Set piece plays are an essential aspect of the game. If you are unable to break down a particularly sturdy defence, a set piece may be all you need to pry open the defence. Hell, you can win games by making sure your offensive set pieces are good. Just look at Rehhagel’s Greece, in the knock-out stages of the 2004 European Championships, they scored some crucial goals from set pieces.
In the past, I have made several posts on set pieces and I published a very successful routine by @thefmveteran. I’m not knocking those approaches and I still stand by them, but part of me is always looking for room to improve on the setup I am using. Unfortunately, the new patch is also forcing me to change my ways, as the previous routines have lost their effectiveness. Whilst I really do realise perfection is nigh impossible to achieve, chasing it relentlessly will improve the chances of being excellent. Just being good just won’t do.
This focus on improvement is easy for set pieces as set plays, by their premeditated nature, offer a relatively consistent level of defensive and attacking opportunity and by looking at the effectiveness of teams against a variety of different opponents, we may be able to further improve upon the setup I described earlier. In this blog post, I’m to come up with a routine that works efficiently in the latest 16.3 patch.
Does it work?
This is the first and most important question. I can rant on and on about how construed the concept is, but all everyone wants to know is, does it actually work? You be the judge of that.
I have tested the routine in five games and scored five direct corner goals, plus one goal with a long bullet-throw (which means the game reverts back to your corner settings). We also hit the woodwork a few times and bagged the odd goal from recycled possession. All in all, that sounds pretty good and as you can see above, looks pretty good as well.
How it actually works
The basic setup is quite unlike the previous corner exploit we posted. It’s not using a glitch of sorts or hammering the ball towards the first post. The effectiveness is in its versatility. The ball is lumped into the penalty area and with so many players crowding the box, there is always someone open to hit the ball. The lurking player ensures possession recycling and one player stays back if needed to snuff out counter-attacks. Not pretty and you’d get murdered versus human opposition, but quite effective against the more rigid AI because of the unpredictable nature of the setup and the many options it offers.
I haven’t quite tested the difference between inswinging or outswinging corners, but I do have a designated corner-taker, who is always kept outside of the penalty area, to ensure a maximum spread of bodies across the box. It’s not fancy, it’s not sophisticated, but it’s damn effective.
A good corner taker is a must
The positioning of the players at corners is just one element of the total sum that makes up a succesful corner-routine. Besides placing your players in key positions within the oppositions penalty area, you are also going to need some sort of delivery system, basically a player who can actually kick the ball quite accurately towards one your own men in the penalty area. For me, a good corner taker should possess the following attributes:
- Anticipation; (how accurately can said player predict the movement of other players);
- Corners; (how accurately can said player deliver the ball to its intended destination);
- Composure; (how well can said player perform under pressure);
- Decisions; (will said player make the right call under the circumstances he is in);
- Vision; (how many options can said player distinguish on the pitch).
When I am looking for someone to take the corners, these are the attributes I look for.