: 0.0267 (an 81% increase!)

    So whilst the conversion % was slightly down - the underlying numbers (aka shots taken + xG created were massively up, which over time would've likely seen an increase in goals as well - saying that we were massively unlucky with one chances that was their biggest xG chance from a corner all season which was saved on the line. That would've boosted my goal numbers up nicely!)

    With a good plan tailored to the squad using effective set-piece methods you can gain a huge advantage from very little work. Blocking is a huge part of being successful from set-pieces. You can use it to to get a free run to a target area or stop a key member of the other team from getting to a particular area. It's VAR friendly as long as you're subtle enough with it - England used it during the World Cup and were successful from it. The key is to just grab the opponent for a second or 2.

    If you look at Englands first goal against Panama - https://gfycat.com/safeofficialchafer - we start with 5 players in area with 2 outside the area (Stones + Young). All the players in the area split off towards the front + backpost creating a huge gap in the middle of the penalty area. Ashley Youngs job is simply to stop Stones marker from following him. Too much and it's a foul, but a grab for a second or 2 is all it needs and will pass the VAR check


    Just a little grab of the arm for a brief second, in plain sight of the referee and it's a goal as Stones meets the delivery completely unchallenged. So whilst we lack the players usually pictured towering above the defence and powering a header home, a little planning to combat that and we could still gain an advantage (or at least do better than we're currently doing!).

    1) Pick a target area (either an area unguarded or is an area with an aerially weak opponent defending it)
    2) Come up with a routine that incorporates a block to guarantee a free run to that area (along with diversionary runs to occupy the rest of the opponent's team)
    3) Then as long as everyone sticks to their roles and the delivery is half decent you'll stand a good chance of at least getting a shot away.
  7. Steve Leo Beleck

    Steve Leo Beleck Squad Player

    I don't have the stats but we seemed much better under Javi. We had at least three routines that looked planned: the short one that went back twice to Capoue who then chipped it over the top for Femenia, the short one where it was pulled back for someone to volley, and one where we would play it very long and loopy and get someone like Cathcart round the back.

    The problem with what we're doing at the moment is that we're trying to score a very difficult goal ever time - hitting a flat corner at pace so that it just clears the man at the near post but is still low enough to be attacked by someone on the six yard box. Fine if we had a Ward-Prowse or if Zarate had somehow stayed with us but we have no-one capable of doing this.

    It's like the sheer madness of watching Roberto Pereyra and Deulofeu run up and chip direct free kicks into the wall. In our whole history in the Premier League, we've scored one direct free kick and that was four years ago. So why, oh why, do we persist in allowing Pereyra and Deulofeu to waste them? Try something, an inventive little routine, or hell just roll it to the side for someone to blast and hope we get lucky. It's absolutely pathetic for a Premier League football club to throw away points. Teams like West Brom stayed up for years on cheap goals from set pieces. Bournemouth aren't a big team but consistently try different things from set pieces.

    To not have a single set piece taker in the squad for over four years is ineptitude of the highest order. To then continue attempting things as though you do, compounds it.
  8. HornetMan

    HornetMan Academy Graduate

    We haven't had a good set-piece taker since Daniel Tozser
  9. GoingDown

    GoingDown Pizza & Figs

    Please don't criticise the recruitment, especially over 4 years. If you had a problem with it at the time, you should have said then. Focus on the time under Pearson.....erm....

    Don't criticise the recruitment, we didn't even have four stands 10 years ago.
  10. reids

    reids Squad Player

    Got a reply asking if I can send something across tonight (!) for the Leicester game on Saturday. Hopefully, they use it this time!
    Squibba, Sahorn, Markoa$ and 17 others like this.
  11. Steve Leo Beleck

    Steve Leo Beleck Squad Player

    If one of your routines leads to a goal that keeps us up, then the forum has to shut down, it could never match that.

    Also, if they do use your stuff hope they pay you. We've thrown enough money at useless ***** over the years, wouldn't be too much for them to pay you a tenth of a Zeegelaar wage for your time...
    Chumlax likes this.
  12. Arakel

    Arakel First Team

    Is the "Zeegelaar" now a unit of currency for all matters WFC?

