James Ward-Prowse warms up at London Stadium

Ward-Prowse: Arsenal derby is an exciting test

James Ward-Prowse says West Ham United’s record against Arsenal this season makes Sunday’s Premier League outing at London Stadium an even more exciting prospect. 

The Irons head into this weekend’s derby against the Gunners on the back of consecutive wins against the north London side. David Moyes’ Hammers defeated Arsenal 3-1 in the Carabao Cup fourth round at home in November and secured an impressive 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium at the end of December in league action. 

West Ham will be looking to make it three wins from three matches played against Mikel Arteta’s team on Sunday afternoon and Ward-Prowse is looking forward to another competitive fixture, predicting that the visitors will be equally as up for the challenge after the results did not go their way in the last two outings against the Irons.

“You can take things from that game at the Emirates Stadium, but we also know that this game is going to be totally different,” Ward-Prowse said. “They will have learned things from that first game and we’ve learned things as well.

“We got the result last time in the league but that probably means they’re going to be even more up for it this time around. That probably makes for even more exciting game. We’re at home and we’re really looking forward to it.”

You can take things from that game at the Emirates Stadium, but we also know that this game is going to be totally different.
James Ward-Prowse

A six-game unbeaten run in the Premier League came to an end for Ward-Prowse and his teammates last time out as, despite a decent showing, the Hammers fell to a 3-0 defeat away at Manchester United. 

While the midfielder could find consolation in the side’s showing at Old Trafford, Ward-Prowse knows the result was not good enough and is eager to put that right at London Stadium on Sunday.

“When you come away with a 3-0 loss then, of course, you’re going to be disappointed with the result. But I think the way we played was positive. The statistics suggested we had a lot of the ball and created a lot of chances, which was good, but at the end of the day we didn’t come away with anything so we need to look at that. 

“The beauty of football is there is always another game around the corner to put it right and we don’t want to make the same mistakes again.”

James Ward-Prowse verus Manchester United

Ward-Prowse has been sat on 17 direct free-kicks scored in the Premier League since February 2023 and is just one shy of equalling David Beckham’s record in the competition. 

While the 29-year-old admits he thinks about overtaking his idol’s standing, Ward-Prowse is not fazed by the opportunity and believes he will take the chance when the right one presents itself.

“I went through a really good spell of scoring a few in a short amount of time, and I’ve thought about levelling the record when stood over each of the last ten or so I’ve taken,” he added. “But they’ve not quite come off and you can’t score them all. You can’t get too down with it. You just have to keep practicing and be ready for the next one. 

“I’ve got time on my side. I’m just focusing on playing well and doing my best for the team. I just want to do my best for the group and, if I keep doing that, then I’m sure the record will come.”