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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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halftimeorange added 10:46 - Mar 26
JWP showed his best but, sadly I doubt he'll get a chance against stronger opposition and, even if he does, he'll have to defer to others to generally take ineffective free kicks and corners.

SaintPaulVW added 10:47 - Mar 26
A lot of international tournament games comedown to making the most of very few chances.

If you can find a player who can tidy up and restrict the opposition's chances and gives you an extra edge in deadball situations so that you can get all your attacking players into danger positions, surely it's a no brainer.


IanRC added 12:42 - Mar 26
Agree entirely the England managers have long been a source of national disgrace. Must say I do rate Foden though. Sterling was far too greedy and Lingard is just not up to it despite success at WHU.

WestSussexSaint added 12:58 - Mar 26
Lets not get too carried away - it was San Marino after all! That said comparing against the other England players I thought JWP did well enough to show Southgate he shoud be in the squad even if not the first XI.

Of the others I thought Sterling (sefish) and Calvert-Lewin (needed too many chances for his 2 goals) were poor.

Interesting that in the commentary during and after the match about the embaressment of risches Southgate now has to pick from in an attacking sense, Ings is not even in the picture now.

underweststand added 13:27 - Mar 26
Playing San Marino is predictable and it's always a case of how many, 5-0 OK ...but bearing that in mind, we have to admit that England's performance in front of goal was pathetic. 32 shots - did I read?, and Sterling - as greedy as ever - had 12 shots and got just on goal. Calvert-Lewin managed two, (both put on a plate for him), but also might easily have been a half- dozen. He won't get those chances in " a real game ".
Lingard did his best to waste half dozen chances without any joy, and only a little extra congratulatory pat on the back for Ollie Watkins' goal in his first season in the Prem. even though the opposition were out on their feet by then.
However, I thought Prowsey's goal was the best of the bunch, when he sneaked into the area and slotted it home, and the San M. goalie did very well to get a hand to JWPs free-kick otherwise he might have had two.
Sadly, I have to agree with halftimeorange (above) in saying that JWP is hardly likely to get a full 90 mins in the forthcoming games against "tougher " opponents, and can only hope for a short sub. spot in the last 10 minutes.

The soccer media will demand the return of Rice & Co. to midfield, who will revert to their usual half-hearted attempts with corners and free-kicks.
Whilst we can take some pleasure in this win, other teams in the group will score more on another day, and Southgate can take little pleasure from such a tame performance.

He should remember the manager's byword..." always play your best in-form players ".

SanMarco added 15:24 - Mar 26
At least the mighty Albania are up next...

wibbersda added 10:43 - Mar 27
Saw a youtube vid of their training and it look to me like JWP was an outcast being mostly ignored by the premadonnas you mentioned. He just got his head down and got on with the work, but didn't look like a warm welcome.

I_would added 13:55 - Mar 27
Prowsey got a lucky scuffed shot through the legs of a car salesman which trickled in the corner. It wasn't the winning goal, there were five winning goals. Prowsey will have his cushion ready for the competitive games I'm sure.

DellBoyWally added 00:12 - Mar 29
"I Would" obviously a Pompey saddo!

I_would added 15:58 - Mar 29
Change the record Les, as the whole world knows, obviously except for you, it's Prowsey who comes from Pompey. And you shouldn't get on his back about it, he tries very hard and runs and runs for your entertainment.

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