Before eventually signing for the Hammers in the summer of 2012 for a total fee of £10.75million, Matt Jarvis certainly seemed like a player with a bright future ahead of him in the English game.
He may not have been the most notorious name in the Premier League at that point for his exploits out on the pitch, yet because of his strong reputation amongst the Wolves fans, solitary cap for the Three Lions on the international scene, and extremely hefty price tag for a player that had just been relegated to the Championship – the now 28-year-old definitely carried with him a certain degree of promise when West Ham first announced his signing ahead of the 2012/13 campaign.
The praise surrounding Matt Jarvis at the time wasn’t without warrant either. The quick-footed winger was reportedly being watched by several clubs after impressing at Molineux, and as he played a somewhat vital role in West Ham’s rather disheartening 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers all the way back in 2009/10, the Hammers board must have felt they were on their end of a potential coup when they first got their hands on the exciting no. 7.
As Jarvis’ years in the claret & blue have played out however, his stint at Upton Park has sadly proved far from successful. The Middlesbrough-born midfielder has made less than 10 starts for the Hammers this season and has failed to get on the score-sheet even once.
In light of such a notion, and with the 2014/15 season rapidly approaching its conclusion in the next week or so, the Upton Park faithful are left to ask just what the future holds for the once promising Matt Jarvis?
Before any discussion involving the former Wolves man can get truly underway however, it must be remembered that his lack of game time this season has partially been born out of circumstances beyond his control. West Ham’s initial preference for playing a 4-3-1-2 formation – with Stewart Downing patrolling centrally behind both Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho up top – didn’t really leave much room for Jarvis in the starting XI.
Big Sam opted against playing traditional wide-men in the opening few months of the season to great affect – but although Allardyce has somewhat unforgivingly reverted to his 4-5-1 tactics since the turn of the year however – the £10.75 million man still hasn’t seen much first team action.
That may be because Matt Jarvis could arguably go down as the most opinion splitting member of this current Hammers squad. Some sections of the Upton Park faithful seemingly admire the 28-year-old for his unquestionable effort down the flanks, quick turn of pace in the final third and somewhat surprising ability to beat his man and send in crosses consistently.
Whilst all those aforementioned aspects to Jarvis’ approach may in-fact be present in his overall game though, they simply don’t detract from the fact that he ultimately doesn’t produce enough quality to warrant a place in the first team at Upton Park.
Yes, his record for sending in crosses does seem to come in at a pretty frequent level – but as nine out of ten of those balls are often over-hit, far too deep, and very rarely end up with a goal being scored as a result of them – Matt Jarvis really doesn’t deserve a great deal of credit for what he has achieved at West Ham.
The one time England international just isn’t a naturally gifted footballer in terms of technique. His touch often lets the side down when its needed most, he doesn’t really get involved in the build-up play with the rest of his teammates – and unlike Stewart Downing’s fine finish against Everton last time out – Matt Jarvis is seemingly incapable of cutting inside swiftly and dispatching a shot from the corner of the box. It just never happens.
It must be so easy to plan how to deal with Jarvo – for all he ever seems to do is run to the goal-line at break-neck speed and bang in crosses that more often than not result in nothing.
He is therefore simply too one dimensional to be relied upon in this current Hammers set up, and perhaps Big Sam and the chairmen should receive more stick for the silly amount of money the club initially shelled out for his services in the first place.
Even when he has been given the chance this year he has completely failed to produce the goods – and as West Ham just don’t provide much of an attacking threat when he’s given a run in the first team – the club ultimately have no other option but to part company with Matt Jarvis in the run up to the new campaign.
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