Southampton: Saints duo show off superb free-kick skills in training

Southampton players and staff are now staying away from their Staplewood training ground with the Premier League now suspended until at least early May.

However, that didn’t stop Saints duo James Ward-Prowse and Stuart Armstrong showcasing their set-piece skills on Monday.

Both players were practising their direct free-kick deliveries with the aid of a net that covered all of the goal apart from the four corners.

Ward-Prowse is first to try and find the top left opening, and finds it in typical style – much like we’ve seen from him in competitive Saints matches on numerous occasions.

Armstrong then has a go at finding the top corner on the right and does just that before wheeling away in celebration.

Ward-Prowse is the main set-piece taker for Saints and is also a reliable, calm head when it comes to taking penalties too.

This video must suggest that Armstrong is close in the pecking order though.

More recent Premier League games have seen Ward-Prowse and Ryan Bertrand sharing the responsibilities given that they both provide an angle from each side being right and left-footed respectively.

Ralph Hasenhuttl therefore has the option of in-swinging and out-swinging corners too, but it will be interesting to see if Armstrong is ever thrown into the equation too.

The Scotland international has showcased his ability to deliver a dead ball in the past – most notably with goals for Celtic against Inverness and for Scotland against San Marino more recently.

He may become very useful if Saints feel they can work on special set-piece routines that involve three or four players.

For these to work, they need to be worked on meticulously and used in the right instances. Saints seem to have a intelligent group capable of invention though and could use a free-kick routine to good effect perhaps.

One former Saints manager who always prepared his teams with a special routine up his sleeve was Nigel Adkins.

One goal that springs to mind after a cleverly worked free-kick was during a Championship win over Peterborough – four players working a simple crossing situation from which Richard Chaplow tapped home from close-range.

Next: Saints legend showed off skills in stay at home challenge
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