You simply can’t understate just how important set pieces are in football.
For all the beautiful passing, movement and tactics a match can be decided by a simple set-piece.
And we’re not just talking free-kicks or corners.
When Liverpool won the Champions League and then the Premier League recently, they hired throw-in coach, Thomas Grønnemark.
Grønnemark didn’t teach the Liverpool players to launch the ball into the penalty area Rory Delap style. Instead, it was more about retaining possession and achieving those small gains.
“Liverpool had had a fantastic 17-18 season, coming in fourth in the Premier League and reaching the Champions League final,” the Dane explained. “But they had lost the ball almost every time they had had a throw-in. You could say that I coach intelligence when it comes to throw-ins.”
Grønnemark’s techniques weren’t the sole reason for Liverpool conquering Europe and England in the next two seasons but it certainly helped.
Of course, there are other set pieces that are more likely to result in goals.
Free-kicks in and around the box are obviously dangerous, while supporters get excited every time their club win a corner.
However, only about 3% of attacking corners actually result in a goal suggesting we get far more excited than we really should.
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In an attempt to improve those percentages, a German side thought outside the box – quite literally.
Second-tier team, Karlsruher SC, took on Jahn Regensburg back in February and instead of sticking all of their big players inside the box, they tried something very different.
Alternatively, they just placed one player in the box and SEVEN players outside of the box in a line.
The defenders must have been very confused.
Then, just before the ball was swung into the box, the seven players sprinted towards the goal.
VIDEO: Karlsruher SC’s bizarre corner kick routine
Well, after a flick on at the near post, Christoph Kobald had a great chance to head home but missed the opportunity to make headlines. Despite his miss, Karlsruher’s unique and bizarre corner went viral.
We don’t think it’s been tried since but it would be great to see a few sides change up their corner routine rather than just sticking it in the mixer and hoping for the best.