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Defending Free Kicks & Making A Wall

It used to be that if you made a wall, you stood still with your hands over your balls, and hoped the ball wouldn't hit you.
Now players often move out of the way rendering  the wall quite useless.
Over the last few years more free kick takers have shot along the ground betting correctly that the wall will jump.
This weekend Pablo Fornals of West Ham lay on the ground to counter that possibility. What next? Several players laying on top of one another? Why not get six or seven players to lay on top of one another on the goal line?
If you were manager would you now take up or adapt the 'Fornals strategy?' It's not a bad idea, is it?

Comments

  • It used to be that if you made a wall, you stood still with your hands over your balls, and hoped the ball wouldn't hit you.
    Now players often move out of the way rendering  the wall quite useless.
    Over the last few years more free kick takers have shot along the ground betting correctly that the wall will jump.
    This weekend Pablo Fornals of West Ham lay on the ground to counter that possibility. What next? Several players laying on top of one another? Why not get six or seven players to lay on top of one another on the goal line?
    If you were manager would you now take up or adapt the 'Fornals strategy?' It's not a bad idea, is it?
    They're not jumping to get out of the way though, to be fair

    They jump to block the goal attempt curled over the wall

    I think I've seen that Fornals defending before last season, it seems a clever way to prevent the low shot
  • I sometimes think the wall can do more harm than good from a defending perspective. You quite often see the keeper leave himself partially unsighted by hedging his bets and standing behind the wall.  

    I wonder what the stats would be for a player just hitting dead balls at the goal with no wall and the keeper positioning himself accordingly?!?
  • Put Shaun Bartlett on the post.

    Always confused the opposition
  • edited October 26
    Put Shaun Bartlett on the post.

    Always confused the opposition
    Always made me laugh when he headed free kicks and corners off the line how commentators would say something along the lines of "Lucky for Charlton that Bartlett was there to clear it"............
  • I sometimes think the wall can do more harm than good from a defending perspective. You quite often see the keeper leave himself partially unsighted by hedging his bets and standing behind the wall.  

    I wonder what the stats would be for a player just hitting dead balls at the goal with no wall and the keeper positioning himself accordingly?!?
    I imagine it would be just as bad for the keeper. No wall would still mean about 15-18 players stood in front of him in a crowded box. I think the keeper would still have trouble seeing it.
  • I sometimes think the wall can do more harm than good from a defending perspective. You quite often see the keeper leave himself partially unsighted by hedging his bets and standing behind the wall.  

    I wonder what the stats would be for a player just hitting dead balls at the goal with no wall and the keeper positioning himself accordingly?!?
    That idea has been mooted many times. Beckham was asked about this in an interview in his Man Utd days. He responded that if the defending team didn't have a wall then he'd put one up himself to unsight the keeper. I have a feeling West Ham even tried this against Man Utd, and three Man Utd players formed a small wall directly between the keeper and the ball.
  • I sometimes think the wall can do more harm than good from a defending perspective. You quite often see the keeper leave himself partially unsighted by hedging his bets and standing behind the wall.  

    I wonder what the stats would be for a player just hitting dead balls at the goal with no wall and the keeper positioning himself accordingly?!?
    That idea has been mooted many times. Beckham was asked about this in an interview in his Man Utd days. He responded that if the defending team didn't have a wall then he'd put one up himself to unsight the keeper. I have a feeling West Ham even tried this against Man Utd, and three Man Utd players formed a small wall directly between the keeper and the ball.
    That doesn't sound so bad from a defending position as you would have less attackers in the box to worry about

  • It's a clever tactic until the free kick taker decides to aim for the prone defenders head.
  • free kick specialists around the opposition penalty area seem to be getting better and better and more accurate and dangerous. Might be a good idea for a couple of defenders to guard the post areas á la Bartlett ((:>)
  • The problem with guarding the post is you invite the attacking team to then block the keeper. Bartlett used to dash forward and backwards, but it only worked to a certain extent because it was just one player and teams didn't really (and still don't) guard the post(s) in that way. I can see having a player dash back to guard the post behind the wall, but if it became a regular occurrence, as a manager, I'd be telling a player or two of mine to get in the keepers face as soon as the defender is playing them onside.
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  • The problem with guarding the post is you invite the attacking team to then block the keeper. Bartlett used to dash forward and backwards, but it only worked to a certain extent because it was just one player and teams didn't really (and still don't) guard the post(s) in that way. I can see having a player dash back to guard the post behind the wall, but if it became a regular occurrence, as a manager, I'd be telling a player or two of mine to get in the keepers face as soon as the defender is playing them onside.
    good points
  • I've seen old footage where the defending side actually sets up the wall in two parts.  There is a two or three man gap in the middle to allow the keeper to see the ball at all times.

    Can't find any pictures at the moment, but I'll keep looking. 
  • I sometimes think the wall can do more harm than good from a defending perspective. You quite often see the keeper leave himself partially unsighted by hedging his bets and standing behind the wall.  

