Burnley’s far post corner techniques

Ahmed Walid
5 min readNov 28, 2019

A well drilled 4–4–2 with two big men upfront. You probably knew the team without giving any other hints. It’s Sean Dyche’s Burnley.

The Clarets have an identity and a style of play that despite its simplicity takes enormous amount of work to perfect. The defensive duo of James Tarkowski and Ben Mee have always topped the chart of blocks in the Premier League and offensively it’s been a mix of aerial dominance from the front two of Ashley Barnes and Chris wood, in addition to excellent wing play from the wingers.

Another offensive weapon for Burnley is their set pieces, and this season they have fully utilized it with four out of their five wins coming exclusively from set piece goals.

Obviously having 6 feet high giants helps but it’s not only about putting it in the mixer. Burnley have different set piece techniques that they use to perfection. Far post corner kicks is one of those, and here we are going to tackle that.

In the game against Everton Dyche’s team showcased the first variation of the far post corner technique. This variation mainly consists of two blockers and a runner towards the far post.

The two blockers here are Ashley Barnes and James Tarkowski. Barnes’ role is to block Jordan Pickford from going out to collect the ball, and Tarkowski‘s is to block the two Everton defenders nearby to enable the runner, Jeff Hendrick, for a free far post run.

As planned the corner is played high and towards the far post to deny Pickford the chance of collecting the ball from the air.

At the far post, Hendrick was in position but his shot was saved by Pickford.

The below snippet showcases a different angle where Tarkowski’s role is clearer. Blocking two Everton defenders to free Hendrick.

In the first attempt they failed to score, but in the second half it worked. Barnes is still annoying Pickford, Tarkowski ready to do the blocking, while Hendrick out of the screen is making the planned run.

Again, Westwood crosses it high and towards the far post with Hendrick making the run.

This time Hendrick manages to strike it into the back of the net to give Burnley the lead.

A different camera angle shows Burnley’s setup. The near post is free, Barnes is disturbing Pickford and Hendrick is in place to make the run towards the far post.

The top view also shows the space Burnley are freeing towards the far post with Tarkowski blocking the Everton players from back-peddling into that area.

The second variation of the far post corner technique is more of a pinball. This variation consists of one blocker, a far post run, and a fake run inside.

The goal-keeper blocker is as always Barnes. Tarkowski now fakes a run inside then goes to the back post rather than being a blocker. The far post runner here is Mee but his role is to set up Barnes rather than scoring himself.

The corner as practiced is played high and towards the far post. Tarkowski’s fake run gives him an edge over Declan Rice. The main difference in this variation is that the players at the far post (Mee and Tarkowski) are used to set up another player, the goal-keeper blocker in Barnes.

As the ball is reaching the far post, Barnes drops off West Ham’s keeper Roberto and frees himself. Now, the striker is in the perfect position and he opens the scoring from this corner routine.

Take two was in the second half, and the three aforementioned players are all in their positions for the second variation.

The routine wasn’t finished because as Roberto was trying to punch the high ball he fumbled it into his own net. A combination of fear from the far post threat and Barnes breathing down his neck made him take that decision, and it ended badly as it meant 3–0 to Burnley.

The alternative camera angle also shows the setup. Tarkowski making the fake run inside with Barnes disturbing Roberto.

The third variation is simply a tweaked one of the second variation. The far post runner (Mee) now makes the run towards the near post, and the fake runner (Tarkowski) makes a direct run towards the far post.

Tarkowski as in the second variation heads it back towards the six yard box.

Wood then collects the ball and smashes it into the net.

It wasn’t only in the games they have won. Against Chelsea there were two clear chances for Barnes originating from a far post set piece technique, one of them was the second variation.

It’s easy to just place the ball in the box when you have the type of players Burnley have, but what really gives them an edge is how they set up to enable their height advantage.

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