Welcome back to the FootballCFB and VIZI best of the rest 11. We are now really getting into the team now with only a handful of spots left to fill. At the start of this week, I showed how good of a player Soucek had been to West Ham and how increasingly important had was to their side. Today we are moving onto his partner, who will play alongside him in our team? Another hard and difficult decision but in the end myself and the team came to a player who had to have a place, even at the expense of some fantastic Footballers. But this man has helped Southampton into 8th and genuine European contenders. It is of course James Ward-Prowse.
Now 26 it seems to many like JWP has been around forever, his name has been brought into the England set up of the last year, but he is mostly forgotten about and cast aside as just an average player. The fact is, as a Southampton player, since 2012, he has played 297 games for the Saints, become club captain, scored 28 goals and assisted a phenomenal 37! That’s a goal contribution at least once every five games for eight years all at premier league level!
JWP has been one of the most instrumental players for one single team this season. James has played every single minute of the Premier League thus far and has contributed to 30% of Southampton’s goal so far this season, Four goals and four assists. Two of those assists were match winning against Brighton and champions Liverpool and two goals and another assist in Southampton’s 4-3 win against Aston Villa. This means that JWP has been directly responsible for nine points and potentially 7 positions in the league.
As usual we are going to line up JWP against a ‘big 6’ rival. But this time it’s going to be one of the toughest yet as JWP goes head-to-head with KDB! Arguably one of the best players on the planet Kevin De Bruyne just hit his 100th assist for Manchester City and is one of if not the best playmakers on the planet! So how does James stack up against the mega star?
Other than the clear blue block on the righthand side showcasing how good of a playmaker KDB is, is it too farfetched to suggest that overall JWP has been the better player for this season at least? The two essentially draw when it comes to final third passes, pressure regains and progressive yards, but could you have ever imagined that Ward-Prowse would have a better pass completion? With how pristine the Man City machine usually is under Pep, the fact that he doesn’t have as good a pass completion is a shock at least to me? It shows a part of how good Southampton have been under Ralph Hasenhuttl, the passing and team interplay has been phenomenal with JWP the key to all of it! If those passes don’t get made, then the whole Southampton system falls apart!
An area I’m not too surprise to see JWP dominate in, it’s the defensive side of play. Turnovers, tackles and interceptions all belong to James, but this isn’t too much of a shock when you consider how much of an all-rounder JWP need to be. As I mentioned before he is the key to the Hasenhuttl system and without him everything falls apart because of his ability on and off the ball as well as his phenomenal work ethic. What is a surprise is that Ward-Prowse has more progressive yards! The amount of times you see De Bruyne make a run with the ball up field before taking a shot of amazing pass is endless so to consider that actually JWP does more per game is quite astonishing.
Now look I am not saying that JWP is a better player than KDB because then I would be lying to myself, but JWP has had an exceptional season which absolutely puts him as one of the best in the league. My issue is that people are so unwilling to accept this just because he plays for Southampton, you will never convince me that Kalvin Phillips deserves to be ahead of Ward-Prowse for an England spot because the fact is he is half the player. JWP has everything, he is known as one of the best freekick takers in the league, he covers so much ground to keep up his defensive and attacking efforts all while being a phenomenal footballer.
It would be unthinkable to make this team without James Ward-Prowse’s inclusion, so he is in and is a fantastic addition to our brilliant team! Tomorrow it’s our CAM!
Thanks for reading!