Joe Cole and Carlton Cole Express Confusion Over James Ward-Prowse’s Exclusion from England Squad

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James Ward-Prowse has once more found himself omitted from Gareth Southgate’s England squad, despite his impressive performance, which includes two goals and three assists since his transfer to West Ham from Southampton in the summer. While his teammate Jarrod Bowen made the cut, Ward-Prowse will have to bide his time to earn his first international cap since June 2022.

Sports expert Carlton Cole admits he struggles to “understand” why West Ham midfielder James Ward-Prowse has been omitted from Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad.
Ward-Prowse has seemingly failed to do enough to impress Southgate despite scoring twice and grabbing three assists since joining David Moyes’ side from Southampton in the summer.
His West Ham team-mate Jarrod Bowen has been given the nod for the friendly against Australia and the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier with Italy.

Ward-Prowse has 11 international caps but hasn’t featured since a goalless draw with the Azzurri in the UEFA Nations League in June 2022.
Speaking ahead of West Ham’s UEFA Europa League clash at SC Freiburg on Thursday, a game shown live and exclusive on TNT Sports, former West Ham striker Cole said: “I don’t understand it myself.
“When you’re playing at the top of your game and you’re contributing week in, week out, you deserve a reward.
“It’s not just set-pieces he’s known for; he’s scoring goals in open play, he’s setting up goals, creating chances for the team, and his passing range is unbelievable. He’s always up there with the striker. So I don’t understand why he’s not even being selected.
“Jordan Henderson has gone to, I’d say, not a competitive league [in Saudi Arabia] – not like how Ward-Prowse is, and he’s playing at the top of his game at the moment.

“What message does that send to other players that are playing really well? ‘How am I going into that England team if the manager’s always got his favourites?’

Joe Cole and Carlton Cole Express Confusion Over James Ward-Prowse’s Exclusion from England Squad

“It might help him in another sense. He’ll get there eventually, I feel. But he’s never going to drop off because he’s always going to have something to prove, so hopefully it’s good for West Ham.”
Meanwhile, Joe Cole believes Ward-Prowse can’t do anything more to impress Southgate.

“He’ll be absolutely gutted,” he continued.
“I remember in the latter stages [of my career], I was left out of a lot of England squads, and with certain managers, I thought: ‘Will I ever have a chance? If he’s not going to pick me now, it’s going to be very difficult for me’. I think James, unfortunately, might be thinking that to himself.

“The players ahead of him… If you consider Jordan Henderson, who is now in Saudi Arabia, and Kalvin Phillips – the manager has placed a lot of faith in them, and they have a strong track record with England. I believe that’s why they made the squad.”

West Ham is seeking their second Group A victory as they prepare to face SC Freiburg.

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