Michail Antonio feels that West Ham midfielder James Ward-Prowse should have been picked by Gareth Southgate for England for their games against Australia and Italy.
The Hammers striker appears to be raging at the decision from Southgate to snub Ward-Prowse despite the fact the former Southampton midfielder has been outstanding for the club so far.
Speaking on The Footballer’s Football Podcast on Thursday (12 October), Antonio said that he is “upset” with Southgate and it’s madness that Ward-Prowse hasn’t been picked because the 28-year-old has been “unbelievable” for the Hammers.
The 33-year-old striker also suggested that managers tend to pick players they can trust but at the same time players are being picked who aren’t playing well. He even added that if he was Ward-Prowse, he would not want to play under Southgate after his later snub, which he describes as “embarrassing”.
“I am upset with Southgate,” said Antonio. “The stats say that Ward-Prowse is doing everything week in week out to play for England so it is mad he has not been picked.
“I think that when you are playing at your best you should be rewarded and for me that is England. He has been unbelievable. I understand managers like to pick players they trust, but he has got players in there who are not even playing. I do not like that.
“If I was James now [and got picked], I would not go. I am being deadly serious. There is no bigger honour than playing for your country but I would not want to play for the man. Multiple times he has done everything and multiple times he has been overlooked. It’s embarrassing.”
Since moving to West Ham this summer, Ward-Prowse has taken his game to a whole new level. He has now scored two goals and three assists, and the transfer is proving to be a big success already. On top of that, he has provided three assists in the Europa League.
With 2.1 key passes on average and over 90% accuracy, he is arguably playing at a high level, and it is really disappointing to see that Southgate has ignored him once again for the games against Australia and Italy.
Antonio clearly is frustrated with the harsh treatment being meted out to his teammate. He has observed him closely in training and knows how hard he has been pushing himself to get picked for the national team.
Eventually, it’s Southgate’s decision and Ward-Prowse can do nothing but wait for his chances. A manager must pick his team based on in-form players, and based on form alone, Ward-Prowse deserves to be in the England squad.
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