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Southampton 3 v 1 Sheffield United
Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 26th July 2020 Kick-off 16:00
James Ward Prowse A Rare Success In Lucky England Win
Sunday, 6th Sep 2020 09:23

England were poor in scraping a late lucky win against Iceland, but James Ward Prowse can take satisfaction in a solid performance after playing the full 90 minutes.

Gareth Southgate went for youth in picking this England side, he started the latest wonderkids Sancho, Rice & Foden with James Ward Prowse in, not to play a role similar to his one at Saints where he is there to deliver the through balls and dead ball situations, but more as the man to keep the ball flowing and feed the superstars.

This he did well, he won the ball on numerous occasions and then moved it on quickly to those whose job it was to create the magic, his performance reminded me very much of the job that Steve Davis used to do for Saints, as Lawrie McMenemy would say, he was a hod carrier not the violinist, but both are needed and both need to do their jobs well, Ward Prowse did, many of his team mates didn't.

But if Ward Prowse's job was to move the ball quickly to get the hosts on the back foot, both the new wonder kids and the more established stars failed time and time again to deliver.

They seemed to always want to showboat, I lost count of the number of times that certain players seemed to want to juggle the ball at their feet before actually trying to take an opponent on.

The youngsters seemed to constantly try to do the spectacular rather than pass the ball to those in better positions.

To put it bluntly Gareth Southgate sent out the wrong messages when he picked those inexperienced even at club level to take on Iceland, it smacked of a little bit of arrogance and it back fired.

It wasn't just the youngsters though the likes of Raheem Sterling also failed to many times to create chances for themselves or others.

England's game was all about taking on players in the final third, when perhaps it should have taken a leaf from the goal disallowed wrongly for offiside in the first half when a glorious ball was foreced home at close range by Harry Kane.

That showed how to unlock the home defence which seemed at times to be the entire side, Kane barely had a chance after this game, too often he was left making runs in the centre with the ball never coming.

This was the case as well for Danny Ings who came on for the last 20 minutes, this was a game that cried out for his guile, his ability to pull defenders out of position to create space for others, but by the time he was brought on the die was cast and with Kyle Walker being sent off with 20 minutes left it gave the home side impetus and made things that much harder.

England got lucky late on, the ref gave us a dubious penalty which we tucked away but the lead lasted barely a minute, the ref seemed to feel he had erred with the England spot kick and he would have had a point, so he seemed to want to redress the balance, if it was a foul it was initially outside the box, but I thin the refs conscience won over the reality of the situation, luckily for England the spot kick was blazed way over the bar.

So a poor night for England , but a good days work for James Ward Prowse who played the game he was asked to play and did the job well.

Danny Ings wlll be pleased to get another Engalnd cap, but disappointed that those whose job it was to supply the strikers failed to do so in the last 20 minutes just as much as they did in the first 70.

Photo: Action Images

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sandywelsh added 10:08 - Sep 6
Well said Nick. I dont know why Gareth Southgate picked so many youngsters it must be to keep the press happy. England should play their most experienced players in qualifying games. The under 21 games are for the kids.

darthvader added 10:08 - Sep 6
I only saw the last few mins but I loved JWP sh!thousery just before they took their penalty. He was slyly trying to scuff up the penalty spot and turf around it , and getting in the takers head

underweststand added 11:32 - Sep 6
Is this the first time that anyone has noticed the tactic of scuffing the penalty spot and the various antics before the shot is taken?. How often do you see players remonstrate with the referee and "stand " on the spot whilst doing so - before the kick is taken .
Goalies do it all the time. (Forget it - he's not going to change his mind). but whilst they are trampling on the spot, it's only calculated to upset the kicker... but of course the kicker wouldn't be the first player to miss a 91st minute penalty anyway, .. and England's win was deserved because of clear error in disallowing Kane's early "goal".

There will be a mix bag of responses to this incident. Many fans will ( I assume) be glad that we won....but there will be those who sanctimoniously call for punishment and expect Southgate to reprimand JWP for "possibly" helping England to get the win even though he was the best midfielder on show.

You choose which side you are on, and although it may be branded "unsportsmanlike " by some it does leave a bad taste in the mouth when you can read that amongst Prowsie's critics, he was called a "cheat" by ...Roy Keane (!) .. of all people.
Words fail me....I rest my case.

I_would added 12:29 - Sep 6
I wanted to watch the England match but somehow got the wrong one. I watched the one where England couldn't break down a bunch of boring part timers and where a parallel universe Prowsey was continually passing sideways and back and was all over the pitch chasing the ball. I also noticed that our 'dead ball specialist' was not allowed to kick a dead ball, odd.

GeordieSaint added 14:20 - Sep 6
Some strange observations about ‘playing the youngsters’. Apart from Foden who do you mean? I mean £100 million rated sancho played (12th cap) because rashford was injured and Declan Rice played his 8th game and he would probably be picked if everyone was fit.

60yearsandcounting added 15:05 - Sep 6
JWP had some of the best stats of any England player: passing accuracy; interceptions; and the like. As for the scuff: was it any worse than happened to the spot during normal play? Wasn't Gomez's pull and tug to give the penalty not cheating? Pathetic comments from people ignoring the big cheating far worse throughout all games.
Kane should have been replaced after 20 minutes. He was a passenger, no contribution at all. Danny I got no service, no chance to contribute much, played out on the left!?
Thought the youngsters brought in looked pretty good, would have learned from their experience. In the fans' "Marks" for players run on BBC Sport app, Jorden Pickford (who should not be picked) was ahead of JWP?! as were 7 other players! So much for fans knowing it all!!

the_saint added 17:24 - Sep 6
Roy Keane calling jwp a cheat well at least he didn't break Coventry City players leg on purpose

SaintBrock added 11:13 - Sep 7
It was the only way he could make his mark.

underweststand added 20:13 - Sep 7
Wasn't Roy Keane red-carded in the infamous 6-3 Dell win over Man U.?
He, of all people, shouldn't be the first to caste a stone .....!!!!
He just doesn't like Saints..surely a case of the pot calling the kettle ..(some colour or other).

MRHALL93 added 09:28 - Sep 8
JWP played really well on Saturday. Like you said he moved the ball really quickly, he seemed like he knew what he wanted to do before he had the ball at his feet. Something that's very valuable considering the England team are the sort of team that enjoy playing on the break. Not that this really worked before Iceland were defending very deep.

Foden looked out of sorts. I think he plays the role in the pocket very well for City. But with Iceland defending so deep, he was never able to get on the ball and the same can be said for JWP when we were attacking.

I didn't enjoy watching England. I can't really tell what brand of football Gareth Southgate is trying to play. It just seems like he wants to play the best 11 players that he has at his disposal and hope that it works out.

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