Matt Jarvis' Debut a Rare Bright Spot for West Ham United on Saturday
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce had little reason to smile during Saturday's fixture at the Liberty Stadium—indeed, as the match wore on, Allardyce slumped farther and farther in his seat, an understandable reaction as he watched his side succumb to a 3-0 thumping at the hands of rampant Swansea City.
But the former Blackburn boss could look to the full debut of winger Matt Jarvis as a cause for optimism.
Signed just two days ago for a fee of £10.75 million (with add-ons), Jarvis was welcomed by Allardyce, who hailed the winger as of one of Wolverhampton Wanderers' key performers these past few season (via BBC Sport):
From an attacking sense, [Jarvis] is one of the best final-third crossers. When you are trying to create in the Premier League and score goals, he is one of those players who can certainly give defences a really hard time, and that is what we are hoping he can do for us.
Jarvis did just that in the first half of Saturday's match, during which he was easily the most influential West Ham player on the pitch.
A purposeful run down the left flank in the opening minutes saw Jarvis send a sumptuous cross toward goal. Swansea keeper Michel Vorm came for it, but the bend nearly took it beyond him and into the path of an arriving bunch of West Ham players.
Jarvis added to his bright beginning with a charged run past right-back Angel Rangel. His pace was too much for the Spaniard, who was forced to bring him down near the left end line, a smattering of yards from the penalty area.
The 26-year-old scorer of eight goals last season for Wolves nearly opened his account at United with a terrific volleyed effort.
Latching onto a lofted ball into the area off a free kick, Jarvis pivoted and swung his left leg into the ball. The shot fired toward Vorm, who mustered a phenomenal finger-tip save with his left hand.
The second half would wear on much as the first for the Hammers, who were woeful for large portions of the match.
Jarvis was a lone bright spot, his wending runs and accurate delivery providing some of the only worries for Swansea on the day.
Safe to say, he lived up to his hefty billing on Saturday.
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