Football

Hasenhuttl Delighted For Michael Obafemi After Regular Criticism Of The Striker

Hasenhuttl Delighted For Michael Obafemi After Regular Criticism Of The Striker

A week after his 20th birthday, Michael Obafemi became a household name in Premier League last night. An 96th minute equaliser at Old Trafford will tend to do that.

Back in December, Obafemi was in the headlines because of some surprising remarks made about him by the Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl back in December when the then 19-year-old made his first appearances of the season.

He still has a lack of professionalism in his whole life.

This is a young guy who must learn quickly. If he does this and gets more physical, fit and can make this workload for a longer time, then he has a big future.

There is still a long way to go for him.

He knows it, I know it and you don’t have to know it.

Since then, Obafemi has been regularly involved with the Saints in a three man striking rotation of himself, Shane Long and Che Adams for the place alongside Danny Ings in the starting 11. Before last night, he had started or come on in 17 Premier League games this season, scoring two goals, including his goal of the month contender against Chelsea over Christmas.

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Just two weeks ago though, his manager once again publicly criticised his young striker, questioning his "workload."

Without workload as a striker, you have no chance to play, especially in our team.

This is something he has to learn, especially when he gets the chances to play two games a week.

It’s always a problem that we have to pay attention to his physicality as he’s had injuries in the past and we really have to take care of him.

But that doesn’t mean in the second game that he can rest on the pitch. It’s important that he knows he has to invest a lot because if he doesn’t it’s not good.

Last  night, the Austrian gave an interview to Sky Sports after the game where he hinted that maybe Obafemi had answered his call.

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Speaking in the press conference, Hasenhuttl was equally short on words in praise of the Irish striker.

“Absolutely, I’m happy for him because it’s not always easy. But to come in today and to score is fantastic, I’m very happy for him.”

It will be interesting to see if Obafemi is rewarded with more game time in Southampton's next match against Brighton on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, Will Smallbone was brought off the bench in the same game, impressing in midfield as Southampton dominated possession in the latter stages, chasing the equaliser. The performance drew praise from Southampton fans online.

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SEE ALSO: Here Are 8 Irish Players We Predict Will Switch Clubs This Summer

 

 

 

Michael McCarthy

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