Monday, 4 May 2009

West Ham and Rory Delap

A football commentator at Sky recently said that no team has been able to deal with Rory Delap's long throws this season. It seems to me that West Ham did very well against it on Saturday. In an interview in the Guardian today, Rob Green explained the tactics employed by Zola and Clarke: "Everyone stood up to it and really took on board the information we were given" said Green. The article goes on to say: "The key to combating Stoke's dangerous long throws and set-piece deliveries, Zola and his assistant, Steve Clarke, had told them, was not to crowd the penalty area." Green added: "When we watched the videos, a lot of the time it was two or three of the opposition with one Stoke player, which didn't really make sense, it's better to have a clearer area and someone to head the ball... We went man-to-man and said 'We'll win the ball', and everyone today did that."

Green also gave an interview to John Wragg of the Daily Express: "The advantage of facing a long throw is they can't throw it straight in he net, whereas with a free kick they can. So you can afford to come off your line a little bit more and help the guys out. It's a massive part of Stoke's game. We took it on board what they had and knew what was coming. It was just a case of being organised."

Andy Wilkinson, Stoke's right-back, claimed after the game: "Green was more commanding than the other keepers who have tried to deal with Delap's throws. He came out and claimed a lot of them."

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