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[Albion] Surely we must have some decent free kick takers in this squad?



edna krabappel

Well-known member
NSC Licker Extraordinaire
Jul 7, 2003
47,181
Once again, I'm blown away by the fact that, upon being awarded a free kick in a decent attacking position, the players on the pitch (and presumably the coaching staff) are happy to stand back and watch while Lewis Dunk lines it up. Happened on Thursday, happened again today, and has happened on various other occasions over the years. And I genuinely have no idea why.

He once pea-rolled one into the Liverpool net while Alisson was busy sorting out a wall and didn't realise the whistle had gone, and he managed to toe poke one past the West Brom keeper at the Hawthorns, only to be thwarted by a typically abysmal piece of Lee Mason refereeing. But neither of these suggest he's some kind of free-kick maestro. Opponents do not put their hands on their heads despairingly at the very concession of a free kick, fearing a Cristiano Ronaldo special. Or even a James Ward-Prowse or a Kieran Trippier. I just don't understand how we end up concluding that Dunk is the man.

Is he somehow incredible at taking free kicks in training? Is he that much of an ego merchant that nobody dares to say "No thanks, skipper"? I'd be stunned if that was the case, as he certainly doesn't come across as the Big I Am type. So how are we in this position? I know you can take goals conceded back to the Nth degree if you really want to. But the fact is, we had a free kick in a promising location today. Even if you'd given it to somebody who'd curled it up and over the wall and missed the goal by ten feet, it would have been a goal kick, we'd have trotted back into position, and Liverpool wouldn't have been able to counter. Instead, Dunk punts it hopelessly straight into the wall again, it eventually bounces to a Liverpool player, and they break upfield, ultimately resulting in the defensive clusterfuck that created their equaliser. Surely, SURELY you'd back March, Groß, Adingra, Mitoma, Joâo Pedro...in fact any number of players to do better than Dunk did. He did the same towards the end in Marseilles, biffing it into the wall and putting us back under pressure.

It's a total and utter mystery to me that they all stand there and go "Yeah, this one's yours, skip". It's painfully reminiscent of when Roy Hodgson decided his favoured corner taker was Harry Kane.

Love you, Lewis, but please leave the free kicks to somebody else.
 

dazzer6666

Well-known member
NSC Licker Extraordinaire
Mar 27, 2013
51,561
Burgess Hill
Once again, I'm blown away by the fact that, upon being awarded a free kick in a decent attacking position, the players on the pitch (and presumably the coaching staff) are happy to stand back and watch while Lewis Dunk lines it up. Happened on Thursday, happened again today, and has happened on various other occasions over the years. And I genuinely have no idea why.

He once pea-rolled one into the Liverpool net while Alisson was busy sorting out a wall and didn't realise the whistle had gone, and he managed to toe poke one past the West Brom keeper at the Hawthorns, only to be thwarted by a typically abysmal piece of Lee Mason refereeing. But neither of these suggest he's some kind of free-kick maestro. Opponents do not put their hands on their heads despairingly at the very concession of a free kick, fearing a Cristiano Ronaldo special. Or even a James Ward-Prowse or a Kieran Trippier. I just don't understand how we end up concluding that Dunk is the man.

Is he somehow incredible at taking free kicks in training? Is he that much of an ego merchant that nobody dares to say "No thanks, skipper"? I'd be stunned if that was the case, as he certainly doesn't come across as the Big I Am type. So how are we in this position? I know you can take goals conceded back to the Nth degree if you really want to. But the fact is, we had a free kick in a promising location today. Even if you'd given it to somebody who'd curled it up and over the wall and missed the goal by ten feet, it would have been a goal kick, we'd have trotted back into position, and Liverpool wouldn't have been able to counter. Instead, Dunk punts it hopelessly straight into the wall again, it eventually bounces to a Liverpool player, and they break upfield, ultimately resulting in the defensive clusterfuck that created their equaliser. Surely, SURELY you'd back March, Groß, Adingra, Mitoma, Joâo Pedro...in fact any number of players to do better than Dunk did. He did the same towards the end in Marseilles, biffing it into the wall and putting us back under pressure.

It's a total and utter mystery to me that they all stand there and go "Yeah, this one's yours, skip". It's painfully reminiscent of when Roy Hodgson decided his favoured corner taker was Harry Kane.

Love you, Lewis, but please leave the free kicks to somebody else.
Clearly, otherwise he wouldn’t be taking them :laugh:
 

edna krabappel

Well-known member
NSC Licker Extraordinaire
Jul 7, 2003
47,181
Clearly, otherwise he wouldn’t be taking them :laugh:
I can only assume we are putting Buzz the kitman and Sandra from accounts in goal when practising free kicks in training then.
 

