Vincent Kompany insisted that Arsenal are among the best in the Premier League when it comes to set-pieces after they put his Burnley side to the sword on Saturday.
Kompany’s struggling side fell to a 3-1 defeat at the Emirates courtesy of goals from Leandro Trossard, William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko, with two of those strikes coming from set-plays – an element of Arsenal’s game which was recently criticised by Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville.
Speaking after the Newcastle match last week, he also hit out at the touchline behaviour of Nicolas Jover: Arsenal’s set-piece coach. Neville said: “It was driving me crazy, The set-piece coach down here [Jover], he was doing my head in as well.”
“He was screaming on like crazy like he was the manager. I’m not sure that helps. He’s screaming on at Trossard who was taking the set-pieces… sit down, he knows what to do, you’ve gone through it in the week, it’s up on the board in the dressing room before the game, and you’ve told him three, four times.
“To me it felt like he was putting more pressure on Trossard taking the corners, which, to be fair, Trossard didn’t handle because his corners were appalling.”
While Neville was unimpressed with Jover and Arsenal’s set-plays at St. James’ Park last week, Kompany was quick to commend the quality work the Gunners did from deadball situations against his side.
He said: “Even against a top side, I think it’s something that will make us even sharper, even more aware of the threat of the level of this league. I have to give credit to Arsenal as well, it’s not a coincidence.
“These teams that have high possession and play around your box, they create set pieces because of it, dangerous set plays too. You have to deal with them but it’s one of the best teams in the league at doing that. Let’s not forget they are the best team on set plays, I think.
“They keep testing you. If it’s not through the middle or through the shots they have on target, it’s through set plays. The best will test you in every way and for us it’s just a reminder of staying sharp and alive on everything.”