Arsène Wenger says he is “concerned” about his side’s poor conversion rate from set-pieces. The Gunners boss has valid reasons for this concern; during Saturday’s game against the Spurs, Arsenal won 15 corners due to their sustained pressure but were unable to convert even one.
Set pieces have become a crucial aspect of the game, and the ability to convert them could be the difference between victory and defeat for a team in the Premier League. What is more problematic is that on paper at least, Arsenal should have no problem in converting the corners into goals.
With accomplished players like Ozil, Sanchez, Wilshere and co. to deliver the ball, and strong aerial players like Mertesacker and Koscielny, one would think that Arsenal would score via set pieces on a regular basis. But not only did they fail to score against the Spurs, the Gunners have yet to convert a corner in any of their games so far this season. While a seemingly minor detail, these are the things that separate the champions from the rest of the pack.
It’s a concern. We have lots of room for improvement and we need to do that quickly.
If you go anywhere in the world and have 15 corners against you, you will concede because they should be so difficult to defend.
I have a lot of talent at my disposal but Tottenham are a very tall side. Players like Jan Vertongen and Younes Kaboul are very tall and they defended well.
With several influential players out for the next few games, set pieces may be Arsenal’s best bet to score. Against a team like Chelsea for example, who are notoriously difficult to break down, a quick counter attack leading to a set piece could potentially throw the opposition off balance and lead to a goal.