nevilleanalysisfinished by dm_501dbc366483b

When I first watched this, I thought Neville had bought into his own hype as a coach’s pundit and new football nerd poster boy. Jonathan Walters for goal of the year? On a little bit of set piece luck? Come off it, you’ve bought your own hype Gary, way, way too soon.

But then watching this video, you find yourself at a loss to counter Neville’s argument. First, it reminds you the amount of work that goes into set-piece goals. Second, it underlines the brilliant consistency of Tony Pulis’ approach. The dude believes, heart and soul, in Watford long-ball. Part of the method in playing a defensive 4-5-1 is that set-pieces must be taken advantage of whenever they occur—they’re the easiest way to work against the inherent statistical rarity of goals. And so Pulis coached this little trick to death, Stoke got their goal, and, as it turned out, their point against West Ham.

Comments (11)

  1. was this video recorded with a potato?

  2. Well worked set piece, there was a thing that struck me however, as Walters breaks off from his marker to make his looping run from the back post to the penalty spot, another Stoke player breaks to his left and holds (quite visibly) the West Ham player who is chasing to get to where Walters is going. That’s from my understanding of the rules a clear foul which should result in a West Ham free kick. Poor form on the officiating crew really.

    • Yeah, but the beauty of it is that it is a minor obstruction foul that occurs before the ball arrives in another part of the box. It is only an important foul in the context of the whole set play – and given the regular contact that routinely doesn’t get called (shirt grabbing, blocking in with the arms, etc.) this kind of foul, in that time and place, will likely never get called. If you were willing to blow a foul every time a player gets in the way of another player, no corner would ever make it into the box. I don’t think this is poor officiating as it is a great set piece.

      • There’s a difference between getting in the way of another player, and deliberately obstructing another player in the manner that Charlie Adam (thanks Cockney) did in this example (an example which reminded me more of American Football or Hockey than football; and coincidentally would be a penalized infraction in those sports as it should have been here). There’s no way that can be called minor obstruction.

        • Fair enough.

          Having said that, I don’t think the set piece requires that Adam commit that magnitude of foul. Given how well it was executed, it probably would have come off just as well if Adam had done a more minor obstruction foul that would be overlooked by refs 100% of the time..

  3. Obvious bais here, but it did seem like Charlie Adam was playing American football by holding up George McCartney on that set piece. I thought it was a foul.

  4. 1) It was a foul.

    2) I guess we all know what stoke think sexy football is.

    3) west ham defenders are tactically clueless as are British defenders in general.

    4) Many teams employ simple runs of the ball including decoy runs and more fair ways of obstructing defenders such as use of the shoulder and body position, not grabbing.

    5) stoke:

    Says it all really…hahahaha

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