The great (overblown) corner debate

courtesy of RFC

written by – Rangers Report

Back in January, I published a study looking at a collection of Rangers’ corner kicks.  Of the 115 corners tracked, 40% were traditional balls into the box, while the other 60% were either short or played along the ground into the box.

The results:

Short corners led to a shot 35% of the time & the team maintained possession in the final third for an average of 12.7 seconds.

Crosses into the box led to a shot 24% of the time & an average of 7.6 seconds of possession in the final third.  The time the ball flew in the air counted towards that time.

Balls along the ground into the penalty area led to a shot 80% of the time & an average of 10.7 seconds in the final third.  Obviously this was a much smaller sample size but a very effective tactic when deployed.

It can be assumed that Mark Warburton prefers for his team to play the ball short as a means of maintaining possession in the final third & ultimately that should create better scoring chances.

Mark Warburton

Today, I got a request on Twitter to revisit this study.

After the previous study, I stopped tracking each corner but I do have tracked data on each of Rangers shots for the past few months so I went back to see what I could find.

The study includes 14 matches in 2016 (both league & cup competitions) & in those games Rangers had 164 corners.

Here are the results (this time I grouped the corners by: traditional crosses into the box & then new wave corners (short corners or balls played along the ground into the box).

Of Rangers’ 244 shots in the study:

  • 15% came from corner kicks
  • 8% from traditional corners
  • 7% from new wave corners
  • 23% of Rangers corners led to shots

Of Rangers 31 goals from the games included in the study:

  • 19% came from corner kicks
  • 9.6% came from traditional corners
  • 9.6% from short corners

Quality chances?

  • 45% of shots from traditional corners were on target & 15% of those shots were goals
  • 59% of shots from new wave corners were on target & 18% of those shots were goals

Further reading:  Michael Caley published results from this study of 20,000 corners back in 2015 that can help add some context to the discussion.

I’d be curious to hear from both sides of the ‘great corners debate’ on what they see in these stats.

You can follow Rangers Report on Twitter @TheGersReport

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