Since Ralph Hasenhuttl’s appointment as Southampton manager, Shane Long has had a bit of a revival at St. Mary’s.
And the 32-year-old’s seventh-second strike against Watford, the quickest in Premier League history, probably epitomises that.
It was his fourth of the season, one less than his total Premier League tally from the last two campaigns combined, and he has since been praised by his Austrian boss.
“He [Long] was so quick and so quick attacking,” Hasenhuttl was quoted as saying by the Daily Echo.
“After the ball win that is one thing but to score also is another thing. I think he has a little bit the image that he doesn’t score so much but in the last four games three goals. It’s amazing and an amazing performance he shows in the moment.”
As already mentioned, Long’s form has improved since Hasenhuttl took over, and the Republic of Ireland international certainly deserves praise for that.
But going forward, Hasenhuttl should still be wary when it comes to the Southampton striker.
A pretty unprolific No.9, when you look at Long’s record in front of goal over the last couple of seasons, his form right now is probably just a purple patch.
Ultimately, even if Long can carry this goalscoring run into Southampton’s remaining fixtures, Hasenhuttl still needs to bring in another No.9 in the summer.
Failing to do so, and it could be more of the same for the Saints next term once Long’s goals dry up.
Southampton fans, how impressed have you been with Long in recent weeks? Join the discussion by commenting below.
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