West Ham winger pays the price for being too honest
21:32 16 April 2014
Hammers’ Matt Jarvis stays on his feet and costs his team a penalty says Sam Allardyce
In a Premier League littered with serial divers, it is perhaps refreshing to see a player refusing to go down in the box to win a penalty.
It is also a frustrating feeling if it is a player from your side and on 16 minutes of Tuesday night’s game it happened to West Ham.
Winger Matt Jarvis, given a recall for the match at the Emirates, raced into the box and was clearly fouled by Bacary Sagna, but the West Ham man attempted to stay on his feet, got to the ball and crossed and the chance was gone.
Manager Sam Allardyce was certainly in no doubt about what should have happened.
“A foul is a foul, it doesn’t matter if you go down or stand on your feet,” insisted the boss after the 3-1 defeat by Arsenal.
“We get slaughtered for diving and being dishonest, but when someone is honest you don’t get what you should get, particularly in the penalty area, so you have to make the referee’s mind up.
“If there is contact you should go down because there is no reward for being honest.”
Mark Noble was full of praise for the goalscorer’s character, saying: “They talk about honesty in the game and I am pretty sure if ‘Jarvo’ goes down in the area, we get a penalty.
“He is probably the most honest man you will ever meet in your life, but I suppose sometimes honesty is not the best policy.”
So what about the man himself, what did he make of being called the most honest man you will evet meet?
“I don’t really know what to say to that,” said the unassuming winger. “Maybe I should have been a bit more clever and do what other players have done and then maybe I could have got a penalty.
“I think maybe I thought about it too late and it wouldn’t have been given as it might have been construed as a late dive.”
Jarvis stayed on his feet and the chance went so you can imagine the reaction of his manager afterwards.
“I could hear him from the sideline,” revealed Jarvis. “I realised at that point that I definitely should have gone down.”
This was one of the former Wolves man’s better performances in claret and blue this season, crowned with a goal to fire the Hammers in front.
“We built the play up down the right really well and ‘Noccy’ (Antonio Nocerino) managed to get behind them and had a shot that was deflected up to me,” explained the 27-year-old.
“I managed to get across and just headed into the back of the net – I’ve seen the replay and a foot was quite close to my head.” It was his third goal of the campaign, but for the player back in the starting line-up it was tinged with disappointment.
“Of course you always want to be in the team and when you are out of it, you work hard so that when you get your opportunity you try and take it,” he reflected.
“I’m pleased with my performance and getting a goal, but just disappointed that we couldn’t take advantage of our lead and hold it until half time.”
And then there was that penalty shout. So if the same thing happens again against Crystal Palace on Saturday, what will Jarvis do?
“I will get booked probably,” he said with a wry smile.