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CHRIS SUTTON: West Ham is the Premier League set-piece specialist

CHRIS SUTTON: West Ham are the Premier League set-piece specialists … opponents foolish enough to allow them dead-ball opportunities will be punished, and Spurs paid the ultimate price.

  • David Moyes’ West Ham team is the set pieces specialist right now
  • Since the start of last season, they have scored on 21 set pieces in the league.
  • Tottenham paid the maximum price when Michail Antonio scored from the corner


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West Ham are the set pieces specialists in the game right now.

Since the start of last season, he has scored in 21 such situations in the Premier League, more than any other team.

Opponents foolish enough to gift them the opportunity to shoot a ball from a set piece run the risk of being punished, as Tottenham were on Sunday.

David Moyes' West Ham is now the Premier League set-piece specialist

David Moyes’ West Ham is the Premier League set pieces specialist right now

Managers work tirelessly on set plays on training ground. They try to come up with creative routines by telling their players to perform certain moves.

Watch Sunday’s winning goal and you’ll see Declan Rice make a distracted dash to the near post as the ball flies behind him toward Michail Antonio.

It was exactly the same for the West Ham winner at Everton last week. Height helps, obviously, but there are two big requirements when it comes to being prolific on set pieces.

One is the quality of delivery. You need someone who can hit the correct area with rhythm and precision. West Ham has that with Aaron Cresswell.

Michail Antonio scored the only goal of the game against Tottenham and came from a corner

Michail Antonio scored the only goal of the game against Tottenham and came from a corner

Michail Antonio scored the only goal of the game against Tottenham, and it came from a corner

Antonio celebrates scoring the winning goal in West Ham's win against Tottenham

Antonio celebrates scoring the winning goal in West Ham's win against Tottenham

Antonio celebrates scoring the winning goal in West Ham’s win against Tottenham

The other great need are players who can read the flight of the ball.

West Ham has that in abundance with Antonio, Tomas Soucek, Angelo Ogbonna, Kurt Zouma, Craig Dawson and more knowing how to find Cresswell crosses.

Looking at Antonio now, there is a strong case for England to fail a trick by not making sure he was theirs. He’s in the shape of his life, but now he belongs to Jamaica, unfortunately.

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