Please log in or register. Registered visitors get fewer ads.
Shane Long Must Not Move
Wednesday, 22nd Aug 2018 08:33

Saints striker Shane Long has been linked with a loan move to Aston Villa but Saints are unlikely to let him move on, at least in this transfer window.

Some Saints fans have never truly appreciated Shane Long, they look purely at his goals per game ratio and fail to acknowledge the great contribution he has made in over 4 years at St Mary's.

In Hollywood terms he is a supporting actor and never the star, but i is not always the top of the bill who makes a great movie.

Perhaps Long's greatest game for the club was ironically against Aston Villa in his first season, the game is remembered for the Premier League's fastest hat trick and Sadio Mane took top billing, but it was Long who was the architect setting up Mane and scoring two goals of his own including a long range effort that was the goal of the game.

In 2015/16 again it was Mane and Pelle who took the plaudits, scoring 11 goals apiece in the Premier League, but Long was only 1 behind and he played less games than either meaning that in terms of goals per game his was the better ratio.

That has been the story of Shane Long's time at St Mary's though, too many people look at goals scored rather than overall contribution which often is not documented, Long's phenomenal work rate means that he often creates a move 3 or 4 passes before a goal is scored by winning the ball or closing down a defender.

But some supporters cannot see past goal scoring and that is why they are up in arms about Josh Sims being allowed to go on loan but would sneer at Shane Long and say good riddance if he does join Aston Villa and that is just plain short sighted and unfair given his service to the club, Sims is an undoubted talent, no one can deny that, but he is far from the finished article and managers and coaches look beyond the odd good run in a game for an indication of a players contribution and more at what is contributed overall.

That is why Shane Long is still at St Mary's and Josh Sims needs to continue his education elsewhere hopefully for a short while to give him that edginess and confidence that only playing regularly can give him.

Long did not even make the bench against Burnley, but he was back on at Everton and his introduction just before the hour mark and shortly after Danny Ings had brought us back into the game gave us an urgency and tempo that we had lacked for virtually that entire opening hour.

That is why Mark Hughes does not want to let him go at least not yet, he needs the options that Shane Long gives him, on paper he has strikers, but each have their downsides, Ings has to be judged on his own merits at Saints after being out so long at Liverpool injured, but Charlie Austin has spent more time injured here than fit and although he scores goals he is good when on top, not so much when workrate is needed such as up at Goodison on Saturday.

Manolo Gabbiadini is an undoubted talent, but he is yet to capitalise on the early promise, some of that was due to the way that Saints played under Pelligrino, but not all .

So with each of his main strikers having question mark over them, it is left for Hughes to have a proven fall back option and that is Long as he was for both Puel and Pellegrino when he was asked to come into struggling sides and put in a shift, often with no other options available.

Shane Long could be vital to Mark Hughes in the coming months as he looks to up the tempo in games, Josh Sims will be the future of the club, hopefully sooner than later, yes perhaps Shane Long is the past, but he is also the present and Hughes at this moment in time needs experience to hand.

Shane Long must stay at least for now and when he does go hopefully some will recognise the immense contribution he has made over the past four years, without Sane Long Sadio Mane would perhaps not have become the player he was, sometimes fate takes a hand and the supporting actor makes the film work so the star can take the plaudits

Get two free £10 bets on Liverpool v Southampton (or other matches) by opening a new account at William Hill. Place an initial bet of a minimum of £10 and William Hill will give you two £10 bets. You must enter the promotional code ''F20'' when signing up as a new customer.

Photo: Action Images



Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.



perazi added 09:34 - Aug 22
Nick - you have to be taking the pi** - "Sadio Mane would perhaps not have become the player he is" without Shane Long's help. Blind Freddy could see that Mane was a world class player in his own right (in the making) when he was with us, and is now most definitely a world class player judged on his displays with LIverpool in the EPL and Champions League and International matches for Senegal. When he was with Saints he lifted and made players like Long, Tadic, Pelle and even Ward-Prowse look ok. You are entitled to your opinion but such assessments of Shane Long, Mane himself and your continued criticism of Yoshida - yet support for the awful Hoedt and under-performers like JWP make your columns appear ridiculous at times.

Shane Long has some qualities, so does Austin - but their level these days is Championship, not the Prem. I would have Josh Sims
5

perazi added 09:34 - Aug 22
Nick - you have to be taking the pi** - "Sadio Mane would perhaps not have become the player he is" without Shane Long's help. Blind Freddy could see that Mane was a world class player in his own right (in the making) when he was with us, and is now most definitely a world class player judged on his displays with LIverpool in the EPL and Champions League and International matches for Senegal. When he was with Saints he lifted and made players like Long, Tadic, Pelle and even Ward-Prowse look ok. You are entitled to your opinion but such assessments of Shane Long, Mane himself and your continued criticism of Yoshida - yet support for the awful Hoedt and under-performers like JWP make your columns appear ridiculous at times.

