Set pieces have always been an important part of football. Especially corners can make or break a team. Corner routines are an important factor nowadays for most football clubs and they no longer can be ignored. Now that Football Manager 2016 has been out for some time everybody has been looking for a corner routine that actually works! I can proudly say that I’ve been able to make one that has given me a goal almost every game. So take a closer look at this article!
Since Football Manager 16 came out, I have played with a lot of clubs all at a different skill level. This way i could test a lot of different tactics aswell as corner routines. Eventually, I managed to find one that worked very well, after some serious and laborious testing with several teams. During these tests, I noticed that the opposing team strictly marks the six yard box and that most of their defenders don’t mark an opponent, instead opting for a zonal approach. This means that there is space on the edge of the box, which could be used to score goals from. Once I’ve placed one or two players near the edge of the box, it was clear to me that the AI didn’t agressively try to close them down once they got the ball. Hence my corner routine was born and goals were scored!
My corner setup is very easy. I want to score goals and I also want to use it defensively in making sure we don’t get nailed by our opponent via any counter attack. This means that I am keeping four or five man back in defense, two players roam outside the opponents box and only three are actually in the box.
My best cornerkick taker is appointed to take the corners and he needs to aim them at the penalty spot. At the edge of the box would be even better but that option is not there. Outside of the box, you need two players who are technically skilled and are capable of doing longshots. The three players in the box are tasked with luring players away from the near post and they also need to screen the opponents goalkeeper. This way once the player takes his long shot the success of scoring a goal is increased. With so many players behind the ball you will also be able to keep cycling ball possession after the corner fails. I’ve scored several times after a corner as my team kept the opponent pinnend down in their own box and cross after cross came in which eventually got scored by a player from my team.
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In this first clip the corner is being taken exactly how I want to see it. Christian Eriksen passes the ball to Mouse Dembélé who shoots very quickly and scores a beautiful goal. Also notice how much time Dembélé has before the opponents try to close him down.
This time the opponent does try to close Dembélé down but he manages to dribble into the box and score a goal. Okay, the goalkeeper makes an error but a goal is a goal!
Yet another nice goal from Dembélé and this clip exactly shows what I meant earlier. Look at the opponents defense, they are all covering three or four of my players inside the box. Only one defender tries (a bit) to put some pressure on Dembélé. Yet again, Dembélé can dribble into the box and scores straight down the middle of the goal.
Guido Merry – “Goddamn, what an effective tactic. It really shouldn’t be effective at all, but it really is. With only three players in the box, you’d expect the defenders to be much more aggressive in closing down any shooters from outside the box, but they aren’t, which is what makes this tactic so effective. Out of all the corner setups I have tested and created myself, this is the only one that consistently averages a goal a game so far.”