I’ll admit that I had doubts about James Ward-Prowse when we signed the former Southampton captain. Mark Noble was very much in my thoughts when I pondered about Ward-Prowse’s move from the south coast to east London and the impact he’d have on the pitch.
Nobes would run through brick walls for West Ham, he bleeds claret and blue but would he have had the same passion, desire and energy if he’d moved to another club? I’m not so sure. Ward-Prowse had dragged the Saints across the line in many games and always appeared to find an extra 10% to help the cause.
But, putting it bluntly, would he really care about playing for West Ham after moving away from the club he’d been at for 20 years. I have, however, been delighted with his start to claret and blue career as he registered two goals and five assists in five games.
If anything, it feels like signing and playing for West Ham has given him a new lease of life. He’s got matchwinners around him so he doesn’t have the pressure that he would’ve had before.
He can play freely and I believe it’s this freedom that has helped him exceed our expectations, including the expectations of his teammates. I was laughing when I read Coufal’s quote in the Evening Standard that: ‘we knew what to expect from him but I didn’t expect what he has done so far.’
Also I’m loving his updated celebration with the golf swing followed by the crossed arms. There is an argument that using the Rice money to buy Ward-Prowse and Edson Alvarez makes us far stronger as a team now. Let’s hope that he keeps producing the goods.