- 02/09/2012, 10:11AM ET
MagicSpecs said 02/09, 10:11 AM
Something has been bugging me for a little while now, and I just can't get my head around it. I cannot think why this is not more widespread. Perhaps somebody here can set me straight.
I think that every team can gain a strategic advantage by 'threatening' to take a short corner. This opportunity of a strategic advantage is available at every corner kick, and in my opinion should be utilised as often as possible. However, it could be ignored in special circumstances where a quick corner were preferable - for example in the last moments of a half, or if the attacking team had a numerical advantage in the box which would be lost with any delay.
By "threatening to take a short corner" I mean that the attacking team brings another player within 10 yards of the corner taker (where defenders are not allowed to encroach) to offer the option of a short (and uncontested) pass.
Please note: I am not suggesting that a short corner should be played every time, just that the threat provides an advantage which is rarely utilised in today's game.
I will deliver my reasoning in my second argument.
Grue said 02/09, 11:48 AM
Interesting question, but the answer really is quite simple.
The advantage of the corner is that the offense can attack the goal with zero chance of an offsides call on the initial touch because it comes from the goal line.
From a corner, you ideally place the ball on a low trajectory where it can be re-directed by a header. When executed correctly, the keeper has almost zero chance at playing both the initial kick (via punch) AND the re-directed header. The keeper must gamble on one or the other.
When you pass the ball on a short corner, the players in the box must make their runs to a spot further back from the goal with a 1-2 second delay. That 1-2 second delay allows the defense to close. The short corner allows 1 defender on two players.
The short corner angle allows the keeper to play a better angle on the header-cross. He's no longer moving perpendicular to the kick. He moves more in line with the cross which improves his ability to deflect it. The angle means the header isn't running towards the ball as much, but from the side.
It's a fine outlet pass, but you're passing up a great set piece opportunity.
MagicSpecs said 02/09, 03:48 PM
I propose 3 scenarios. In each the attacking team threaten a short corner, with each outcome preferable when compared to a 'normal' corner crossed into the penalty area.
1 The defence does not respond to the short corner threat
This allows the attacking team free possession and unimpeded advancement into the box.
2 One defender responds and relocates towards the corner (to avoid scenario 1)
This allows 2 vs 1 possession on the edge of the box. Advancement will likely be impeded by the defender, but 2 vs 1 should allow either advancement or a superior crossing position. Furthermore, the delay of the cross allows additional movement by attackers in the box, and opportunity for defensive plans to falter.
3 Two defenders respond and relocate towards the corner (to avoid scenario 2)
Other than the corner taker, one attacking player has relocated towards the corner. Two players from the defending team have relocated from their previous duties. By moving one attacker you have removed two defenders from their primary defensive areas.
Training and prior knowledge of short-corner strategies should ensure that attacking players are correctly positioned (and not offside).
Grue said 02/09, 04:18 PM
Allow me to challenge a fundamental assumption.
Every team can use a short corner. It is usually a fluid decision when the defense does not send out a defender, instead it chooses to keep numbers in the box.
With no defender on the wing, and alert midfielder or defenseman moves to open space to give the player taking a corner an outlet pass.
An analogy for the Nation:
The short corner is the NFL's equivalent to the check down to the RB. A QB will take the check down option if downfield is not available. It is low risk, it may catch the defense out of position. The Eagles or Saints may utilize the RB check-down more than other teams because they have the skill player (Shady, Sproles) to accomplish it.
Your premise is like saying "I think that every team can gain a strategic advantage by 'threatening' to take a screen pass."
NFL teams "threaten" defenses by striking downfield. Soccer teams "threaten" defenses by attacking the goal.
Opportunities for direct strikes at the goal have a higher chance for success than multiple passes on the perimeter. A corner kick threatens the goal directly, therefore it is the preferred strategy.
MagicSpecs said 02/10, 06:01 AM
Allow me to counter by challenging another fundamental assumption.
Corners do not lead to goals. Corners do not work.
Analysis of the '10-'11 EPL season has shown that over the course of the whole season each corner was worth 0.022 of a goal. That's 45 corners per goal. In one of the most physical leagues in the world the average team scored 1 goal from a corner about every 10 games. I just don't think that's good enough.
And it's time to do something about it.
As outlined in my last argument, the threat of a short corner leads to an advantageous situation when compared to a normal corner.
I'm not saying this would work every time. Nor am I saying it should be implemented overnight. As with all set pieces this strategy should be well practiced in training. This will allow the corner takers experience in assessing the situation, and proceeding with the optimum scenario. It would also allow attacking players experience in recognising the situation, and tailoring their movement in the box according to the optimum scenario.
I honestly think that this could be progress. One goal every 45 corners just isn't good enough.
Give change a chance. Vote left.
Grue said 02/10, 09:13 AM
You have shown scoring goals is hard. Anyone who has endured a 0-0 or 1-1 tie through penalty kicks knows this.
You did not show evidence that short kicks are better. You provide no evidence that they "should be utilised as often as possible."
Looking closer at your 0.022.
7 of 19 teams performed better than the grouping around 0.02. Fulham and Blackburn scored every ~15 corners. Coaching and personnel improve set pieces. For corners, 11% or 1 in 9 shots created from corners produce goals. The same ratio as from the field.
But scoring against a compact defense in the box is harder than attacking through space with runs.
A corner puts the ball in attacking position with one uncontested touch. Short corners waste the uncontested touch.
On a corner, the defense follows attackers on a run. On a short corner, the defense sets, marks, and contracts in the box.
The defense can only hastily clear a corner. They can intercept, control, and counterattack a short corner.
The defense wants you to make short passes on the perimeter instead of attacking the goal. Why would you prefer that too?
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