Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Wenger acknowledges need to improve free-kicks

Arsene Wenger accepts that his side lack consistency and quality from set pieces despite Robin van Persie nailing a winning strike from a free-kick in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Sunderland.

The Frenchman watched on aghast during the second half as Mikel Arteta, Andre Santos and Theo Walcott each, in the space of five minutes, casually stroked the ball forty yards over Simon Mignolet’s goal despite tension rising at the 1-1 scoreline.

Indeed, so poor were the efforts that it appeared at one point that the Emirates faithful were only one peep of Howard Webb’s whistle from watching Wojciech Szczesny take a pop shot at row Z.

Looking back at the situation after the match, Wenger confirmed that work needs to be done on the training ground to make the most of dangerous situations in and around the penalty box.

“We didn’t make enough of our free-kicks, that’s an area that we can improve.

“If you consider the number of free-kicks we had today in interesting zones and the corners we had in offensive positions I feel we have to make more of our set-pieces.”

Arsenal’s ineffectiveness from dead ball situations has long been a sore point for supporters. Until Sunday, the Gunners had only scored one goal direct from a free-kick since a deflected effort from Van Persie against Birmingham City on New Year’s Day.

And then there’s corners…don’t get Arseblog News started on corners…

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wengers missing cheeks

what about corners?

wengers missing cheeks

what about kick off?

wengers missing cheeks

and don’t get me started on throw-ins!


We’re cutting corners that’s what about corners!

If we are even able to convert 1/3 of the corner kicks conceded from the opposition, we will easily be 3-4 nil up. Everytime. Period.

What many failed to realise was that Sunderland were happy enough to concede corners for us ,especially at one time I think I remember Arshavin shielding the ball to get a corner from a Sunderland player. He didn’t have to bother shielding because the Sunderland was not even interested in getting the ball in to prevent the corner!



Ridiculous is the word Gordon.

I don’t even view a free kick or corner for us as a potential goalscoring opportunity at the moment. It’s more like just another way of giving the ball back to the oppo, and when it’s a corner, I just feel like we’re gonna get done on the break every single time.

Whereas when the other side get one or the other, I shit a brick. Every single time.



Even the great bobby pires was guilty of hitting the first man on corners all the time it’s madness the amount of corners we waste
On free kicks you do expect a pro player to get a little but closer to the goal than Walcott and santos efforts


Why not just go back to the old GG corner routine, but instead of Bouldy at the front post, surely you could just stick out 9 ft German there to flick the ball on, for Kos, Song etc to go charging in at.

That routine yielded sooo many goals it was almost inevitable that we’d score.


Santos, Walcott and Arteta have all spent the last week with the club due to lack of international selection. You might have thought they would have filled some training time with practising the odd free kick. Then again, maybe they did. Their free kicks were all pretty f**ing odd yesterday. It can’t be beyond the wit of these players to take some responsibility and grab some of the reserve team squad to act as keeper and opposition while practising free kicks. On the other hand, maybe they can’t find any reserves willing to have the ball repetitively hit into their… Read more »


Does anyone know what the point of Walcott is?
Surely the OX needs to start ahead of him.
Walcott was absolutely dreadful yesterday, and can someone tell me what is the point having a striker on the bench in Park and not putting him on?
Wenger has completely lost the plot.


You know we won the game right?


When do you ever get a corner *not* in an offensive position?


When you’re defending them.


but then you haven’t “got” that corner have you?

Avenell Road

Is it lack of confidence or lack of ability? Or a combination that results in lack of conviction? The average quality (“dangerousness”) of Arsenal free-kicks must be among the lowest among the top 25 clubs in Europe. And it has been since TH14 left. Strange, since the players obviously are technically gifted in other aspects.


“since the players obviously are technically gifted in other aspects.”…are they?…..where?


I thought Arteta was supposed to be good at free kicks. :c|


Just clear the first man……. its schoolboy stuff, surely if you have that much talent and get paid that amount you can at least hit the ball beyond the first man!!


They did clear the first man, the problem was, they cleared the post too! Obviously, they need to do more than the primary stuff and advance to the tertiary-were the ball gets hit into the net.


I’d like to see a stat of our set-pieces over the years. I’m sure it will be pretty grim reading. It’s strange that such a technical squad are unable to do the basics on standard dead ball scenarios

Jim Deen

Finally, the voice of reason. All this griping and bitching kind of annoys me. “Oh we suck, we suck so bad.” Like Anton, I’d like to see some actual evidence, not the whinging of a bunch of pessimists (Blogs? Something to do during the next interlull perhaps? The stats, that is, not the whinging…). It is undoubtedly the case that we do not convert as many corners/free kicks as we would like, but I wonder how that would stack up against (i) our form over the last 20 years, and (ii) other teams in the league. In particular, I *suspect*… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Also stats about the free kicks taken by ex-Arsenal players since they have left the club. Do they improve? That kick by Larsson was rather nice (the ungrateful swine)


Jenkinson appears to have a very good technique when it comes to striking the ball, he can whip his foot round it and a few yesterday caused Sunderland problems. Maybe they should ask him to fire in a few corners?


His crossing is the best I’ve seen from any Arsenal full back in many a year.

Jim Deen

spot on. He got completely skinned once in the game, but other than that, he did a pretty good job. His delivery, while not placed well, had a superb angle and pace. Looks promising.

[…] the game, Arsene spoke of the need for an improvement in our free kicks. Too true. Far too often have freekicks been kicked way over the bar, or straight at the wall. The […]


Our delivery was inconsistent in the past but that didn’t stop Gallas getting his fair share from corners. I expect Per to pick up the slack.


“I always want Arsenal to win when the meet other teams. I always get frustrated when they loose. I have always felt gratitude to Arsenal” Seb Larsson to Swedish newspaper Expressen after Saturdays game.

Sign him.


Interesting thought. I’m not sure but what I do know is that it was a great free kick from Larsson and that he was respectfully muted in his celebrations. Classy.


Bah you think we’re bad now? I remember a certain Martin Keown shooting and it curled that wide it went for a throw in next to the corner flag! (now I can’t remember if it was a shot from open play or free kick mind)


…and Santos too. When I heard both players were good at freekicks, I thought we’ll be scoring them with ease. But now, we are wasting them with an alarming ease.

Naija Gunner

It’s about time Wenger realises this…!


Don’t worry: we’ve got one of the best managers in the world. He earns over six million quid a year so he must be good. He’ll sort out our terrible defending, and our hopeless free-kicks and corners.

What’s that you say? He’s been here for fifteen years? Then how come…?

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Arsene Wenger has spent the past five years teaching our boys to get the free kick over the wall. Now that they have mastered that he is going to start teaching them how to make the bloody thing come back down again on the other side. Then, when they’re all grown up and their legs aren’t so undeveloped and spindly, he will ask them to try kicking the big heavy ball all the way from the corner flag to the goalkeeper. I wonder if, when we next win a corner, Chesney will ask the ref if he can take it… Read more »


What I’d give to watch a few training sessions. I mean, if we don’t practice defending or freekicks, what are we practicing? Seems to me like those are two areas of the game that would require the mos drilling and repetition.


it isnt just set pieces. we cant seem to score on the move as well excluding van persie.


Not surprised after losing two world class players and then panick buying in the last minute.

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