Southampton’s season can really be looked at in two parts as they completely transformed their poor fortune around Christmas to the point where they now almost safe from relegation.
James Ward-Prowse’s form has encapsulated that, with the midfielder struggling at first before becoming one of the Saints’ most important players, to the point where fans were relieved after a bit of positive injury news in recent weeks.
The midfielder earned a call-up to the England squad at the beginning of the season yet in early October fans were quick to criticise the 25-year-old following a 2-1 home defeat that left the Saints in the relegation zone with two wins from 12 league games.
Players like Redmond , JWP , Bednarek, PEH have gone badly backwards. Ralph has to accept responsibility. Ings goals are masking over a shocking premier league side. #saintsfc
— 1885theartof (@1885theartof) November 9, 2019
Not sure how JWP gets in the side let alone captain.
Maybe he will be a good championship player for us next year
— NorwegianSaint2 (@NorwegianSaint2) November 9, 2019
Not long after that came the fateful 9-0 home defeat to Leicester. Many fans rightly faced the wrath of supporters afterwards, and Ward-Prowse was included in that after the match.
The ward prowse interviews are just cringeworthy. He’s rubbish every week
— neatola79 (@relax792) October 25, 2019
It took a big effort from the management and squad to turn things around after that point, with big wins over Aston Villa and Chelsea around Christmas making things a whole lot rosier for the south coast outfit.
A New Year’s Day win over Tottenham made their position look even better, and suddenly there was a different outlook on Ward-Prowse.
He has turned his form around massively. Back to the storming player he was last season. 👏👏👏
— Julian Hood (@harvey_hood) January 1, 2020
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
A month later he was forced off in a match against Tottenham. Supporters by this point would have naturally feared the worst, and the fact that they were so relieved that he wasn’t badly hurt shows how he managed to turn around fan opinion.
Thank goodness for that
— mark carter (@markcar72540679) February 5, 2020
— Jason Lawson (@jase1962) February 6, 2020
Most recently, an accomplished display against Aston Villa made fans sure that the midfielder was indeed a really valuable asset all along, and the praise for his display shows how highly regarded he is currently.
Ward Prowse. Did a fantastic job at RB. Grealish was a non factor in the game. Managed to stick a little more even though everyone had a fantastic game
— Chicago- SaintsFC (@Chi_Saintsfan) February 22, 2020
JWP .. I’ve criticised him in the past but absolutely immense the second half of this season and awesome again today 💪 #sainstfc
— Lisa J (@lisjefferies) February 22, 2020
Meanwhile, here is how Southampton fans reacted to an exciting signing back in 2018…