James Ward-Prowse

Ward-Prowse: Sending the fans home happy is what football is all about!

James Ward-Prowse has been a West Ham United player less than three weeks, but he already developing quite the relationship with the Claret and Blue Army.

The England midfielder scored his first goal for the Club in Saturday’s 3-1 win at Brighton & Hove Albion to help the Hammers storm to the top of the Premier League table on his second appearance for the Club, having registered two assists in a victory over Chelsea by the same scoreline on his debut.

The 29-year-old has been taken aback by the welcome he has received by West Ham supporters and staff alike, and by the atmospheres created by those fans at both matches. On Saturday, he witnessed the Club’s away support for the first time as a Hammer – and was blown away!

“That’s what football is all about!” he smiled, talking after the Hammers’ first-ever Premier League win over Brighton at the Amex Stadium. “A lot of things are [great] in football, but to send a group of fans home happy at being top of the league [is among the best].

“We’re not going to get carried away, of course, but it’s a fantastic start and something to build on now. I can't speak highly enough of the fans and the people who have helped me settle.”

It’s great to be off to a good start with West Ham and long may it continue.
James Ward-Prowse

Ward-Prowse got the away end jumping up and down when he netted the opening goal against the Seagulls – his first for West Ham and his landmark 50th in the Premier League after scoring 49 times for former club Southampton.

“That’s special,” he confirmed. “You always aim for that first goal [for your new club] and go from there, and to reach 50 is a special number of course. It’s great to be off to a good start with West Ham and long may it continue.”

The No7 was part of a determined team effort on the south coast, where he formed part of a new-look midfield alongside fellow summer signing Edson Álvarez and helped stifle a potent Brighton attack.

Ward-Prowse hailed the Irons’ tactical approach and work-rate and is hoping David Moyes’ men can continue their unbeaten start to the 2023/24 campaign when they travel to newly-promoted Luton Town on Friday evening.

“A lot of effort went into the game plan, you have to respect Brighton because of the way they play and the way they’ve improved over the last few years has been admirable from a distance,” Ward-Prowse observed. “You know when you’re up against here and when you play against a team like Brighton with the ball, you know you need to be defensively solid and to pull together, work hard, have a few individual performances and a bit of luck, and we had all of that on our side.

“Looking at Brighton, they want you to press, they want you to open the game up and give them space to play, so we denied Brighton space and were compact and clinical on the counter-attack. That was the way to go. We had the composure to make the most of our chances when we had them, so we executed our game plan perfectly.”


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