Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Brady laments set piece calamities

Liam Brady says Arsenal’s poor defensive organisation at set pieces is a key factor behind the club’s inconsistent form this season.

Claiming too much has been made of an apparent lack of depth in the attacking department, the ex-Gunner noted that goals conceded against Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos are evidence that Arsene Wenger’s men need to up their game at the back if they’re to rescue their season.

“We don’t have a problem in the forward area, not as much as people like to make out,” Brady told talkSPORT.

“Theo will play. He scored again last night and did really well for Sanchez’s goal.

“I think our defending, especially in set pieces, is where we really need to get better. We dominated the game [against Olympiacos], but we defended poorly from set-pieces and it cost us dearly.

“We lost a goal at Zagreb and two goals against Olympiacos to set-pieces. The first goal was bad last night, the ball coming into the box and players not really knowing what’s going on. The marking and concentration has got to be a lot better.

“If we get these things right the results will be more consistent and we won’t have this up and down situation we’re having at the moment.”

Brady certainly has a point when you consider Arsenal have so far conceded five goals from dead-ball situations this season. What’s more in the last five games we’ve conceded four own goals…and that’s not even counting the huge deflection applied by the Ox to Olympiacos’ opener on Tuesday.

It’s farcical stuff really and requires some serious attention, ASAP.

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It’s almost as if set plays are beneath our pure footballing virtues!

Hopefully the reported ‘hair dryer’ treatment has its effects and we beat the red cunts on Sunday!


Maybe the players, just like us fans, are tired of Wenger’s lack of tactics/Plan B/reinforcements – but they don’t know how to or are afraid to broach the subject with him. And playing like a school team is the only way to drop a heavy hint. Maybe…

chippy's chip

Like they did for his 1000th game?

Dan Hunter

Set plays, defending and defending set plays is for losers.


Speaking of farcical, post Tim Stillman’s column here already.
Very enjoyable


Whilst i agree there is a clear problem with defending from set pieces it wasn’t that long ago (to me at least) that we sorted that out and had the best or one of, defensive records in the league. Now, i don’t like rolling out the excuses, BUT is it just me, or are we bar none the most unlucky team to have ever kicked a ball, i mean seriously, bad officiating decisions, deflections, own-goals galore, not the sort of thing you can directly influence and given this i have some (not a lot) sympathy with the manager. Here’s hoping… Read more »



The Only Olivier is Giroud

Good thing they mentioned the own goals- right the wat through this I thought “Not sticking it into our own net so much will also be a help”

Graham Page

You have to wonder if we practice corners at all. Not only has our defending them become poor but we never look like threatening when we get one. In fact getting a corner is almost as big a threat as an advantage if the opposition break quickly.


Not only defensive set pieces but also offensive set pieces. I never expect us to score from them instead it presents an opportunity for the opponent to get a counter attack going. This trend has to change if we harbor any hopes for success domestically or in Europe. Improving offensive set pieces is all the more important when you take into consideration that most of the teams park the bus against us and scoring from set pieces is a very effective way of opening up the game. How such a key aspect of the game has gone unnoticed for so… Read more »


I think we miss Giroud when defending set pieces


Absolutely, this. We don’t have players who can attack corners, so how the hell can we defend them. It’s a constant theme under Wenger. He inherited GG’s back line, who were your legendary A+ England back line and Goalkeeper. He then got a massive player in Sol Campbell from Tottenham, who had grit, passion and 100% pure defensive ability, possibly one of the best defenders this league has ever seen. He partnered him with a young kid from the Ivory Coast who was eager to learn everything he could from Sol and that spread across the back line with Campbell… Read more »

Pass debuchy from the left hand side

That is incredibly unfair. Wenger inherited Graham’s team in 1996, and up until around 06 you wouldn’t have been making this argument. How long does a manager’s “inheritance” seriously last? We’ve seen managers come in to sides and after a season great defenders look poorer almost instantly and the reverse. Getting fairly tired of this “he inherited a great back 5” shtick. People seem to think Wenger came in, worked on the attack and just let the back 5 work it out for themselves.