    I wonder what the stats would be for a player just hitting dead balls at the goal with no wall and the keeper positioning himself accordingly?!?
    That idea has been mooted many times. Beckham was asked about this in an interview in his Man Utd days. He responded that if the defending team didn't have a wall then he'd put one up himself to unsight the keeper. I have a feeling West Ham even tried this against Man Utd, and three Man Utd players formed a small wall directly between the keeper and the ball.
    It would be pretty easy to play them all offside
  • As the attacking side, the dark arts can be useful, although it does sometimes lead to handbags and bookings.

    As a more subtle example of the genre, the November 74 Palace v Charlton game on 'The Big Match Revisited' (available for another 21 days on the ITV Hub) featured Terry Venables' sly tug on Bob Curtis on the end of the Charlton wall. El Tel has always been a crafty operator.
  • edited October 26
    Curbishley was our manager for a long time and the only direct free kick goal scored against us was a bit of perfection by Thierry Henry. He had a policy of putting a player on the line. Under Curbs we spent a significant time in the top division where there was no shortage of top free kick takers, so I am surprised this stat has not been interrogated more. 
  • Curbishley was our manager for a long time and the only direct free kick goal scored against us was a bit of perfection by Thierry Henry. He had a policy of putting a player on the line. Under Curbs we spent a significant time in the top division where there was no shortage of top free kick takers, so I am surprised this stat has not been interrogated more. 
    Shearer also scored one against a Curbs team in the coldest FA cup replay ever up at St James'
  • I sometimes think the wall can do more harm than good from a defending perspective. You quite often see the keeper leave himself partially unsighted by hedging his bets and standing behind the wall.  

    I wonder what the stats would be for a player just hitting dead balls at the goal with no wall and the keeper positioning himself accordingly?!?
    That idea has been mooted many times. Beckham was asked about this in an interview in his Man Utd days. He responded that if the defending team didn't have a wall then he'd put one up himself to unsight the keeper. I have a feeling West Ham even tried this against Man Utd, and three Man Utd players formed a small wall directly between the keeper and the ball.
    I think it was man city that tried this against beckham could quite easily be wrong tho
  • edited October 27
    I've never understood why a defence doesn't set a wall up between 12 and 15 metres away from the free kick taker.

    The extra distance means the height and trajectory of the free kick needs to be altered to ensure the target is hit.

    Free kick takers practice for hours at getting the ball over a wall 10m away not 12m.
  • Addickted said:
    I've never understood why a defence doesn't set a wall up between 12 and 15 metres away from the free kick taker.

    The extra distance means the height and trajectory of the free kick needs to be altered to ensure the target is hit.

    Free kick takers practice for hours at getting the ball over a wall 10m away not 12m.
    Nah. If it's over the wall at 10m it's going to be further over the wall at 12m. Would make it easier. 
  • Leuth said:
    Addickted said:
    I've never understood why a defence doesn't set a wall up between 12 and 15 metres away from the free kick taker.

    The extra distance means the height and trajectory of the free kick needs to be altered to ensure the target is hit.

    Free kick takers practice for hours at getting the ball over a wall 10m away not 12m.
    Nah. If it's over the wall at 10m it's going to be further over the wall at 12m. Would make it easier. 
    Ah, but if you had a row of players sitting on the shoulders of a wall 12-15 metres away that would stop the free kick taker. 

    Hmm, maybe not.
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  • rina said:
    Curbishley was our manager for a long time and the only direct free kick goal scored against us was a bit of perfection by Thierry Henry. He had a policy of putting a player on the line. Under Curbs we spent a significant time in the top division where there was no shortage of top free kick takers, so I am surprised this stat has not been interrogated more. 
    Shearer also scored one against a Curbs team in the coldest FA cup replay ever up at St James'
    It sort of proves the point though - only two in how many years?
  • Am I the only one who keeps reading the title of this thread as defending free kicks and making a will ? ⚰️
  • Leuth said:
    Addickted said:
    I've never understood why a defence doesn't set a wall up between 12 and 15 metres away from the free kick taker.

    The extra distance means the height and trajectory of the free kick needs to be altered to ensure the target is hit.

    Free kick takers practice for hours at getting the ball over a wall 10m away not 12m.
    Nah. If it's over the wall at 10m it's going to be further over the wall at 12m. Would make it easier. 
    If your trajectory is at 3m high over 10m away to enable the ball to drop under the bar, then at 12m and 15m distance your shot would hit a jumping wall or not be able to get enough dip to go under the bar.

    Change the distance of the wall at every free kick.
  • Am I the only one who keeps reading the title of this thread as defending free kicks and making a will ? ⚰️
    You are not alone !

  • rina said:
    Curbishley was our manager for a long time and the only direct free kick goal scored against us was a bit of perfection by Thierry Henry. He had a policy of putting a player on the line. Under Curbs we spent a significant time in the top division where there was no shortage of top free kick takers, so I am surprised this stat has not been interrogated more. 
    Shearer also scored one against a Curbs team in the coldest FA cup replay ever up at St James'
    It sort of proves the point though - only two in how many years?
    it's an amazing record if it was only 2 scored against, especially with those 2 being Henry and Shearer
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