- A.U. Patrick
Manchester City set-piece coach Carlos Vicens set to stay at club following u-turn
Manchester City set-piece coach Carlos Vicens is set to stay at the Premier League champions after it was announced that an agreed move to Heracles Almelo as head coach had been mutually terminated following a change in circumstances for the recently relegated Dutch side.
For a long time, set-pieces had been an underappreciated and underutilised aspect of the game, but since the advent of advanced statistics, many clubs have adopted them more effectively to their advantage. Most notably, Brentford's promotion a season ago was credited to their efficiency in set-piece situations.
Much like Brentford, City's ability to capitalise on dead ball situations proved pivotal as they clinched their fourth league title in five years, with City having led the division in goals from set-pieces (21) – beating title rivals Liverpool by netting two more from dead balls – while only conceding a single goal from them; the best set-piece goal difference in Premier League history.
Carlos Vicens is the man massively credited for this.
Starting at the club as a youth coach back in 2017, his success in the academy, most notably with the U18s, led to his promotion to the first-team coaching staff ahead of the 2021/22 season, taking charge of set-pieces as well as providing a link to the academy.
In early May, Heracles Almelo announced that Vicens would be joining the club as head coach ahead of the 2022/23 season until mid-2024, and it seemed all but certain that this season's success marked an end to a remarkable time at the club.
However, a statement from the Dutch side today details a mutual decision to dissolve their prior agreement, with the club relegated from the Eredivisie:
"We have discussed extensively with Carlos the situation that has arisen after the club's relegation. From both sides, we felt doubts... We have to do everything we can to let Heracles Almelo return to the Eredivisie and we need all the focus for that. In addition, Carlos was given the opportunity to return to Manchester City and we do not want to deprive him of that."
With Vicens set to retain his position at City, we can look to further exploit and improve on this often overlooked nugget of the game.
Written by: @P4trick_Jr
Follow our Twitter account for reliable, live updates on all the latest news and everything Manchester City in real time.