Arsenal have had a weak start to the season, with only two victories recorded in seven games. A big reason for this is Arsenal’s weakness at set pieces, both when attacking and defending. The Gunners were ahead against Manchester City with only a few minutes to go, but a poorly defended corner cost them the lead as City managed to equalize and salvage a point at the Emirates.
It is small things like this that make a huge difference at the end of the season, and in the League, where every point means a chance to finish in the top four, Arsenal really need to improve their set pieces. Per Mertesacker, Arsenal’s commanding centre back, feels the same way and said as much in an interview with arsenal.com:
We have to go through the set-pieces and say what went wrong because last year we had quite a good record. We need to improve on it this season because we’ve conceded from them already.
It’s all about reminding ourselves how good we are in the air from set-pieces, but we have to get to the ball and stop opponents getting into dangerous areas. That’s what we need to improve. We had a good record throughout last season but we need to find that again quickly.
[Attacking corners] is a part we have to improve as well. The deliveries, the timing, there’s a lot of detailed things we have to improve. A lot of it has to do with concentration, strictness and good deliveries and good timing.
When we went through the situation we could see that not everyone was on the ball. We have to be able to score or avoid conceding goals. We have to make sure that we are ready and concentrating on every set play.
Arsene Wenger has also spoken about his side’s need to improve from set pieces. Arsenal are yet to successfully score from a set piece this season, a poor record for one of the top teams in the League. Hopefully, with a bit of work and luck, the Gunners will find the net more often from corners, and also learn how to defend them.