Arsenal has become formidable from corners thanks to Nicolas Jover.
The Match of the Day panel seems to have discovered Arsenal’s set-piece signals, with captain Martin Odegaard—and his socks—seeming to be the key to the routines.
With 12 goals this season, more than any other team in the division, the Gunners have emerged as the Premier League’s most potent team when it comes to offensive corners and free kicks thanks to set-piece coach Nicolas Jover’s strategies.
Just over 28% of Arsenal’s goals this season have come from set pieces, and they scored two more against Crystal Palace on Saturday thanks to two well-executed corners that were headed in by centre defender Gabriel Magalhaes.
Even though Jover commands from the touchline, he has hinted in the past that the players themselves provide the signs regarding which routine to employ, and it seems Odegaard may be the key.
On Saturday’s episode of Match of the Day, host Alex Scott disclosed that the pundits had been “playing detective.” Ashley Williams was certain that Odegaard’s unconventional actions—such as occasionally rolling up his socks and kicking the ground—were a signal to his teammates.
Williams clarified, “There’s always a trigger for what the movement’s going to be.” Whether it’s a front-post corner or a back-post corner, we can tell they have worked on it.
If you watch Odegaard closely, we think that he might be giving the corner taker a signal—perhaps because we have too much time on our hands.
The panellists for Match of the Day think they have figured out Arsenal’s covert set-piece signals.
The Match of the Day panel thinks they have figured out Arsenal’s covert set-piece cues. but does a distinct action before to a back-post corner. (Image: BBC)
At every corner, he remains in the same spot and plays with his socks. We search for a trigger since it has been addressed.
They are moving in unison, either towards the front or the back of the post.
He is playing with his socks in the same way in every film that we watch here. Yes, it could just be a coincidence.
This one is intriguing since it’s a front-post corner and he uses his socks in a rather unconventional way.
I realize that we might be striving for an impossibility, but if he is consistently present and actively using his socks, it is a remarkable coincidence.
We have been attempting to take a look because, as I believe Nicolas Jover stated, they have signals on which corner they are working. We’ve seen Odegaard, and he’s hinted that it’s someone on the edge of the box.
However, fellow pundit Alan Shearer expressed skepticism towards the theory, joking that “perhaps his socks were a bit too big for him.”