West Ham’s summer signing from Wolves has struggled for consistency in his first season at the Boleyn Ground with a few excellent displays littered between some games where the winger simply hasn’t turned up.
Coming to East London with a fairly big price tag was always going to have an effect on the player. It certainly impacts on the mentality of a player, partly coming from the expectations and pressure from fans and the media. But it isn’t just Jarvis who has struggled since a big money move, just look at Andy Carroll who is currently on loan at West Ham after failing to play up to his big price tag at Liverpool.
Jarvis, who has one solitary England cap to his name after featuring in a friendly against Ghana, could point to the stats to show that he hasn’t flopped in his first season in claret and blue, he tops the individual chart as the league’s most successful crosser and is a key part to Allardyce’s tactics of getting the ball into Carroll in the middle.
The winger is a bit of a luxury player in the sense that his teammates all value him because of the breather he allows them to have by running at defenders and taking them on. If there is a struggle at the back a lot of the time fans will see the ball go to Jarvis who is one of the best in the league at running with the ball and giving other players in the team a moment to gather themselves.
One frustrating part of Jarvis’ play is that he should be getting more goals. For a forward player to have just two goals to his name, scored away at QPR and at home to Wigan respectively, is disappointing, but this could be said of all the attackers that West Ham have played this season having had no one reach double figures.
The fee the club paid for Matt Jarvis is a reported £7.5million, rising to £10.75million, and for a newly promoted side this was a large sum of money, although it was a position that needed strengthening and there wasn’t a better player available to the club. At the time of signing Jarvis, it seemed to be a fans debate between the player we ended up taking from Wolves or Adam Johnson, who had just helped Manchester City to the league title and ended up heading to Sunderland for around £10million.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, as looking back over the season Jarvis has outperformed the struggling Johnson, so it would seem Allardyce’s decision to go with the former Gillingham player was correct. At just 26, Jarvis has time to improve, he is still yet to reach his peak and once the club gets a long-term striker, whether that is Carroll or another player, that is when fans of our great club will truly see the benefits of having Matty in the team.