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Shane Long Signs New Two Year Deal
Thursday, 4th Jun 2020 13:39

I like Shane Long so it is good to hear that he has put pen to paper on a new 2 year contract at St Mary's, he has his critics but he has been one of the best signings we have made in recent years.

Shane Long has too often been the player in the background, one who creates more then he scores, not just in being the player with the assist to his name, but a key man in any build up, closing a defender down, holding the ball up, drawing a foul, turning a chase for a lost cause into a chance, all stuff that get put in the background when the scorer and the man who passed it to him are praised, but somewhere along the line Shane Long has had a hand.

A good example of this would be the last home game of the 2014/15 season, best remembered for the fastest ever Premier League hat trick by Sadio Mane, but that game was pretty much the Shane Long show with the Irishman not only playing a full part in Mane's goals but also scoring twice himself including the goal of the match from long range.

This has perhaps been the story of his career at Saints, he always has a contribution to make, but his work get overlooked.

His goal at Anfield in the League Cup semi final in 2017 was mine and a lot of other Saints fans favourite moment of the current Premier League era, those at Anfield that night will tell you of the sheer outburst of emotion after being under the cosh for so long when suddenly the Irish striker was put through one on one with the keeper and finished and we knew we were at a Wembley Cup final for the first time in 38 years.

So I for one have always given Shane Long the credit he deserves.

Perhaps his finishing is not the best, 27 Premier League goals in 167 games is a goal every 6 games reasonable but not spectacular, but if you narrow it down to minutes on the pitch then its 27 in 8,882 minutes, that's just about 98 full games or a goal every 3.65 full games.

But in the past few years he has not been a 90 minute man, this season he has started 13 plus another 6 as sub in the Premier League, scoring twice and with three assists,that's still a good contribution.

So at 33 his career is reaching it's twilight, but he has a lot to offer and from that point of view we are better with him in the squad for another couple of years than seeing him walk away, he has outperformed most of the other strikers in the squad not just in terms of goals and assists but in overall play.

It seems Ralph Hasenhuttl and the club feel the same way and it is good to see them reward not just his contribution on the pitch, but his contribution to the club overall, 5 years at a club these days is a long time.

This is what the Ralph had to say about Long signing a new 2 year contract. .

Ralph Hasenhüttl said: “Shane is an outstanding professional. He has been an important player for me and I know also for the managers before me.

“He has scored some big goals for us and helped to create many more for his teammates too. I think that is one of his top qualities. He is a great team player, and someone who has a positive impact on the group as a whole when he plays.

“He is also a player who sets the right example for our youngsters to follow in how he conducts himself on and off the pitch, so this is good news for us that we will have him as part of the squad for another two years.”

Shane Long said:

“I love the way the club is run, I love what the club stands for and I’m excited about what the club will do over the next couple of years.

“I can see the club pushing up the league, back to where we all want to be, and I want to be part of that. I’m just delighted to get it done.”

Photo: Action Images

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halftimeorange added 14:23 - Jun 4
If the whole first-team squad worked as consistently hard on the pitch as Shane does then Saints would be very hard to beat. He's still quick and a nuisance to opposition defences but, nowadays, I think he's better off the bench. Pity referees don't often believe he's been fouled when he has been!

Crispinmumbles added 14:39 - Jun 4
Excellent news, he's still so quick! I love his apllication, work rate and attitude and it would have cost us a fortune that we don't have to replace him. I personally believe that he is best deployed on the right as he often has been - such a nuisance for opposing defenders.

HythePeer added 17:11 - Jun 4
🤦🏻‍♂️ I fear that the manager will fill his team with players that try hard but ultimately don't succeed and ones which tow the company line. The defenders will have to play to his concept when clearly their talents lie elsewhere. Few goals and continually being caught on the break and attackers not marked in front of goal by defenders stranded out of position. An awfully nice team that bounces along the bottom beckons.🇵🇪🇵🇪🇵🇪🇵🇪

schatfield added 18:28 - Jun 4
HythePeer, Shane Long isnt a player that trys hard but doesnt clearly dont see what he does for the overall team. His game isnt about goals, that has been clear for years now, but what he brings to his strike partner, and how he brings others into play, not to mention what he hads to defense, etc. with his pace. Its like having a 12th man often. And its v good news he has signed for 2 more years.

IanRC added 19:39 - Jun 4
Tremendous news over the last couple of days. Maybe not a 90 minute player now but still an invaluable individual who brings so much to the team.

GeordieSaint added 21:41 - Jun 4
Saints’ 6th highest ever premier league goal scorer

underweststand added 15:29 - Jun 5
He 's such a good personality, and obviously a good voice in the dressing room for young players stepping out of the Academy ...and into the Premier League.

YEs -he won't be playing 90 mins every game, and may get the occasionlal niggling injury but few can deny that he is a real threat

Peterx added 10:12 - Jun 8
I'm very happy about this, and I hope he starts. He does not seem to be losing his pace yet as well, and I cant think of anyone from the midfield forward who is as commanding in the air. Yes not a great finisher but works his socks off. To me Long, Armstrong and JWP set a yardstick of hard work down the right that anyone thinking of breaking into the team will have to match.

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