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Shane Long Injury Could Have Mixed Results
Monday, 10th Oct 2016 13:35

They say that in life when one door closes another one opens and that could be the case if Shane Long should be unable to play against Burnley on Sunday after coming off injured for the Republic Of Ireland.

Shane Long's evening for the Republic of Ireland started on a high note when he gave them the lead early in their game against Moldova, watching Saints fans would have been hoping that having ended his goal drought that this could kick start his season for Saints in front of goal.

However this looks likely to be on hold when Long had to come off just after the hour mark with what looked like a hamstring injury and now Saints will like Ryan Bertrand assess the extent of the injury and how long it will keep him out.

Usually hamstrings can be anything between 2 -4 weeks, depending on how the injury occurred and whether the player has merely tweaked it and come off before it has got worse or whether it has torn.

The worry for Saints is that this could leave them short on striking options with a tough and vital run of games coming up, of late in the League Long has been used off the bench with Charlie Austin playing alongside Dusan Tadic and Nathan Redmond, so if Long should not be fit for Sunday's game with Burnley it will leave us short of firepower off the bench.

Jay Rodriguez could return after his latest injury, although the club will be keen not to rush him back and the same goes with Sofiane Boufal who although is in full training really needs to get in an academy game before coming into not only a new team but a new league where he is not used to the pace of the action.

However as the opening paragraph suggests, sometimes in football an injury for one player could be the big break for another and in that sense Olufela Olomola could be the beneficiary of Long's misfortune.

The 19 year striker has been on the bench a couple of times this year and the feeling is at the club he could be the next big think with a combination of pace and power.

His route to getting on the pitch has been blocked by Long as although the Irishman has not scored lately he is still a vital member of the team and contributes in other areas, but now the door could be open and They say that in life when one door closes another one opens and that could be the case if Shane Long should be unable to play against Burnley on Sunday after coming off injured for the Republic Of Ireland.

Shane Long's evening for the Republic of Ireland started on a high note when he gave them the lead early in their game against Moldova, watching Saints fans would have been hoping that having ended his goal drought that this could kick start his season for Saints in front of goal.

However this looks likely to be on hold when Long had to come off just after the hour mark with what looked like a hamstring injury and now Saints will like Ryan Bertrand assess the extent of the injury and how long it will keep him out.

Usually hamstrings can be anything between 2 -4 weeks, depending on how the injury occurred and whether the player has merely tweaked it and come off before it has got worse or whether it has torn.

The worry for Saints is that this could leave them short on striking options with a tough and vital run of games coming up, of late in the League Long has been used off the bench with Charlie Austin playing alongside Dusan Tadic and Nathan Redmond, so if Long should not be fit for Sunday's game with Burnley it will leave us short of firepower off the bench.

However as the opening paragraph suggests, sometimes in football an injury for one player could bethe big break for another and in that sense Olufela Olomola could be the beneficiary of Long's misfortune.

The 19 year striker has been on the bench a couple of times this year and the feeling is at the club he could be the next big think with a combination of pace and power.

So we could be looking forward to our first view of Olomola in the final quarter of the game against Burnley and with the team playing well under Clause Puel and adapting to his systems, the Frenchman has already proved he is not afraid to use a youngster or two.

Indeed he has used his squad well and this has meant that the fringe players in the team, both experienced and youngsters are kept sharp and always with a sight of a game before them, unlike in previous seasons where many squad members perhaps felt that unless someone was injured they would never get a chance.

I don't want to heap too much pressure on Olomola ' shoulders, but you do feel that the youngsters seem to have more confidence to come into the team and play without fear than they did under Ronald Koeman and this has already reaped it's rewards for Saints and might just do so again on Sunday.

Photo: Action Images



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dirk_doone added 13:58 - Oct 10
I don't know why people keep talking about Boufal as if he's another striking option. He's a midfielder who has averaged 4 goals a season in the French 1st and 2nd divisions and scored no goals in his 2 appearances for Morocco. He's even less of a striker than Redmond is. We're only having to resort to playing midfilders out of position because we sold our 2 main strikers in the summer and didn't buy a single replacement.
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the_saint added 14:49 - Oct 10
I was saying like everyone before window shut we were light up front boufal and Redmond not strikers, jay rod and now long injured, that leaves us Austin and I'm worried how long he can last. Very shortsighted of the club if we could see it why could they not. With olomola you have to bring them in gradually at this rate he will be our main striker. Games coming thick and fast coyr
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dirk_doone added 14:55 - Oct 10
Yes, we bought 3 midfielders when, having sold Mane and Pelle for big money, our priority should have been to get a striker so now 1 or 2 of those midfielders will have to play as makeshift strikers. It doesn't look like very good planning.

It's a shame because our defence is as good as ever and with a decent new striker to help Austin, you feel we could have done even better than last season.
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Jesus_02 added 16:28 - Oct 10
I can understand why Dirk may say that but I don't think it was ever our intention to play 3 strikers. Basically Redmond replaces Long but its the squad depth that we have lost and Longs running is pretty useful. Olufela and even Josh Sims might get a run out as result. It depends on whether Puel needs to go defensive or attacking
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the_saint added 16:40 - Oct 10
Redmonds very good behind the strikers but ummm not a striker so to say replace long ???
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redandwhitedee added 17:43 - Oct 10
Stick the kid in the team against Burnley. Might be another Shearer versus Arsenal moment. Woudl prefer Bertrand but I am happy with Targett at left back. He has been superb this season.
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dirk_doone added 17:52 - Oct 10
Redandwhitedee, Targett is out injured so we haven't got a left back for the Burnley game.
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dillydog added 18:32 - Oct 10
Targett is expected to be fit for Sunday. They could also play three at the back with Yoshida and use a midfielder as a wing back, so lots of options.
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abingdonsaint added 18:43 - Oct 10
Everyone has the right to their opinion of course, but I trust our recruitment department to know what the squad requires. If we didn't replace Pelle and Mane directly, that's because they didn't feel we needed to, and they are privy to a lot more information than the fans are! We have Austin and JayRod, and whilst they have had injuries in the past, there would have been fitness data and training programmes in place to assess where they stand. In addition, the intention is always to leave a pathway open to the youngsters, and Olomola would obviously be on the radar. The assumption that Redmond is 'not a striker' is also a bit premature in my view. Let's see....

As regards Boufal, he may not be a traditional striker, but is clearly another attacking option. Puel prefers quick, mobile, forward players, and has already said that the whole team is responsible for scoring goals, not just the strikers. We are improving all the time, so be interesting to see how we develop over the next few weeks and months. Personally, I like what I see so far. Patience!




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