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Ings Sparkles Against Wolves
Monday, 15th Apr 2019 09:43

Whilst Nathan Redmond took the plaudits and Josh Sims has some drooling with his exciting runs, perhaps the real driving force behind the win got little recognition ! Danny Ings.

For some how well a player and how good he is, is always black and white and for some Saints fans strikers seem to be judged purely on goals and nothing else.

On Saturday against Wolves the evidence was on the pitch, Nathan Redmond was in sparkling form but for his first two seasons at the club he was the whipping boy of a section of the crowd who could look no further than his goals tally despite the fact that he was being played out of position at times.

Likewise Shane Long, too many people judge Long on his scoring ability and don't look beyond that, the Irishman's strength is not in finding the net with great regularity, although many seem to have conveniently forgot that in 2015/16 when we finished 6th his 10 goal tally was only one less than both Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle, given his ability to bring people into play and create chances, it could be said that he played a bigger part in us finishing in the top six than both.

But Redmond and Long have found it hard to win favour in that section of the support that has to have a whipping boy and the latest to find that some judge purely on goals is Danny Ings.

Those websites who specialise in taking supporter comments off of social media and turning them into headlines found no shortage of those that seemed to see Ings performance on Saturday as poor, although he also did have his supporters.

Some of those who felt that he had a great game though were the Match Of The Day pundits who were quick to highlight the contribution that the on loan striker had made.

They pointed out how he had started the move for the opening goal when his cushioned header to a team mate enabled Saints to get Josh Sims motoring down the wing to cross for Redmond's opener.

Ings then played 3 sublime through balls to put his team mates through one on one with the keeper, the first saw him lay in a lovely weighted pass that Redmond converted to restore our lead, the second put Sims through who chose to shoot where if he had pulled the ball back for Ings then he would have had an almost open goal and the third was perhaps the best ball of the game, Sims was again though with just the keeper to beat yet pulled is shot wide.

On another day Danny Ings could perhaps have not only had a goal but three assists to his name and that tells you something about the influence he had on Saints going into the break in the lead and it could and should have been a wider margin.

According to the stats list Ings provided one assist, had a pass accuracy of 80%, made two tackles and one interception, and played three key passes. That doesn't sound a lot, but when you consider that our top provider for assists is Nathan Redmond and Matt Targett with three apiece then in this one game Ings could have jumped to the top of the list.

But his detractors will point to his goal scoring record and claim it is poor, but he is still the team's top scorer even after missing a third of the season with injury, his 7 goals is still a reasonable return and better than a one in three goals to games ration.

Remembering how many our three strikers got back in 2016, he is still only four goals of that total now and could actually equal the total yet.

It should be noted that only 19 players have scored over 10 goals so far this season in the Premier League and of that number outside of the Big Six only Jamie Vardy has scored more than 12.

If Ings had been fit then he surely would have been in double figures by now.

There are those that are saying Saints should not complete the £18 million deal for Ings in the summer, I would not be one of them, Ings season has been injury hit, but it seems that the injury that has kept him out has been a hamstring tear, that is nothing to do with his injuries at Liverpool other than after so long out at Anfield, he would have found it hard to get back to full time training and playing without niggling injuries.

£18 million for a striker who can potentially get into double figures is cheap, Richarlison at Everton has 12 goals he cost them £40 million, so Ings goal to game ratio is very good value even if he does miss a game or two through injury.

But for some they won't look beyond the actual goals total, they won't put it into perspective in terms of exactly how many goals a non Big Six striker actually gets in a season, they will just say that 7 goals in 20 games is poor as they did three years ago when they said that Shane Long's return of 10 in 28 games was poor.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's success has not been built on one player scoring or creating goals though, it has been built on a team effort, the goals and the creation of chances have been split around evenly, hence so many have contributed, the fact that we are not reliant on one player is a strength not a weakness.

No one can deny that we do not need to make two key signings in the summer, a central defender and a striker and that some current players are going to be surplus to requirements in those positions, but Danny Ings should form a vital part of our attacking options next season.

On Saturday he showed that like Shane Long he is not just a goal scorer, that he can not only create goals, but play a vital part early in the build as he did with the opener on Saturday, that is a stat that does not show up on anyone's data, but it is the little things that managers notice and know is vital, but sadly so often overlooked by those who base a striker purely on goals alone.

Photo: Action Images

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Sanguin added 10:05 - Apr 15
Actually, Nathan was the whipping boy for his second and third seasons at the club. His first season he score more league goals for us than anyone else and the fans weren't on his back at all. Everything started to change after the League Cup Final loss.

