Southampton fans have taken to Twitter to pile the praise on James Ward-Prowse, following the 1-0 win over Tottenham at St Mary’s on New Year’s Day.
The surprise win over Jose Mourinho’s side saw the Saints rise to 12th in the Premier League table on 25 points, and means that Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men have now taken ten points from a possible 12 from their last four games, picking up wins over Aston Villa, Chelsea and Spurs and a draw against Crystal Palace.
Instrumental to their latest victory was Ward-Prowse, who enjoyed an excellent afternoon against the north Londoners on New Year’s Day.
The 25-year-old made two key passes and won three aerial duels against Tottenham, while also putting in an exquisite shift from a defensive aspect.
Southampton’s academy graduate and No.16 successfully registered a huge nine tackles against Mourinho’s side, which was more than any other player on the pitch managed to make – Ward-Prowse also made one clearance and delivered two successful crosses.
It represents an impressive turnaround for the Englishman on a personal level, as he was someone who had been heavily criticised by the Southampton supporters on Twitter for a below-par display against Chelsea, while these fans were also unhappy with his performance in a 2-1 defeat to Everton.
However, they are singing a different tune now.
Ings will deservedly receive the plaudits but JWP has been a massive part of #saintsfc‘s upturn in form. He’s successfully fulfilling a type of CM role which he couldn’t have done a year ago. That’s testament to his intelligence & professionalism, as well as Ralph’s coaching. 💪
— Lucy Merrily On Highnett (@lucyhighnett) January 1, 2020
This fan named Lucy said that Ward-Prowse has been a massive part of the Saints’ recent upturn, stating that his turnaround in form is a testament to his intelligence and professionalism, as well as Hasenhuttl’s coaching skills.
This past month has been unreal to watch. True box to box midfielder. Him and PEH have been lights out and a big reason why the Saints have enjoyed their recent success.
— BenG (@highoncloud09) January 1, 2020
Elsewhere, this supporter replied to that comment by saying that the midfielder has been “unreal to watch” in the past month, calling him a “true box-to-box midfielder”.
Both him and PEH. I’ve been very critical about the pair this season. And rightly so. But lately, prowse has that little bit of nasty back in his game. Makes him a much better player
— Mark Paterson (@mrmarkpat) January 1, 2020
Thought he was brilliant , got a real bite to his game again
— leephillips (@leephillips1976) January 1, 2020
Furthermore, these two supporters both mentioned one particularly interesting thing.
Both Mark and Lee stated that Ward-Prowse seems to have rediscovered an edge to his game, with the former describing it as having “that little bit of nasty back” while the latter supporter opted to say that he has the “bite” to his game again.
He has turned his form around massively. Back to the storming player he was last season. 👏👏👏
— Julian Hood (@harvey_hood) January 1, 2020
Even more impressive is the fact he’s doing it in a midfield 2 and not a 3. Winning tackles and headers that he wouldn’t of in previous seasons. 👏🏻
— stephen sneller (@steviesnells) January 1, 2020
Lastly, these two fans continued the adoration for Ward-Prowse.
Julian said that the Englishman has “turned his form around massively” before making the point that he is back to the “storming player” that he was in the previous campaign.
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Stephen then went on to say that Ward-Prowse’s performances are all the more impressive when you consider that he’s doing it in a midfield two and not a three – certainly an interesting point to make.
In other news, Hasenhuttl must be kicking himself for not landing this Championship star back in the summer…