Arsenal are now the set-piece kings after Palace demolition

Set piece greatness from Arsenal against Palace

Mikel Arteta and his Arsenal squad have recently come back from warm weather training in Dubai and coming into the game against Crystal Palace on the weekend, Arsenal fans were hoping to see a change in attitude, approach and form coming into the second half of the season and I think we got that. Winning 5-0 is a statement win and to come back with a strong win like that after a few tough losses, is exactly the response Arsenal fans would have been hoping for.

One thing that really stood out to me was the fact that it looks like we’ve been working hard on set-pieces. Nicolas Jover looks to have been doing a fine job as our set piece specialist and for me, that’s something we seemed to have struggled with a bit more this season and is clearly something they’ve been working on over in Dubai.

Gabriel was at the front of the set piece action against Palace and ended up scoring a goal for himself and creating a goal that only just turned out to be called as an own goal. He looks to have been working on his leap and his positioning and although it’s not an easy thing to do, he made it look easy with his strength in the air.

I’m not sure if the two goals were a planned routine or if it was as simple as “get it in the middle and go for it” type of stuff but it worked and Gabriel was at the front of it, managing to put us in a good position early on to feel confident. It didn’t take long for him to do almost the exact same thing as the first goal and got a head to another ball whipped in from the corner but was headed towards Dean Henderson and then fumbled into the net. All in the space of 37 minutes Gabriel managed to get Arsenal in a position where they could settle and then look to dominate.

A lot of credit must be given to the corner kick takers, Rice and Saka. Both whipping perfect balls into the right areas for their teammates to try take advantage of. For me, set pieces have been a big missing factor for us this season and without a proper out and out number 9 who’s a goal poacher, set pieces become more important and become an easier way to try get a goal.

Nicolas Jover, who was a former Manchester City set piece specialist, has been great since joining Arsenal. I think him, and Arteta have made a clear plan to focus and work of our set pieces for the second half of this season and if the weekend is anything to go by, it seems to be working perfectly.

What’s your thoughts Gooners?

Daisy Mae

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Tags Gabriel Nicholas Jover


  1. I’m glad we have got the FA Cup and League Cup out of the way early so we can focus on the “Set Piece Kings” trophy 🏆

  2. It’s great we are the best at set pieces. it’s a weapon. I can’t remember Sam Allaryce or Tony Pulis winning the Prem or CL. Set pieces are a great way to score, but we need way more than that. Plus, i didn’t want us to be known as the set piece specialist. Leave that to the two cloggers above. Let get our game sorted. Or we will become a joke.

      1. Yes they were. Two were when the game was over and proved very little. Both Martinelli goals were identical and poor from Palace. But I am looking forwards to a change in our overall attacking play. We are and have been far too over reliant on set pieces because we cant create. Palace was a good game straight after the break. Like i said, one swallow. But plenty of games to show improvement in our attacking play.

        1. Lamenting and whining doesn’t win you anything in life either, when Arsenal loses, you complain, when Arsenal wins, you still complain. What must Arsenal do to make you happy Reggie?

  3. Trossard really deserves a great deal of credit with the two goals from corners. He is the smallest player on the pitch, yet he effectively blocked Joachim Andersen (6’4″) on both corners as a major factor in Gabriel being able to get free enough to score each of the goals. This guy is tough, hard working, technically talented, and a very intelligent player. Great game Leandro!

    1. BB, yes it does seem strange that tiny though determined Trossard could ACTUALLY BLOCK huge Andersen.

      If I were Hodgeson, I would be asking HOW he let himself be blocked so effectively by a mere lightweight.

  4. Arsenal increased physicality is bearing fruits by now scoring goals through set pieces.

    The gunners are a fairly tall team now, Magalhaes, Rice and the big German are a threat from from dead ball situation but so too are, Saliba, Ben White and Tomiyasu.

    Our attack has not been at it’s most this campaign, but the increased threat from set pieces has help off set that inconsistency and while penalties are categorized separately from set piece goals, it is note Worthing too, that Arsenal has scored all six of the spot kicks this term and that with several different takers, if you ask me.

    This robustness from dead ball situation is not a trait typically associated with us, but its another area where the big German and others has contributed significantly and is quietly making a difference.
    One major factor fans above and pundits alike fail to observe, our improvement on dead ball works both ways as it shows how well we are in defending those situations as well as attacking them.

    1. YES, at least we ARE in defence and midfield.

      But most of our forwards are either skinny or short or both. I guess you are far too young to remember the days of Adams, Bould and co.

      All BIG STRONG AND FIERCE WARRIORS. And back then we had BIG players right across the team And even smaller ones. like Winterburn and Dixon were FIERCE WARRIORS WHO TOOK NO PRISONERS.

      Your point is well made though about the importance of strength and height, not just height alone though, as in your so called “big German”.

      We had only TWO small players in our Invincibles, among many giants and six foot plus players. They were Freddie and Cole.

  5. Let’s not get too carried away given the quality of the opposition on the day. One swallow does not a summer make. Arsenal needs consistency.

    1. At least allow us to enjoy the win before showering us with some negativity, I remember vividly when Arsenal can easily drop points against an extremely poor team, now Arsenal put 5 past Palace we should be mourning I guess.

      The negativity in this website is becoming so draining.

    2. Yes agree Ozzie. We all agree, it was a great win. Previous to this 4 points from 15 was dire. This is 3 points and very welcome but as you say, some of us will put it in perspective and some will say, all sorted now. Forest next and another chance for an easy win. Lets see how we get on inbthe next 5 games and improve on the previous 5.

  6. Magalhaes has scored 12 goals from 115 league appearances as a CB! It’s a great achievement for a defender

    I bet Arsenal got the most corners in EPL as well, because of their wing-play. Arsenal are excellent at scoring from corner situation and they should improve their set-piece capabilities

    This is why a dead-ball specialist like Douglas Luiz is essential to win a major trophy next season

  7. Some fans here can be really funny. Because we scored two goals through corner kicks, we are now set piece kings. What happens to free kicks? Perhaps, the team will go to Saudi Arabia to practice how to score from free kicks. Please, spare us this trash and tell the coaching staff to teach them how to convert chances to goals now it’s obvious we can’t get a new goal scoring striker this transfer window. Better still, find something meaningful to do with your time.

  8. and some like you are pathetic. We have been one of the best teams in set pieces for the last 2 seasons. Maybe your brain lack the capability to comprehend it but ours don’t.

    1. The set piece situation is great but relying on that as you main weapon, to break teams down, that we find hard, is not going to get us far. Its nit the set pieces that need sorting, its the build up play and tactics, when our plan A isn’t working.

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