Finally. The ultimate football question is answered.

31 Mar

Watching Brentford at Oldham on Saturday I found myself repeating a question I’ve been asking more and more this season. On returning home I was amazed to discover that Ipswich Town had answered it in their draw with Nottingham Forest.

Quite simply – why do teams persist with the short corner and has it, actually, ever worked?

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

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One Response to “Finally. The ultimate football question is answered.”

  1. Dave March 31, 2014 at 6:27 am #

    What most supporters fail to see is that long corners also rarely result in goals. Here are the stats if you want to look. http://www.soccerbythenumbers.com/2011/05/why-goal-value-of-corners-is-almost.html
    The best league in Europe for corner/goal conversion is the premier league where each team can expect to score … drumroll … 4 goals a season from corners on average, and that’s counting up to 3 touches after the corner kick itself, so includes short corners. The reason for this is thought to be that defences are now so well drilled for dead ball situations, particularly corners where the chances of scoring directly are negligible.
    The short corner, therefore, is a perfectly reasonable attempt to shake this up by trying to goad the defenders out of their optimal positions before lumping it across in the hope that your players have managed to stay in their optimal positions.
    The reason it doesn’t work very well, is that it didn’t take coaches long to work out that to counter it, all their defenders had to do was pretty much stay put. So they put a shorter player back who might have been halfway up the park otherwise to contest the short corner and the defence stay pretty solid.

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