    Sarr has to be worth at least 8 Zeegelaar's a week.
  13. GoingDown

    GoingDown Pizza & Figs

    I'd lock the doors on Saturday night if it doesn't work out.
  14. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    Sounds like another crapto currency
  15. luke_golden

    luke_golden Space Cadet

    I still remember the pain of being genuinely excited about a corner kick in Pearson’s first game at Liverpool, after you’d passed on some information, and then seeing us repeatedly drive corners into the first man.

    I won’t let myself dream again.
    The PozzMan and reids like this.
  16. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    I'll keep my fingers crossed - I do hope they don't f**k you over.
  17. lowerrous

    lowerrous Squad Player

    I do buy in to your point that not having one particularly dominant player in the area can still be worked around in terms of finding a way to score from set-pieces, but no doubt it still does help (as the scoring records of the players I mentioned previously would testify).

    It probably poses even more of a problem to us in trying to defend set-pieces than trying to score them, as it means the opposition generally doesn't have to work as hard to score against us from them.

    As a side-note, do you only do work on attacking set-pieces, and not on helping teams to defend them? Villa appear to be absolutely shocking at defending them and both Evans and Soyuncu should have scored from corners last night, hopefully we can deal with them better.
  18. reids

    reids Squad Player

    Imagine how I felt!
  19. reids

    reids Squad Player

    I do both but our defensive numbers aren't too bad, so if Watford decide to take me up on my offer then I'll only be doing the attacking side.
  20. lowerrous

    lowerrous Squad Player

    Really?! Is it just that because the Villa and Everton games were so close to each other that they've distorted my perception somehow?
  21. reids

    reids Squad Player


    We give away the least shots per corner (joint with Liverpool), xGA and goals conceded aren't terrible but not fantastic. Basically, when we give away shots they're generally pretty decent chances - but we're good at restricting those shots from presenting themselves in the first place.
  22. GoingDown

    GoingDown Pizza & Figs

    Do you have the attacking version of those stats?
  23. zztop

    zztop Eurovision Winner 2015

    Best of luck, Reids. You deserve a decent break, I say!

    But there is a giant flaw your plan, and I notice you sneaked it in the very last sentence of your interesting post.

    "So long as...the delivery is half decent".

    Never mind! :(
    reids likes this.
  24. reids

    reids Squad Player

    Of course, might wanna cover your eyes though.

  25. zztop

    zztop Eurovision Winner 2015

    Those stats, both defending and attacking partly illustrate my main point that our defence isn't half as poor as people think, yet our attack is really poor.
  26. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    That only confirms my perception when watching Watford (including in open play): just have a shot for God’s sake!
    It would also be interesting to know how many of these corners are taken short. I assume Man City take lots of short ones, so that might explain their low conversion rate.
    Forzainglese likes this.
  27. GoingDown

    GoingDown Pizza & Figs

    Incredible stats. I get the feeling that it might end up being the difference if it's between us and Bournemouth.

    Unless you've given the club a magic wand of course.
  28. Knight GT

    Knight GT Predictor extraordinaire 2013/14

    what's the point of this post apart from trying to be funny, oh look at me making fun of other peoples opinions
  29. GoingDown

    GoingDown Pizza & Figs

    *other people's demands
  30. I would say "good luck" but they have also asked me for some ideas too. Will be interesting to see whose ideas they use. I'm claiming all headers.
    Without giving too much away, here's an excerpt of my plan....

  31. reids

    reids Squad Player

    This includes short corner routines that end in a goal!
  32. Steve Leo Beleck

    Steve Leo Beleck Squad Player

    My goodness. We are absolute garbage. We'll basically have three low quality efforts on goal for every ten corners we take. Given that we also regularly present chances on the break to the opposition from set pieces, you have to wonder if we'd be better off tapping corners out for a goal kick so at least we can try and press teams into a mistake when they play out from the back.
    Forzainglese likes this.
  33. Hornpete

    Hornpete Squad Player

    Reids, good luck... My advice, just get cathcart sitting on dawsons shoulders at the near post.

    Its worse... I recall liverpool scored from one of our corners.
    luke_golden and reids like this.
  34. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    I know Sarr's good but that does look like a heavy emphasis on the right wing...
  35. Jumbolina

    Jumbolina First Team

    Half the time it’s Holebas who would have been taking them aiming at Cathcart and Dawson. Do the strikers take the blame when we can’t beat the first man or over hit it?

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