The long arm of Delap

January 27, 2009

Something strange is happening in English football. Stoke City, one of the less fashionable teams in the Premier League, have started a trend that has swept down through most levels of the game.

Rory Delap is the man responsible, with his long throws directly involved in seven of Stoke’s first 13 goals of this season, scored between August 16 and November 1.

The tactic has certainly been copied at Sunday League level — I can vouch for that as a goalkeeper in the West Fulham League — yet for some reason top-level clubs haven’t followed suit.

I can’t imagine Arsene Wenger employing such tactics, for it wouldn’t fit well with his beautiful football ethos, but last year Chelsea’s Luiz Felipe Scolari openly declared his love for the Stoke man’s talent.

So why are other teams hesitant to try it out?

Perhaps it’s simply that they don’t have players who can propel the ball the way Delap does. Delap was, after all, regularly throwing javelins 40 metres as a teenager.

At the very least he should have a job in coaching the art of the long throw once his playing days are over. If that doesn’t appeal to him, then he should do a tour of Sunday league grounds to see the havoc he has wreaked nationwide. Might bring a tear to his eye.

PHOTO: Stoke City’s Rory Delap takes a throw-in against Chelsea during their Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, Jan. 17, 2009. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez


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[…] Source: Tom Pilcher […]

Posted by Soccer Camps » Blog Archive » The long arm of Delap | Report as abusive

Hi Tom. Haven’t clubs in the Premier League worked out to deal with the throw-ins now? Maybe that’s why others aren’t copying him.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

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Posted by The long arm of Delap – Everything related to European Football | Report as abusive

If other teams had someone who could throw the ball like that of course they’d use the long throw.
You say that Stoke haven’t scored that many goals since his weapon was detected, but it’s amazing how many they scored to begin with.
It’s certainly more effective at lower levels, where keepers are less certain about how to deal with the throw-ins.
All the same, it remains a very potent threat for Stoke, and as the season reaches the business end and all but seven or so sides find themselves in the relegation scrap, don’t be surprised to see teams come unstuck when Delap unleashes the beast.

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