Josh Takes A Look At Arsenal's Set Pieces

Josh Takes A Look At Arsenal's Set Pieces

One thing is really starting to infuriate me as a watching fan; our persistence with Cesc and Van Persie as our only set piece takers.  Do not get me wrong, some things are working fine, confirmed by the goals from Gallas and Vermaelen.  However we can still improve.
Sometimes I think the knowledge that he will get go after go means that Robin uses many to get his aim in.  Some pressure on him might mean he focuses more on getting the technique right first time.  I would like to see some other players ask to have a go in training and then even in the games.
I will go through each set piece and say were we can do better in my opinion:

A. Left Corner – Current Taker: Cesc Fabregas
I am tired of watching Cesc deliver a cross that either hits the first man or is just hung up for the keeper to catch.  This is a man with awesome long and short range passing, yet he cannot hit the ball with enough power or decent direction to give his team mates something to attack.
When fit, Rosicky and Nasri both take better corners as they place it further from the keeper with a bit more pace.  This allows attackers something to run at without the knowledge that a keeper can simply come and collect.  With these two out, I would like to see Arshavin take them instead.  He can put his foot through the ball and we can at least have a change from the weak corners from our captain.
Potential new takers: Arshavin, Rosicky, Nasri
B. Right Corner – Current Taker: Robin Van Persie
This is one thing I do NOT have a problem with.  Robin delivers the ball with pace into dangerous areas.  The keepers are often caught in two minds as to whether to come out or not.  This is because the ball comes at the pace it does into an area just outside the 6 yard box.  It entices the keeper into thinking he might be able to get there.  This means if he comes, the keeper will often not make it, and if he doesn’t come, it gives the likes of Vermaelen a perfect opportunity to attack it.  The pace of the ball also means that only direction is needed, ala Wigan last week.
C. Whipped in free kick left side – Current Taker: Cesc Fabregas
Fabregas normally takes these and sometimes delivers them with enough pace and direction to create havoc: Liege away and Everton away.  However, he does waste an awful lot in between the good ones.  Last season we saw Arshavin deliver some awesome crosses from a long way out: Newcastle and West Brom away.  I would like to see him grab the ball off Cesc if he is off his game.
The perfect deliveries are ones that bounce just in front of the keeper and have the potential to bend into the far corner.  They are delivered with enough pace to be attacked but also to find the corner should everyone miss it.  I reckon Nasri could also provide this type of delivery for us.
Potential new takers: Arshavin, Nasri
D. Whipped in free kick right side – Current Taker: Robin Van Persie
Again I do not have a problem with these.  Robin delivers these also with pace and whip.  They are hard to defend most of the time and they offer a variation to confuse defences.  He delivers what I wanted Cesc to do from his side.
E. Free Kick 18-25 yards – Current Taker: Robin Van Persie
Van Persie has not scored a free kick for a LONG time.  I am not against him having a go but I am not sure about him when it is close to the box.  Unless he is very close to the box and is going to smash it to the keeper’s side, I would rather see someone else take them.  Robin gets too much power to sometimes get it up and over the wall.  For example, at Fulham, he had a chance to hit it with power to Schwarzer’s side but he attempted to go over the wall but hit it way too high.  His shots, when they go to the keeper’s side, are way too powerful for a keeper to react to easily.
Nasri had a go on a few occasions last season and he has shown good technique.  He hit the bar with one awesome free kick.  He has grasped the technique far better than Cesc ever has and I would like to see him get a go once he returns.  Also, I reckon Rosicky and Arshavin should give it a go; they both have decent long range shots so I would say they have a good shot at being decent at free kicks
Potential new takers: Nasri, Rosicky, Arshavin
F. Free Kick 25-35 yards – Current Taker: Robin Van Persie
These are the free kicks far more suited to Robin.  He can get them up and over the wall from this far out while also keeping power in the strike.  However, players like Arshavin and Rosicky can also put immense power into their shots.  I would not mind seeing them have a go.
Oh, anyone in favour of someone laying it off to Vermaelen to have a long punt at goal as Touré used to do?
Potential new takers: Rosicky, Arshavin, Vermaelen?

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