Southampton’s abysmal 2022-23 Premier League campaign continued along the path to relegation earlier today as new boss Nathan Jones suffered two defeats in two since his arrival from Luton Town in a 2-1 loss in the capital against Marco Silva’s Fulham.
That result now sees Saints in the midst of a five-match losing run while sitting at the very bottom of England’s top-flight competition, and the majority of the south coast club’s faithful support is no doubt thinking the worst is yet to come.
But for fan-favorite James Ward-Prowse, the England international found a bright spot on a personal level despite tasting defeat at Craven Cottage when his well-struck free-kick found the back of the net in the 56th-minute to draw Saints level, albeit temporarily.
With that came his fifteenth Premier League goal from a direct set piece, which has now seen him pull within three of leveling with England legend David Beckham for the most free-kick goals in the PL era.
Perhaps even more significantly it showed supreme resilience from the England midfielder after his own goal had gifted the Cottagers a 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute, but it would ultimately not be enough to net Jones the first Premier League point haul of his managerial career.
When it comes to Ward-Prowse, some will certainly wonder if, should Saints fail to avoid the drop this season, his laudable sense of loyalty to the club will see him remain at St. Mary’s Stadium should Championship football beckon, or will the one-club-man and Southampton captain choose a quick escape route back to Premier League pastures.
Nevertheless, Ward-Prowse’s legacy in the top flight of English football, at least from a Saints perspective, deserves a great deal of praise.