Argyle Go Zonal
The clean sheet Argyle earned against Exeter City at Home Park on Saturday was largely due to a change in defensive tactics.
For the first time this season and certainly in a home match manager Derek Adams switched to a zonal system when defending corners and free-kicks and Exeter, who had seven corners, couldn't find a way through.
Since arriving at Home Park in the summer of 2015 Adams has used a man-marking system at set-pieces, this has been successful until recently when Argyle were regularly shipping goals from opposition set-pieces, over the last few months it has become our Achilles heel and it's a credit to Adams and defensive coach Paul Wotton that they were prepared to change tactics two-thirds through a successful season.
For the game against Exeter the big four of Jakub Sokolik, Sonny Bradley, Yann Songo'o and Ryan Taylor all lined up on the edge of the six-yard box when defending a corner with no Exeter player near them. Gary Sawyer and Matty Kennedy were man-marking on the edge of the penalty box but the new tactic meant the four players on the edge of the six-yard box could protect the space and attack the ball without being impeded by an Exeter player.
Many managers do not like to use the zonal system and it appears Adams has worked on this defensive change during the warm weather training camp in Marbella last week.
Whether it was used just for the game against Exeter or will continue for the rest of the season remains to be seen but it worked very well!