Shane Long Nominated For Premier League Player Of The Month
Wednesday, 1st May 2019 09:26
Shane Long has been recognised by the Premier League by being named in the list of contenders for April Player of the month.
Shane Long has often been criticised by Saints supporters who can not see beyond his goals tally when assessing his worth for the team.
But the Irishman has found a new lease of life since the arrival of Ralph Hasenhuttl and it seems that the Austrian's style of play suits Long down to the ground.
Long arrived at the same time as Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle to the club and he was often overshadowed by their achievements
But it should be noted that overall in the two seasons that the three played together Mane scored 22 goals, Pelle 23 and Long 15, in the last season together Long scored only one less than the pair each managed.
But Long's worth to the team has always been more about goals, it is about the work he does off the ball and in moves that don't show on the statistics, Long has always been about being the target and holding the ball up and drawing fouls, of chasing down defenders, closing them down and keeping the ball in the opponents final third of the field.
On many occasions I have seen Long's persistence win the ball and three passes later the ball is in the net, but few have given him the recognition that he deserves they judge him on how many goals he has scored.
Since the departure of Mane and Pelle he has often had to be the "goalscorer" in the team and that is just not his game, he is not a prolific scorer, but he has an eye for a ital goal or two.
But as I say his contribution to the team is far more than goals and after the injury to Danny Ings wiped out a big part of his season Long has stepped up to the plate, at Leicester his persistence gained a penalty and again from his own persistence he scored a great goal from a tight angle, but still some refused to give him credit saying that it was going wide and Schmeichel diverted it into the net, so what you have to put the goalkeeper in that position and Long did just that.
But if he has battled away since with little recognition at the turn of the month Shane Long caught fire, in the five games we have played in April he scored a goal in four of them including what is now the fastest ever goal in Premier League history.
His goals an general all round play have made it a good April for us where yes it could have been much better but for some poor defending, but Long's contribution and goals have got us over the safety line and that is all that matters.
You can now appreciate his contribution to the club not just in April but over the five years he has been here by voting for him using the link at the bottom of the page.
It will be a tough ask for him to win this award, traditionally the voting is dominated by the Big Six clubs who have the fanbase to be able to swing the vote purely on a club basis rather than the actual merits of the nominee's contribution.
The full list is
Jordan Henderson (LIV)
Aymeric Laporte (MCI)
Shane Long (SOU)
Ayoze Perez (NEW)
Mohamed Salah (LIV)
Jamie Vardy (LEI)
Chris Wood (BUR)
Photo: Action Images
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