Chelsea need to ‘flatten the area around the corner flag’ and add more grass to provide more goals from corners, according to ex-winger, Pat Nevin.
The Blues had 13 corners during their 1-1 draw with Wolves on Sunday, although only two of them resulted in an effort on goal – in fact, just six of their last 31 corners at Stamford Bridge have resulted in a shot.
Nevin’s corner solution: five key things to know…
- Chelsea had 13 corners during their recent 1-1 draw with Wolves.
- Only two of them resulted in a chance for the Blues.
- Just six of Chelsea’s last 31 corners at Stamford Bridge have resulted in an effort at goal.
- Pat Nevin believes the area around the corner flag needs ‘flattening off’ to make corners easier to take.
- The Scot thinks this ‘marginal gain could be the difference between Europa League and Champions League’.
But Nevin believes he has found the solution to Chelsea’s problem in this regard, feeling Sarri’s side could add a couple of goals per season to their game as a result.
“One marginal gain we could make in my opinion is to improve our corner-kick delivery,” he wrote in his column for Chelsea’s official website.
“The players have to run up a hill, the run-up is too short, the plastic surface goes right to the line and as such your planted foot is half on grass and half on the synthetic surface. If you were devising a method of making corner-taking more difficult, this is exactly what you would do!
“Maybe adding a step, as they do at some clubs, would make it even harder, but you get the point. Even so the players can all ‘dolly’ a ball in there quite easily, but if you don’t hit it with precision and pace, the modern keeper will almost certainly come and collect it.
“If we could find a way to flatten off this area around the corner flag and grass it, it could add a few more goals per season. Then opposition might benefit too, but not as much as us because we always get more corners than they do at home, it was 11-0 in that department at the weekend. Those extra few goals that would be created and that marginal gain might just be the difference between Europa League and Champions League.”
Chelsea’s draw with Wolves leaves them in sixth place in the Premier League, just three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.
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“He has the ability like Eden”
One player receiving increasing calls to be added into the Chelsea starting XI is England U19 starlet, Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The 18-year-old winger has struggled for game-time domestically but has made seven appearances in the Europa League this season, starting three of them.
During that time, Hudson-Odoi has successfully completed 26 dribbles and it’s this kind of contribution that has made Nevin the latest to compare him to Chelsea talisman, Eden Hazard.
“I watch Callum trying to learn this as he goes along and he realising how much harder it is against better teams, with better players and better-organised systems,” he added.
“He has the ability like Eden to beat anyone, but he is much more dangerous receiving it further up field.
“When he did get it in the right area he put in some wicked crosses. When he didn’t he got caught on the ball a few times and Wolves were able to break dangerously.”
Chelsea travel to Dynamo Kyiv on Thursday for their Europa League round-of-16 second leg.