From crosses to counter attacks to set piece plays, there are countless ways for teams to score goals. But what could be a more direct and obvious way to score than from a dead ball situation? In this article, I would like to explore the significance of set piece plays from teams last season. How important were set piece plays in contributing to their goal tally and eventually, their standings in the league table?
To start off, let us have a look at the chances created from set pieces and goal assists from set pieces from all the teams in the 2011/2012 season.
(Note that goal assists from set piece plays is not included in chances created from set piece plays)
From Chart 1, we can see that Tottenham created the most chances from set pieces with 72 chances created. Stoke City, with their reputation as set-piece specialists, comes in second with 71. Newcastle, surprisingly, created the least amount of chances from set pieces (39).
Manchester City and Manchester United have amongst the lowest chances created from set pieces with 46 chances created and 45 chances created. There could be a few reasons for this. For one, it could mainly be because they like to take quick free kicks at times. Teams like these rather play the ball to feet and build up an attack and find the killer pass. Evidently, it is a more indirect and unpredictable way of playing. That being said, they both have one of the highest goal assists from set piece plays in the league, as seen from Chart 2. This shows that despite their low number of chances created from set plays, in reality, they make the most of their set piece plays. Unsurprisingly, Stoke has the most number of goal assists from set plays with 14. But as mentioned, they had to create 71 chances to get such a high number of set piece assists. So the question is, are teams that make the most of set piece situations the teams at the top of the table?
Next Page: Analysis of Chances Created per Goal Assist, Percentage of goals via Set Plays & the Conclusion