Brentford looking for Set Piece Coach after Cueva's move to Chelsea

Bernardo Cueva: Title at Brentford was Tactical Statistician

Bernardo Cueva: Title at Brentford was Tactical Statistician

BRENTFORD are advertising for a Set Piece Coach following confirmation of Bernardo Cueva’s move to Chelsea.

The Mexican joined the Bees in September 2020 from Club Deportivo Guadalajara, where he was Strategic Analysis Manager. His job title at Brentford was Tactical Statistician, although analysing and coaching set pieces represented a significant part of his work.

He will join Chelsea at the end of the season. The Blues have not had a set piece specialist since Anthony Barry left to join Thomas Tuchel at Bayern Munich in April 2023 and this new role is part of a backroom revamp being led by co-Sporting Directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley.

Brentford are now advertising for a Set Piece Coach on TGG and want someone to be “responsible for the design, implementation and review of our offensive set-piece strategy, including corners kicks, free kicks and throw ins from all areas of the pitch.”

The club have been true pioneers of the role, leading to the biggest clubs in English football snaring their specialists. Italian Gianni Vio was the first specialist Set Piece Coach at Brentford - and in English football - when he worked for the Bees in 2015/16.

Owner Matthew Benham had made set pieces one of his key priorities at the end of the 2014/15 season, when Brentford ended the campaign with the third worst record for goals scored from them in the Championship.

In comparison, Benham's other club, FC Midtjylland in Denmark, had scored almost half of their goals from set pieces that season (the average across the top five European leagues since 2020/21 has been between 20 and 21%).

Speaking on the TGG Podcast in January 2022 (which you can listen to below), Brentford Director of Football Phil Giles explained: “Midtjylland, because of the success they had in set pieces, it was easy to look across the water and say, ‘Well they’re doing it and scoring this many goals and could frankly be the best in the world at this. What about if we add 10 goals to our tally at the end of the season just by scoring 10 more from free kicks and corners?’”

Frenchman Nicolas Jover followed Vio as Brentford’s Set Piece Coach from 2016 to 2019 and has now become the most recognised exponent of the role in football. After Brentford he worked for Manchester City and is now a key member of Mikel Arteta’s staff at Arsenal.

Next in line was Swede Andreas Georgson, who was Brentford’s Set Piece and Individual Development Coach in 2019/20. He also left to work with Arteta at Arsenal, before working for Malmo and Southampton. He is now Head Coach of Lillestrom in Norway.

It is not only Brentford’s Set Piece Coaches who have been in demand, either - their Set Piece Analysts have too. Jack Wilson left the west London club in November 2022 to become Performance Analyst for Set Pieces at Manchester City.

As Giles said: “There are these guys floating around and we’ve been early adopters. It’s a bit difficult to talk about exactly what we do right now without those guys being the target of the next Man City and Arsenal!”

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