Stringer Bell

Don’t bring reason and logic into it!! I looked at that vomit inducing blog Le grove the other week and one fella said if wenger was such a great manager why didn’t he win anything from 1998 till 2002. Where I believe wenger failed big time in both champions league games was changing the back four. Why I will never know, my guess is he is not ruthless enough and wants to please all his players. If not that he must be one arrogant xxxx


No matter who we play every time they attack, they look like scoring and that’s been happening for years. Don’t expect changes anytime soon. For all his faults i’d have Tony Adams on my coaching staff, who’d like to face him after a shambolic performance like the other night??

Gary Baldy

Am I wrong or does it look like more and more often our players are ducking out of blocking shots and turning their backs on the ball as it is fired in. The first goal seemed to be caused Özil and The Ox doing just that. Özil obviously could have got closer to Pardo to start with but he did turn his back. Have the days gone when players would ‘ put their bodies on the line ‘ to stop a ball that is on target ? Please tell me I am wrong and I will pay more attention to… Read more »


Yeah, let’s blame Özil: he should have forgotten he was playing fooball and should have had a try at rugby…
Btw, where were Coquelin, Sanchez, Cazorla? Why aren’t Theo and Ox moving? At least Özil moves and tries to disturb the Greek player…

Man Manny

Perennial calamities.
From the days of Senderous, Squillaci, Sylvestre, Djorou? to the present. Different players, same problem, same manager.

An Ox-sized Coq

To be fair, Djourou did have that one season where he played excellent and looked like he nailed down a spot in the starting lineup. Then he dislocated his shoulder and his form/talent/anything went out the window.


I might be mistaken as I don’t know the stats, but from what i remember, we’ve sucked at giving and receiving set pieces for years (especially corners), haven’t we?

Lone Star Gunner

I wonder the extent to which Arsene’s “express yourself,” unguided practice regime contributes to poor defense across the board? Perhaps Bould is more structured, but if so I sure don’t see the results. Also, while zonal marking is always a bone of contention, has anyone else noticed that the type of semi-short corner Olympiacos used for the first goal is becoming common against us. We are zonal marking, sometimes with Per and/or Giroud man-marking the biggest threats. Opposition puts a guy at the corner of the box, no one comes out to mark him, pass him the ball, uncontested shot.… Read more »


Maybe if we brought in a former defender to coach these guys. You know, maybe Steve Bould. Then we’d have a great defense


Our best defender of set pieces is Giroud. He’s always the one on the front post whenever we’re defending corners. I dont think it is a coincidence that we’ve gotten significantly worse at defending set pieces as he lost his spot.


Ozil was an embarrassment for that first goal. Watching how limply he went for the ball

Are more fans waking up to the fact that ozil is a flat track bully? Great against Leicester absolute shiite against anything approaching a top team


We will see on Sunday. Top of the table clash
When I was reading the match preview I was thinking of Ozil. This is the litmus test for him. Binary, if he can’t perform on Sunday his future at The Arsenal is in doubt.
Up The Arsenal!


Arsenal and Wenger has one foot out of the ECL now. We should aim to get out of the tournament without any points. At least that way we will be able to focus on the league and the domestic cups. I’m just trying to think how we might be able to optimize our return this season. We began with so much optimism in August but suddenly after the Charity shield some thing has gone terribly wrong. Must be Jose’s curse. That despicable t#at…


If Arsenal don’t take any points from the CL, then Arsene will probably be gone by Christmas. He needs to turn things around fast or risk losing the fans. He has managed to placate the support by doing just enough over the years, but if the club appear to be going backwards, then there will be no hiding place for him.


Wenger doesn’t break a contract, and Arsenal won’t terminate his.


This says to me that Liam doesn’t think much of Bouldy’s input as AM? (considering he’s clearly the defensive steward) An AM who canne organise the defence on set pieces in an extremely important CL evening encourages uncertainty. Do we have an assistant manager who is able to challenge the manager (who is evidently untouchable which is unhealthy in itself) and contribute effectively to the the management process when it comes to the backline? Bould always seemed a strange appointment to me – making up for defensive inneptutudes at the time, and admittedly, it worked for a while, i.e this… Read more »


Spot on Liam the legend. Concentrate more on the set pieces and we’ll be fine. It really is that simple.

Dan Hunter

Yeah… forget about defending in open play, it’s a waste of time. I really thought we were going places when decided to play like we did against man city last season. Now it’s back to the comical ways of old. What’s the point of Steve Bould if he is not drilling this team defensively?

King Henry XIV

I’m losing appetite of watching Arsenal, old or new. Oh dear…

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