By Joe Ellis

12th May, 2022 | 3:40pm

Everton coach Paul Clements angered by set-piece problems v Watford

Everton laboured to a 0-0 draw away at Watford on Wednesday night (11 May) and there was one thing in particular that frustrated the coaching staff.

The Toffees scored from a set-piece at the weekend in their 2-1 win at Leicester and it proved to be a vital goal too from Mason Holgate but things were much different at Vicarage Road.

Assistant manager Paul Clement has been in charge of the Everton set-pieces in both attack and defence for a few weeks now but they were ineffective against the Hornets and he was not best pleased.

The Liverpool Echo pointed out that every set-piece that occurred throughout the game saw Clement rise from his seat and perch on the side of the pitch and he was visibly annoyed at Anthony Gordon and Demarai Gray on a number of occasions for their poor delivery into the box.

The difference

Set-pieces are sometimes a lost art in football with teams and coaches more interested in free-flowing passing play and attractive possession football.

But a good set-piece routine, whether from a corner or a free-kick, is far more difficult to defend against than a tippy-tappy attack of little penetration.

In the precarious position Everton finds themselves in, they need their dead-ball scenarios to be effective as much as possible and that was evidently not the case against Watford.

Clement is right to be annoyed too because the delivery is the most important element of any training ground move if it is to work.

Gordon and Gray aren’t renowned dead-ball specialists though and that is perhaps the biggest thing Frank Lampard needs to target in the summer so they are able to make the most of their advantageous aerial prowess although they have to secure their safety first which is getting ever closer thanks to Leeds’ awful form.

In other Everton news, the club are close to agreeing a new shirt sponsorship deal which will be significantly more substantial than the current Cazoo partnership.

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