Seagull58

In the Algarve
Jan 31, 2012
7,033
Vilamoura, Portugal
As Toyah would say, "it's a mythtery". His technique is to hit it dead straight at the wall and hope that it magically parts. Was he Moses in a previous life?
Gross would certainly take a better direct free-kick and I'd be very surprised if Joao Pedro couldn't produce a better effort (he's only useless from inside 6 yards).
 

doogie004

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2008
6,408
wisborough green
Once again, I'm blown away by the fact that, upon being awarded a free kick in a decent attacking position, the players on the pitch (and presumably the coaching staff) are happy to stand back and watch while Lewis Dunk lines it up. Happened on Thursday, happened again today, and has happened on various other occasions over the years. And I genuinely have no idea why.

He once pea-rolled one into the Liverpool net while Alisson was busy sorting out a wall and didn't realise the whistle had gone, and he managed to toe poke one past the West Brom keeper at the Hawthorns, only to be thwarted by a typically abysmal piece of Lee Mason refereeing. But neither of these suggest he's some kind of free-kick maestro. Opponents do not put their hands on their heads despairingly at the very concession of a free kick, fearing a Cristiano Ronaldo special. Or even a James Ward-Prowse or a Kieran Trippier. I just don't understand how we end up concluding that Dunk is the man.

Is he somehow incredible at taking free kicks in training? Is he that much of an ego merchant that nobody dares to say "No thanks, skipper"? I'd be stunned if that was the case, as he certainly doesn't come across as the Big I Am type. So how are we in this position? I know you can take goals conceded back to the Nth degree if you really want to. But the fact is, we had a free kick in a promising location today. Even if you'd given it to somebody who'd curled it up and over the wall and missed the goal by ten feet, it would have been a goal kick, we'd have trotted back into position, and Liverpool wouldn't have been able to counter. Instead, Dunk punts it hopelessly straight into the wall again, it eventually bounces to a Liverpool player, and they break upfield, ultimately resulting in the defensive clusterfuck that created their equaliser. Surely, SURELY you'd back March, Groß, Adingra, Mitoma, Joâo Pedro...in fact any number of players to do better than Dunk did. He did the same towards the end in Marseilles, biffing it into the wall and putting us back under pressure.

It's a total and utter mystery to me that they all stand there and go "Yeah, this one's yours, skip". It's painfully reminiscent of when Roy Hodgson decided his favoured corner taker was Harry Kane.

Love you, Lewis, but please leave the free kicks to somebody else.
Don’t really matter who takes our set pieces that remain an absolute embarrassment
 


Herr Tubthumper

Well-known member
NSC Licker Extraordinaire
Jul 11, 2003
58,919
The Fatherland
I can only assume we are putting Buzz the kitman and Sandra from accounts in goal when practising free kicks in training then.
……or maybe Jason Steele?
 

Mustafa II

Well-known member
Oct 14, 2022
1,240
Hove
This problem would have been comprehensively studied both on and off the training pitch.

For whatever reason, Dunk was decided to be our best player to take the shot in those particular scenarios today. The reason is likely to be success rate in training, or perhaps there was a flaw identified in the opposition's defending of set pieces that we tried to exploit.

Either way, Dunk's taking of freekicks has been studied, planned and practiced. It was not a decision Dunk made on a whim.

If he scored, which could have happened, this thread would not exist.
 


Sheebo

Well-known member
Jul 13, 2003
29,068
I can only assume we are putting Buzz the kitman and Sandra from accounts in goal when practising free kicks in training then.
That’s out of order - Sandra is not only a bloody good accountant, she played in goal for her school team in 1973-1978 and was always goalkeeper of the year.
 
Last edited:

Ike and Tina Burner

Well-known member
Mar 22, 2019
371
This problem would have been comprehensively studied both on and off the training pitch.

For whatever reason, Dunk was decided to be our best player to take the shot in those particular scenarios today. The reason is likely to be success rate in training, or perhaps there was a flaw identified in the opposition's defending of set pieces that we tried to exploit.

Either way, Dunk's taking of freekicks has been studied, planned and practiced. It was not a decision Dunk made on a whim.

If he scored, which could have happened, this thread would not exist.
I'm not sure I follow this logic. He didn't score. Because he's shit at free kicks and it's mental he's still taking them. If De Zerbi put him in goal and we conceded 20 you wouldn't say "it could have worked so don't criticise it".
 


edna krabappel

Well-known member
NSC Licker Extraordinaire
Jul 7, 2003
47,181
This problem would have been comprehensively studied both on and off the training pitch.

