'Looks fatigued': Former Southampton boss suggests Saints player really needs a rest

Sam Preston March 29, 2021
'Looks fatigued': Former Southampton boss suggests Saints player really needs a rest
Photo by Eddie Keogh - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Former Southampton manager Glenn Hoddle feels that England midfielder James Ward-Prowse really needs a rest.

Ward-Prowse came on as a substitute as England saw off Albania 2-0 on Sunday night.

That means the Three Lions are currently top of their World Cup qualification group after two matches.

But the European Championship is looming and there might be a spot going in England’s midfield if Jordan Henderson isn’t back from injury in time.

Srdjan Stevanovic – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

In the Evening Standard, Hoddle was asked about England’s midfield without Henderson and talked up Ward-Prowse before discussing his fears about his fitness.

“I have liked what I have seen from Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips. I think there is a nice balance there and I think Gareth might start those two against Poland to see how they cope with having to defend a little bit more.

“You could have Rice with James Ward-Prowse. I worry for Ward-Prowse a little bit that he has not missed a game for Southampton for a ridiculous amount of time, and never misses a minute because he never gets taken off.

“I think he is a really good player I just worry that he is in danger of getting an injury. He looks fatigued. He looks like he needs a bit of a rest but he will probably not get that at Southampton.”

Srdjan Stevanovic – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Ward-Prowse got most of the night off in Tirana and the 5-0 win over San Marino was something of a stroll.

With Southampton not in European action, Ward-Prowse is getting time off in the week that some of his international teammates won’t be.

He has actually been one of England’s most impressive performers in recent days.

So if he is as tired as Hoddle fears, there aren’t many obvious signs so far.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.