The Atheltic’s Dan Sheldon has suggested that the recent red card to James Ward-Prowse could benefit Southampton in the long run.
In their loss to Chelsea, the Saints captain scored an equaliser from the penalty spot before receiving his marching orders 16 minutes later after a heavy challenge on Jorginho.
Down to ten men, Southampton eventually buckled as the home side scored twice in the final stages of the game to claim all three points in a 3-1 victory.
Although the red card was an obvious disadvantage to Ward-Prowse, Sheldon pondered whether or not the club captain could do with a rest.
While speaking on the Total Saints podcast, he explained: “Now that the break has kind of been forced on him, so yeah, you got to look at the positive.
“You know, he’s played an awful lot of football over the last kind of two and a bit years.
“So for him to sort of catch up, maybe get his breath back, if he’s got any kind of lingering niggles or issues, then they can kind of hopefully disappear.”
TIF Thoughts on James Ward-Prowse and Southampton…
The English midfielder has certainly played a lot of football in recent seasons. Indeed, the red card will actually mean that Ward-Prowse’s 117-game run (in all competitions) comes to an end at last.
As Sheldon suggests, however, this could be a good thing. Southampton’s start to the season has been poor, and their captain’s form had not been great either – though a reported issue with his diet could possibly be to blame.
Although he would have had a rest this week due to not being in England’s latest international squad, the time away from the pressures of the Premier League may benefit him in the long run, too.