Amid all the furore of John Terry’s reinstatement as England captain and an also slightly baffling selection of Jermaine Defoe, Fabio Capello also chose to call up the hugely impressive Wolves winger Matt Jarvis for the matches against Wales and Ghana. Having been tipped for a call up for some time, Jarvis’ call-up comes as a relief to those who demand an end to the ‘Golden Generation’ that has so frequently failed with his selection being described by boss Mick McCarthy as “a
Jarvis’ call-up speaks volumes about his performances for Wolves since his side sit well within the Premier League’s extraordinary relegation battle. Yet his team have also achieved giant killings over sides like Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City and Jarvis has been instrumental in these results as well as Wolves’ battling displays when falling to losses. He struck the winning goal in the derby against Aston Villa on Saturday with a finely hit volley and in Wolves’ previous fixture against Tottenham he delivered a perfectly weighted cross to assist Steven Fletcher’s late equaliser. His pace and ability to use both feet makes him a frightening presence for Premier League full backs and he has also received recent recognition by his boss McCarthy for his new found ability to score too. As his team struggle to pull away from the dreaded bottom three, Matt Jarvis has reasons to be cheerful and, at only 24, he could cement his England place for squads to come.
Cynics may see Jarvis’ call-up as a mere presentation of England’s lack of true quality on the left side, a problem haunting the national side for the past decade. The fact a Wolves player, the first to be called up for England since 1990, is billed as a solution is seen by some that England most certainly do not have a place among the world’s elite, regardless of what the national media believe. Jarvis’ competitions among the present squad are James Milner who has failed to achieve what was expected following his £25million move from Aston Villa and Villa’s Ashley Young and Stewart Downing, also players embroiled in the relegation dogfight. It could be viewed as a lack of quality available for Capello to choose from and may also bring the focus on foreign Premier League players, with little to choose from among the top clubs. However, Capello’s selection has been lauded by McCarthy saying: “It doesn’t just have to be players from top teams getting in.”
Regardless of opinions of the squad’s ability, supporters will be refreshed by Jarvis’ work ethic and determination, aspects of the game much criticised of at the bigger players playing for England such as Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard. He made his debut for Gillingham at just 17 and the Gillingham chairman quipped that Jarvis would play for England by age of 24. Despite his side’s possibility of losing Premier League football, he recently signed a five-year contract and the winger shows no signs of using Wolves as stepping stone. While older England players now often pull out of the squad for fear of injury, Jarvis simply wants to fulfil his dream of playing for England and vowed to “do everything I can to get some time on the pitch.”