SaintNick added 10:55 - Apr 15
The fans were on his back from virtually day one in his first season, this is his third season and although it started badly for us, he was one of the few bright spots in the first third of it, MOTD were saying Hasenhuttl was the instigator of his form, but he was decent this term under Hughes

wilfster70 added 11:08 - Apr 15
I really wish these articles were more focused on the issue at hand rather than containing comments about fans getting on players' backs.

Personally, I'm really happy to see an article highlighting the positives that Ings brought to the match on Saturday. I live in Northern Ireland now so never get a chance to go to matches so I only have highlights to go on but I have to see his contribution looked spot on against Wolves.

It's such a shame that his injury record is so bad - if we could keep him fit for any length of time he'd be even more of an asset to the club. I suspect that Liverpool would have been reluctant to let him go on loan if he were less injury prone

SaintNick added 12:32 - Apr 15
You are right, his injuries didnt help his cause at Anfield and he got overtaken in the pecking order, he was well liked by the fans who saw what he could do

SaintBrock added 13:35 - Apr 15
Ings the driving force behind our win on Saturday? Come on Nick, even you can't spin that load of crap!

He was hopeless and just 'cos that moron pundit Wright picked him out as MotM doesn't make it so. He should have been subbed off at HT. On rather suspects you might be trolling on a slow Monday.

underweststand added 13:55 - Apr 15
"sparkles" ? .well maybe not quite that good yet Nick.. but I was pleased to see him walk off (uninjured) on his own two feet after 60 minutes in a match dominated by Wolves.

Clearly it has taken longer than anyone would admit to get him back to real fitness, and watching him, one could see that he clearly lacked the pace and vigour we saw from him early season, but (as above) it was a good return to the starting line-up.

I am always reminded of a TV interview with Alan Shearer, (who had a few inuries in his time), when he said ..there is a lot of difference between being... " fit enough to play" ..and being "match fit."
It may take a game or two more for Danny to get upto speed, but it will seem a lot better
to everyone as soon as he gets on the scoresheet. Then he may " sparkle" a bit more.


LoisDeem added 16:21 - Apr 15
I also saw Danny Ings' movement and positioning, like Sims to the benefit of the team.
This is spreading throughout as we play more like a team, and cut out the errors, there will be (even) more opportunities (for goals) throughout the team. This was a Saints victory rather than a Wolves defeat -not perfect, (as some seem to expect) but definitely on the way to getting there.

SaintBlonde added 17:57 - Apr 15
SaintBrock your comments are actually laughable on the last 2 posts 're. Ings do you know anything about football? Criticising Ralph for his team choice and substitutions despite us winning 3-1 and lamenting ings as poor despite the fact that he ended up with 1 assist, could have had 3, made key passes and interceptions, and the 2 subs coming on at a time and getting us a goal and making us more stable. Where do you get off mate!? Lol

As Ralph said, we know have versatility and options which mean we are unpredictable.. wolves had probably prepared all week for us playing 3-5-2 with hojbjerg romeu and jwp in the middle... so when we start with 3-4-3 and pace in abundance up top the could do nothing about it. We outsmarted them. At 2-1 up he changed sims and ings for romeu and long meaning we can win in midfield but still have an outlet.

As Nick has said it is not all about scoring goals. It a about imposing ourselves on the opposition sometimes. Ings takes up positions that make their defence second guess about where they should be and also about how to play.. shown clearly by the fact that when we won the ball high ings would either be open to receive the ball in dangerous areas or he would be occupying a defender or two leaving space for Redmond or sims to attack.

Calling our player "hopeless" when he actually had a very good 45 minutes is embarrassing. And we are trying to get him fully fit, so better him have an hour than just 45.

I appreciate football is about different opinions, but in the time I've been reading this site and you've been posting, I've never seen a worthwhile or positive opinion from you.

I reckon you're more saintgosport than saintbrock

BoondockSaint added 18:46 - Apr 15
Like Shane Long, and Charlie Austin, he is a hard worker and you always hope he will go on a scoring streak.

But I am not crazy about the terms, which are all in the Scouse favour::

Clearly the Scouse wanted him and his contract off their books and looked around for someone they could take advantage of.....luckily for them, they had Les' direct phone number. The deal should have been structured around how many goals he scores, and the 20% sell-on is a joke!

KriSaint added 02:54 - Apr 18
Ings was "player of the year" in his last season in the championship before his first season in the PL with Burnley, in which he scored 14 goals and had his debut for England, but Burnley were relegated and he was sold to Liverpool. Then started a tsunami of serious injuries and he played very few games for Liverpool before his loan move to Saints. He has done decently in spite of (more) injuries, and I thought he played well in his come back game against Wolves. I hope we do sign him permanently in the summer as planned, but the prize is close to shameful because of his injury history and should be half the prize.

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