Arsenal fans are unhappy with the Premier League’s official social media account for ‘exposing’ their potent set-piece tactics.
The Gunners’ forwards, including the likes of Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard, have struggled to match last season’s attacking output, but their lack of goals has in part been offset by their newfound threat from corners and free-kicks.
Crystal Palace were the latest side to discover that Mikel Arteta’s title chasers have more than one string to their bow in last Saturday’s 5-0 defeat.
Arsenal had scored just once from open play in their previous four games, so it was with some relief that they opened the scoring early when Gabriel Magalhaes powered home Declan Rice’s corner.
The Brazil international was heavily involved in his side’s second goal when he diverted Bukayo Saka’s in-swinging corner into the net via the back of the unwitting Dean Henderson who had been blocked by Ben White.
Those goals took Arsenal’s tally from dead ball situations to 12 already this season with Gabriel’s the result of some clever play by Leandro Trossard, who created space for his teammate by making a run that prevented Joachim Andersen challenging for the ball.
Arsenal fans, however, were outraged that their cleverly orchestrated routines were scrutinised in such detail and alerting their rivals to the methods employed by their specialist set-piece coach Nicolas Jover.
One fan wrote on X: ‘I’m sorry but no other club gets analysed like this. Please shut up and leave us alone.’
Another said: ‘Call me paranoid but I never see another clubs set pieces analysed like this. So many articles. Back to the training pitch lads – use this in a positive way.’
‘They’re now declaring war in our set pieces… Which other team comes under this level of scrutiny? They never miss an opportunity,’ said another.
Jover was poached by Arsenal two years ago from Manchester City and he has clearly had a major impact in north London as confirmed by Saka.
‘We do a lot of work on set pieces,’ the Gunners winger told TNT Sports following the resounding win over the Eagles.
‘It’s the worst, it’s the worst! Nico, our set-piece coach, does a really good job though, he tries to make it fun and he’s enjoying it. What he’s doing is clearly working so we’ll have to continue doing it.’