For whatever reason, Dunk was decided to be our best player to take the shot in those particular scenarios today. The reason is likely to be success rate in training, or perhaps there was a flaw identified in the opposition's defending of set pieces that we tried to exploit.

Either way, Dunk's taking of freekicks has been studied, planned and practiced. It was not a decision Dunk made on a whim.

If he scored, which could have happened, this thread would not exist.

But I'm not saying it because it's a one off. If it was, we'd all just laugh and move on. But there have been a few occasions when it's happened, and he never remotely looks like scoring. I just find it odd that a team which goes to such great lengths to try and avoid giving the ball away (we still haven't taken a single long goal kick this season) would choose an option which seems to offer no more than a 50/50 chance of retaining the ball.

Look, I think Dunk is a great player: I just cannot fathom what it is about his technique which makes anyone think he's a likely scorer from a dead ball situation.
 


edna krabappel

Well-known member
NSC Licker Extraordinaire
Jul 7, 2003
47,181


This is all very lovely, but in a match situation you tend to have these things called "defenders" and "goalkeepers" in the way (unless you're playing Manchester United), which is kind of the flaw in using that video to offer a coherent argument that Lewis is the new Roberto Carlos.
 

tstanbur

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2011
222
This is all very lovely, but in a match situation you tend to have these things called "defenders" and "goalkeepers" in the way (unless you're playing Manchester United), which is kind of the flaw in using that video to offer a coherent argument that Lewis is the new Roberto Carlos.
Apart from his last two, which admittedly have been awful, his previous efforts have all been pretty decent. He goes for the knuckle ball technique that Ronaldo perfected.

Assume he must be a master on the training ground at them.
 

Mustafa II

Well-known member
Oct 14, 2022
1,240
Hove
This is all very lovely, but in a match situation you tend to have these things called "defenders" and "goalkeepers" in the way (unless you're playing Manchester United), which is kind of the flaw in using that video to offer a coherent argument that Lewis is the new Roberto Carlos.

No, but I don't understand how fans don't seem to grasp that hours and hours of training go into everything that we do on the pitch.

It's all well and good saying Mitoma or whoever should be taking them - but what makes anyone think that he, or anyone else for that matter, would do a better job than Dunk?

We don't have a Ward-Prouse. RDZ and the coaching team would have given this problem a LOT of thought. Watching our best freekick takers, which includes Dunk, take freekicks in all kinds of scenarios over many, many hours.

Just because it hasn't worked (yet) in the 90 minutes that we get to see - give it time. RDZ may opt for another freekick taker in these scenarios in the future - or perhaps Dunk is genuinely the best we got.

Either way, hope he does score one eventually, and I'll bounce this one :D
 

portlock seagull

Why? Why us?
Jul 28, 2003
16,870
Maybe it’s a lot harder than many make it look? To get up over on target at pace enough to beat a top class keeper like Allison.
 


edna krabappel

Well-known member
NSC Licker Extraordinaire
Jul 7, 2003
47,181
No, but I don't understand how fans don't seem to grasp that hours and hours of training go into everything that we do on the pitch.

It's all well and good saying Mitoma or whoever should be taking them - but what makes anyone think that he, or anyone else for that matter, would do a better job than Dunk?

We don't have a Ward-Prouse. RDZ and the coaching team would have given this problem a LOT of thought. Watching our best freekick takers, which includes Dunk, take freekicks in all kinds of scenarios over many, many hours.

Just because it hasn't worked (yet) in the 90 minutes that we get to see - give it time. RDZ may opt for another freekick taker in these scenarios in the future - or perhaps Dunk is genuinely the best we got.

Either way, hope he does score one eventually, and I'll bounce this one :D
Look, I would love it if he did, and I will happily eat my hat if that happens.

It just seems odd that there doesn't seem to be a single player in the squad who could curl one- or smash it- into the top corner. Mac Allister used to take them, and I'd guess Enciso would fancy his chances if he was fit, but other than that, clearly nobody else is interested. Bizarre.
 

Seagull58

In the Algarve
Jan 31, 2012
7,033
Vilamoura, Portugal
Apart from his last two, which admittedly have been awful, his previous efforts have all been pretty decent. He goes for the knuckle ball technique that Ronaldo perfected.

Assume he must be a master on the training ground at them.
Ronaldo hardly scored any free kicks with his knuckle ball technique. Like Roberto Carlos, scoring with a great free kick every 5 years or so really doesn't mean you should be taking every direct free kick.
 

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