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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.