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Ings Is A Fan Of The Long Game
Wednesday, 19th Sep 2018 09:18

Danny Ings has spoken of the contribution of Shane Long to the team, something that some are not so quick to recognise.

Shane Long has often been the unsung hero of the Saints team, in his first season he found himself overshadowed by Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle, but his contribution that season was immense if underrated, when Mane scored the fastest ever Premier League hat trick against Aston Villa in May 2015 he gained all the plaudits, yet it was Long who was the true man of the match, assists for Mane and scoring two goals himself including a log range drive that was the goal of the match.

But some Saints fans have been slow to praise the Irishman, they look at statistics and say he is not scoring goals, but that does not point the full picture, even his record of assists doesn't do that, Long is a player that is usually involved in a goal scoring move but he is normally one or two touches down the line from the actual finish.

His role is to scrap for the ball, win it or keep it in the opponents final third, meaning we can stay on the attack and not find the ball pumped forward and put us on the back foot.

Conversely he also offer a great outlet when the team is under pressure, when the ball is cleared he stops the opposition piling forward, it is no co incidence that when Long went off injured at Palace the pattern of the game changed with the Eagles able to build from the back and get up a head of steam.

That was the case on Monday night against Brighton, taking Long off and putting on Gabbiadini was not a good substitution, whereas Long had been harassing the Brighton back four and offering an outlet, that is not Gabbiadini's game and although he could not be faulted for effort suddenly Brighton had more time to build from the back.

Certainly Danny Ings is a fan of Shane Long and spoke about him this week.

Ings feels that Long should not be judged on his goal tally but his overall value to the team and that his work ethic will see him score goals.

“As a striker in the modern game, you need a lot more than scoring goals to maintain it at this level,” he said.

“Longy has been in the right place at the right time. For strikers it can be difficult when the chances you get aren’t going in, but that’s perfectly natural for strikers."

“If you score every chance you would be one of the best players in the world. There are not many of those around."

“What he brings to the team alongside that is just as important. His work rate, his effort.

“He’s been fighting with defenders, he’s crazy in the air, winning headers, and his work rate is exceptional."

“I haven’t seen his stats but I’m sure they are through the roof the way he’s been running around winning headers.”

“The last couple of games he’s almost been like a battering ram at times.”

A good example of what Ings is talking about came when he scored the opening goal at Crystal Palace, Shane Long wont appear on any stats for that one, but it was his run initially seeming that he was going to head the ball that pulled the Palace defence out of position creating the space behind him for Ings to have plenty of time and space to slot the ball home.

That won't show up in any stats, but it was crucial to the goal being scored, likewise the number of times Long gets on the end of balls, holds it up draws fouls and relieves pressure is a big asset to the team and one that we really needed in the final 15 minutes against Brighton.

Photo: Action Images

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kenis added 11:19 - Sep 19
Completely agree. Long brings a lot to the team and should be recognised more. We are weaker without him. Maybe Gallagher (or Sims when back) can do the same role but can’t see anyone else doing what he does for us: harrying defenders, being an out ball and creating space for others to attack. Plus we know he has it in him to score 10+ goals in a season because he has for us once before so defenders can’t just ignore him and bank on him missing.

I_would added 11:26 - Sep 19
Whatever 'Longy' may have done in the past that's good, he ain't gonna do it no more. His ball skills are zero, his confidence is shot, and his passing hit and miss. As far as scoring is concerned a dating website is his best chance.

Hughes will play him Saturday though.

welhamdowed added 12:14 - Sep 19
Long is definitely the best non-scoring striker we have although Gabbi is a close 2nd

halftimeorange added 12:46 - Sep 19
That Long is a battler and a nuisance to defenders, never letting them relax, has never been in dispute and that's great when you have a Pelle and Mane alongside him to bang in the goals and give him some space to score a few himself but the fact is we no longer have the luxuries they afforded us. Shane is not only expected to harry but, as Danny Ings points out he also has to win all the headers (as nobody else seems capable) and score some goals. That's an impossible task for even a top,top player never mind one who is approaching the twilight of his career. If Shane was playing in the Championship for a half decent side he'd be having a field day but he's not and his limited but worthy skills do not cut it in the EPL in a team as ill-balanced as the Saints currently is.

A1079 added 13:14 - Sep 19
I tell you what I recognise in Shane Long - he works hard, runs endlessly, can be like an engine in the team but his finishing is woeful and for every mistake that is highlighted about a defender is matched or more by the misses (some almost incomprehensible for a professional at his level) by Long which are and have been as costly as the errors at the back. That said, when he isn't in the team we do miss that ability to power through and his energy, but it is goals that count and if he is a striker, on that aspect he is failing - which is fine, if you have others knocking them in - but on the whole, we don't.

When Long was purchased I was underwhelmed by the signing as he was not cheap (at that time) and his scoring record was mixed then, but he was purchased as a striker. As a striker, I have not changed my view - with the exception of one season, he is too inconsistent and misses some gilt edged opportunities all too often. However, he has been a good squad and team member and servant. Halftimeorange sums it up well.

I_would added 13:31 - Sep 19
It shows how far we've fallen under Reed/Kruger to discuss the positive attributes of Shane Long. There isn't another team in the Prem that would include him in their squad.

SaintGeorge added 17:07 - Sep 19
What a load of absolute COCK. You play a striker who never scores, every single week, and wonder why you're battling relegation, then claim he's the one keeping you up? Get a life. Ah fùck it. This forum is a fùckin happy clappy religion. Reminds me of 1984 "Winston turned round abruptly. He had set his features into the expression of quiet optimism which it was advisable to wear when facing the telescreen."

Shane Long. Good fùckin grief.

SaintBrock added 18:02 - Sep 19
Talk about Birds of a Feather! Two useless effing strikers sticking together covering each others arses.

SaintNick added 18:24 - Sep 19
SaintGeorge who has claimed that Long is keeping Saints up, this article has cited Long as the best option to play alongside Ings, something that Ings seems to agree with, perhaps you would like to actually give a reason why you thing Long should not be in the team, other than he doesnt score goals, something that this article also covers rather than trying to put yourself forward as some sort of intellectually superior being by quoting 1984

Ali_Diarea added 19:05 - Sep 19
The fact that Long is a first choice player when we have a fully fit squad is a damning indictment of our transfer dealings over the last 3 years. End of.

GeordieSaint added 20:32 - Sep 19
If he was a bit better he would be really good.

saintmark1976 added 08:49 - Sep 20
SaintGeorge, I'm sure that visitors and contributors to this site find your views and comments interesting and informative. However, when expressing them would it be too much to ask of you to refrain from using bad language, whether actual or implied please?

SaintGeorge added 19:41 - Sep 20
Nick. If I can turn to a quote from 1984 which I happen to remember which is pertinent to the ludicrous 'optimism whatever the situation' obligation this forum demands (exactly like nineteen eight bloody four), it's not me putting myself forward as an intellectual superior. 1984 is not high literature. You don't do yourself any favours claiming I'm trying to look clever by quoting a book everyone read at school.

But yeah, anyway. As you say, "perhaps you would like to actually give a reason why you thing Long should not be in the team, other than he doesn't score goals"
Jesus wept. I'd rest my case, but it wouldn't do any good. Go on with your cheering - let me enjoy slagging off our worst players. I feel sorry for anyone who can't enjoy the downside of football - it's half the fun. They have endless positivity in North Korea. Fùck that.

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