Talking Tactics

Early-season lessons: Spurs the set-piece specialists

By Adrian Clarke 20 Nov 2022
Son Heung-min, Spurs

Adrian Clarke says summer appointment of coach Gianni Vio is providing profitable goal returns

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With the Premier League paused for the FIFA World Cup 2022, Adrian Clarke reflects on notable tactical changes in the season so far.

Here he looks at how Tottenham Hotspur are a team transformed this season.


The appointment of Gianni Vio as Spurs' first ever specialist set-piece coach last summer has seen a tremendous impact across the opening part of 2022/23.

Vio is a renowned expert in this field and Antonio Conte's side have improved from dead-ball situations at both ends of the pitch.

Spurs set-pieces goals comparison
  21/22 PL rank 22/23 PL rank
Goals scored 9 14th 10 1st
Goals conceded 11 8th= 2 3rd=
Goal difference -2 - 8 -

Vio's vast knowledge of set-piece routines, coupled with his work on the training ground, has helped Spurs score 10 goals from corners and wide free-kicks so far this season.

That is two more than they managed in the entire 2021/22 campaign.

Davies scores v AFC Bournemouth

At the other end of the pitch, Vio has also tightened up their marking set-up. Conte's men have leaked just two set-piece goals since the campaign started.

One of Spurs' main problem areas from last season appears to have been fixed.

Also in this series

Part 1: Newcastle the press masters
Part 2: Arsenal bursting with creativity

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