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Shane Long To Return To Face Gunners
Wednesday, 24th Jun 2020 09:01

It is good news on the injury front after it was announced Shane Long is now fit and raring to go after missing the Norwich game through injury, giving Ralph Hasenhuttl a full squad to select from barring suspensions.

Shane Long will return to the squad to face Arsenal on Thursday evening with the only missing face being Moussa Djenepo who will complete the second game of his three match ban.

Otherwise everyone else is fit and available and Ralph Hasenhuttl had this to say.

"My players are all fit, Longy is back, he's trained with the team all this week. So we have another opportunity in the front.

"Moussa is out with his suspension, but the rest of the guys are available."

The return of Long is good, although Saints have plenty of attacking options even without Moussa Djenepo, the fact is that Long offers something up front that neither Michael Obafemi or Che Adams have so far shown at least not consistently.

The 3-0 win at Norwich looked good on paper, but it has to be put in context and going forward for a long period Saints although getting the ball forwrd quickly on the break lacked something.

Michael Obafemi has pace but he does not yet have the intuition that comes with experience, too often he did not make the right runs either to provide an outlet or to create space for others, he has a lot to learn,

Long has the experience to do just that, he can also hold the ball up and draw fouls when needed, he will offer Saints a different level of nous than Obafemi who at the moment is just pure pace.

The Norwich win has taken some pressure off Saints but we should not get too excited just yet, a lot of the old problems defensively were still there for all to see especially in the first 20 minutes.

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Colburn added 11:51 - Jun 24
Vital in the first goal, using his strength to hold off the defender before toeing the ball in to the path of Armstrong who touched it through for Ings. Obafemi was a pivotal player in this move.

He also made a fantastic channel run (contrary to your report of him not making the right runs) for the third goal, giving Ings an outlet, he then calmly stroked the ball to Redmond , who did the rest..

What the hell are you talking about AGAIN Nick..?

What level of contribution would have been sufficient for you from Oba? A hat-trick of assists? And how will he also improve and gain experience to make every run 'perfect'

He always makes something happen.. the evidence is there. Please explain your nonsense further because I fail to see any of your points in respect of Obafemi..


FrankSaint added 13:34 - Jun 24
Coburn, you took the words out of my mouth, so to speak. Although I would have been more gentle. I've been too busy to post and was just about to now. The good news is that Obafemi is going to get even better and now he is not getting injured so often, his development should accelerate. Touch wood/tocca ferro.

underweststand added 15:15 - Jun 24
I won't repeat Colburn's text - but I go with the same message.

underweststand added 17:00 - Jun 24
The whole point in giving Shane extra years on his contract ... is to play him, but I don't expect to see him playing 90+ minutes every game.

I think he will start most games (injuries permitting) but with the likes of Obafemi, Adams Djenepo and maybe even Tella being subbed in after 60-70 minutes with fresh legs.
As the season ends... and we start again (whenever) we may see Long regularly, but with more permutations until we find "a new goalscorer" to eventually replace him.

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