Ward Prowse Gets Second England Cap
Tuesday, 26th Mar 2019 09:55
James Ward Prowse deservedly gets a second cap for England, but really should have got more game time against Montenegro !
James Ward Prowse won his second cap for England as he came on as a late substitute in England's 5-1 win against Montenegro.
England got an early wake up call though when the hosts took the lead in the 17th minute however they turned it around and by the break they were in the lead and by the hour mark 3-1 up, having put the game to bed at 4-1 though this was surely the time to bring in Ward Prowse and give him a decent run out, however after bringing on Jordan Henderson for Delle Ali on 64 minutes Gareth Southgate did not make his second substitution till the 82nd minute shortly after England had netted a fifth.
That made no sense, with several players chomping at the bit on the bench to get on and show there worth there was nothing to be gained by leaving players on so long.
But then look at who Southgate left on the pitch, the latest flavours of the month Callum Hudson -Odoi and a man who a few weeks ago was Irish Declan Rice.
I am not saying that neither deserved their chance nor that they did not take that chance, but with a game won then it would have surely been in the best interests for the England manager to give a good run out to James Ward Prowse and indeed Callum Wilson of Bournemouth who came on for Harry Kane shortly afterwards.
Neither JWP or Wilson had much opportunity to get the pace of the game or to impose themselves on it.
Both would have been grateful to get a short run out and a cap, but surely both would also be puzzled about what they have to do to get more game time.
In James Ward Prowse's case he must feel that Gareth Southgate may talk the talk about loyalty and earning an England cap on merit, but does not walk the walk when he fast tracks Hudson Odoi a man who has yet to start a Premier League game for Chelsea and who has only played 119 minutes of Premier League football this season in 6 sub appearances, to be blunt that is not earning your England cap through displays on the pitch, indeed this season the Chelsea man has now played only 9 less minutes for the England side than he has in the Premier League, surely that tells us something about Southgate's selection process.
To a lesser extent Declan Rice should not have started a game, he does have the pedigree in the Premier League having burst through with West Ham in the past couple of years, but less than a year ago he was happy to play for Ireland and win caps for them.
At the start of this season he was clearly tapped up by someone in the England set up as he informed Ireland that he was considering switching allegiances and was subsequently omitted from Ireland's squads whilst he wrested with his conscience.
The fact that he took until last month to decide perhaps tells you something about where his true loyalties lie, if he truly considered himself English rather than Irish then he would not have had a problem deciding, clearly he is doing so because he considers that he has a better chance of competing in major tournaments with England than ireland.
I have no real problem with that other than like Hudson Odoi he has been fast tracked for a reason that is not based on form but on other issues.
Having declared for England his resolve should have been tested by a period where he was not in the England squad but awaiting his chance.
I applaud Gareth Southgate for bringing fresh ideas into the England squad, but change for changes sake is never good, the sides that win things do so because the players in their teams are there on merit and nothing else, they have earn their right to be in the side not handed it because they have shown a few glimpses of skill in training or off the bench.
Southgate can be a good England manager, he has many good attributes, but it is a tough job, he was found a little wanting in the World Cup tactically but he will learn from that, but he has to also learn about loyalty and earning your place, if James Ward Prowse is a little miffed about being over stepped by Hudson Odoi and Rice then there will be other members of the squad far senior who might feel the same and indeed some who are not in the squad.
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