Are Direct Free-kicks a waste?

    Nick Melia
    Reads
    Comments
    Shares
    Comments
    Your team has a free kick just outside the area, 90 minutes have gone. You are currently drawing 2-2 and you need the 3 points. You have Pirlo, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Ibrahimovic standing over the ball. Most people are waiting in expectation. But in reality, they shouldn't get their hopes up at all.

    All season, the combined trio of so called 'free kick specialists' have only scored 4 goals in 113 attempts - a measly 3 and a half percent of the time. 
    Even though Seb Larsson (pictured) has a 30% conversion rate - 3 out of 10 attempts hit the back of the net - in reality very few attempts do end up making it to the scoreboard.

    So what are the other choices? 

    You could, as always, tee up another player in a better position, or whip the ball into the box. However you are statistically better off in just re-cycling the ball and attempting to attack conventionally, especially if you are right on the edge of the box. It should all be on where the ball is placed.

    If you are just 24-28 yards from goal, you are actually in a better position to score. Tactics are often overlooked, i.e dummy runs from defenders, adding to the wall to block off the keeper's view. These are almost as important as the free kick taker themselves - or is it that Ronaldo isn't even that good with a dead ball?