Shane Long has some qualities, so does Austin - but their level these days is Championship, not the Prem. I would have Josh Sims
0

helpineedsomebody added 10:31 - Aug 22
3 forwards loaned why not make it 4 & better still yoshi & jack loaned out + take this average manager out as well please .
-4

GeordieSaint added 11:17 - Aug 22
He was class away at arsenal last season when actually given a chance and is brilliant on the right of a three with a real goal scorer in the centre. I guess I am just a glass half full kind of guy.
3

warrens76 added 12:00 - Aug 22
I like Long's attitude however it does not blind me to the fact that he along with most of the squad are not top 8 material anymore, neither is the manager...not personal but how far have we fallen since Nigel to perceive Hughes as a miracle worker, the 'intent' within the club even the almighty bulls up with the open training session is indicative of what everything SFC have become.
0

highfield49 added 12:11 - Aug 22
With the exception of McCarthy, and the real promise shown by Ings, Vestergaard, Armstrong and Elyounoussi, there isn't one Saints player who could be said to be on form or at the top of their game. Long is in the category of supporters expectation to actually produce a big performance and the likes of Austin, Gabbi, JWP, Redmond, Lemina, Romeu and all of the defenders are very much lacklustre. I'm not alone in thinking that we need an inspirational leader on the pitch and that isn't Bertrand. The most obvious candidates to me are either Vestergaard or Ings and I'd have to say that if Bertrand doesn't like handing over the role to a leader then it's time to give Targett some game time. I just hope that Long actually manages to regain some goal scoring form because there is very little sign that Austin is going to contribute much.
3

TimSaint added 12:30 - Aug 22
I just love the way you judge Long on all other aspects of his game to compensate for his lack of goals, but slate Mane for not scoring enough, going on goal droughts, or scoring all his goals in batches, regardless of what his other attributes offer the team. :-)
7

bstokesaint added 12:36 - Aug 22
I find it difficult to give Shane Long a hard time. There’s no doubt he doesn’t score enough goals, anywhere near enough in fact. He should really be landing double figures at least even as a “supporting” player. And he didn’t “make Mane the player he is either.” Rather Long enjoyed the pace that Mane possessed and was the perfect fit for a front two who between them could harass and win the ball and then finish it. I’m not sure Mane is “world class” but he can certainly find the net, and is more comfortable without Long, than Long without Mane.

On the flipside I think Long has often been used a scapegoat. He has often been played in roles where he was never likely to score, in games where Southampton all but surrendered from the off. The pressure could have been taken off him too by a barren midfield. Yet despite all of this he works tirelessly and has a great attitude and definitely brings another option from the bench when pace or running down the clock are required.
1

dirk_doone added 13:32 - Aug 22
Does this article mean that the club have been unable to find a buyer for him? We seem to be stuck with a number of players like that now. The only way we can get them off the wage bill is to send them out on loan. The problem is they just come bouncing back to us again at the end of their loan spells. We really do have a squad full of expensive dross that no other Premier League club would want.
4

SaintNick added 14:22 - Aug 22
Perazi Idont make bizarre statements about what blind Freddie can and cannot see I base what i say on statistics, facts and what I saw from attending most o the games.

In season 15/16 when we eventually finished 7th Mane went 5 months and 15 Premier League games without scoring a goal. yes he had some decent games, but he also had some very poor ones where he contributed little other than a few bursts of acceleration that amounted to nothing, no one was calling a player who at that moment had only scored 3 League players world class, it was actually a season very much like the previous one where going into May he had scored only 7 League goals before his late burst in the penultimate game where his hattrick against Aston Villa got him into double figures

In both seasons he showed short bursts of what he was capable of but for most of it he was not fulfilling his potential as much as he should have and it wasnt for a lac k of trying.

At Liverpool he is surrounded by world class attacking players that enhance his game , but here he didnt have anything like the consistency he really should have had, so lets get some perspective on his time here

In his first season the only difference between him and Nathan Redmond's first season was that Redmond didnt hit a hat trick in the final games, they both got as much stick, phrases like "Worst signing ever" and "Reed doesnt know what he is doing" where being bandied about.

Timsaint, this was an article about Long not Mane, if you directly compare them then mane's stats are better in total games in the Premier League he averaged a goal every 3.19 games with long a goal every 4. Although Long played a lot less minutes on the pitch.

However interesting is that if you take the same stats but just in games started, then they both have the same ratio of 2.6 goals a game.

We are too quick to use players sold as a tool to slate the club with and slag off those still here.

Dirk, this article is about why the club should keep Long, they are not looking to sell at least not till they have a proper replacement for him.

You are right we do have a squad with too much expensive dross, I have been saying this for a couple of years its just that you and i didn't agree on who the expensive dross was


1

SaintGeorge added 14:30 - Aug 22
If he leaves Saints for Villa the football at both clubs will be enormously improved
-3

BoondockSaint added 14:31 - Aug 22
No one questions Long's attitude or work rate. If only all Saints players (and all the others in the Prem) worked as hard. However, Nick, he is a supporting player who keeps getting put in the starring role which is not really fair.

Nick, I am putting it down to click bait when you say Mane would have been nothing without Long! If it wasn't for Mane drawing defenders, Long wouldn't have gotten his goals.

Do you think opposition managers talking tactics with their teams said "Forget about Mane, the one you have to watch at all times is Long!" ??

According to Wikipedia (if my sums are correct):

The two years Long and Mane played together, 2014-2016:

Mane 25 Goals
Long 20 Goals

The years since Mane left, 2016-2018

Mane 33 Goals
Long 7 Goals
5

GeordieSaint added 18:39 - Aug 22
How many games has long actually started in the last 2 seasons? Must be under 20
3

ottersaint added 21:41 - Aug 22
Long must stay, he is an absolute nuisance for opposing defenders, he never gives up the cause, what he really needs is to be starting alongside Ings and Gabbiadini, let’s see him on from the start instead of haircut Redmond, a few games under his belt and he will prove the doubters wrong!
3


You need to login in order to post your comments

Blogs 29 bloggers

Southampton Polls

About Us Contact Us Terms & Conditions Privacy Cookies Advertising
© FansNetwork 2018