Chris Anderson and David Sally question the value of a corner kick in their book The Number Game: Why Everything You Know About Football is Wrong. Their analysis of 1,434 corners from 134 Premier League games in 2010-11 suggests a corner is worth 0.022 goals. In May 2015 Michael Caley had a cracking article in the Washington Post where he used two seasons of games from English, German and Spanish leagues. That was 20,000 corners and a value of 0.035 goals per corner. Caley also examined how the corner kick could be costly in terms of dragging defenders into the opposition penalty area and making the team vulnerable to a counter attack.
Anderson & Sally framed their numbers with the Jose Mourinho line about the English cheering the award of a corner kick almost as loudly as a goal. The suggestion is that fans are fooled by the award of a corner kick. And, it is not just fans. Managers like Nigel Adkins believe there is value to a corner kick. In fact, Adkins has blogged on the importance of corner kicks (here and here). If you are a fan of Southampton is it not understandable that you get excited when they are awarded a corner kick. A large proportion of your goals come from that source.
Looking at the Arsenal number for this season shows that they have 203 corners. Eight goals implies that a goal comes along every 25 corners. A corner is worth 0.039 goals. Seems small. But remember 13% of Arsenal goals come from corners. That is over 1 in 8.
The Arsenal fans have seen 100 times more passes than corners. Arsenal's 20,799 passes is surpassed only by Manchester City. Not a great goal value to each Arsenal pass - 62 goals for 20,799 passes. Is it any wonder Arsenal fans, like many others, might welcome a corner kick?