Ward Prowse Nets Winner For England
Friday, 26th Mar 2021 08:23
There were the usual array of overpaid prima donna's on display for England last night as they took on San Marino, but it took the most down to earth wearing the three lions on the pitch to hit the match winner.
England took on San Marino for the 7th time on Thursday evening and the previous 6 results have all gone the same way, indeed the smallest defeat the Italian Principality have achieved has been defeat by 5 goals.
Gareth Southgate's line up was very much experimental with Harry Kane relegated to the bench alongside a few regulars.
When Southgate took over I truly hoped that he would be the manager England have needed for many a year, one that picked players based on their form and not the club they play for, initially that was the case, but before long he had reverted to type and it seemed that who you played for was more important than anything else.
So last night was about the underdog, not just in terms of the opposition, but for the likes of James Ward Prowse, who despite being one of the best midfielders in the Premier League over the past two years had only won 4 caps before this evening at Wembley.
England started well and it was our man who netted the first and therefore winning goal, as England passed their way through the San Marino ranks, the magic moment coming in the 14th minute when Ward Prowse swept home a Ben Chilwell cross.
By the 30th minute it was 3-0 and at that stage I was thinking 9-0 was on the cards and wondering when the commentators would say "And James Ward Prowse knows something about 9-0's"
But somewhere along the line the England XI stopped playing as a team and started to go for personal glory, there would only be another 2 goals in the remaining 90 minutes, it wasn't for a lack of trying and in truth the San Marino keeper was man of the match, sadly reserving his best save for a JWP special free kick, 30 yards out top right hand corner, but somehow he got there and got a hand to keep it out.
But somewhere along the line we had lost the plot, Sterling and Lingard seemed to be like kids at school they had to have a shot every time, even when team mates where better placed.
But for me and I'm only slightly biased, Ward Prowse was at the heart of everything England did, whilst others around him showboated with no end product, he did the basics, he made himself available and moved the ball on quickly, he didn't try to do the hard thing all the time, he preferred to be provider than scorer.
If some of his team mates had had the same attitude then England would not have just equalled their worst score against San Marino they would have beaten their best.
I suspect that when we play Poland the usual suspects will be back and we will tread the same well beaten path, great in qualifying games, ok in the group games at a tournament followed by a glorious defeat in a quarter final.
I still hope that Gareth Southgate will wake up and realise that all great teams are based on work ethics, sadly we put teenagers up on pedestals in this country and they become prima Donnas.
Photo: Action Images
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