Jarvo has had blinding pace ever since he moved to Molineux from Gillingham.
While he was a hit from the start, there weren’t many of us who thought he’d end up as an England international. Now though, not only to we believe he is capable, many of us think he’s the best left winger available to Fabio Capello. His transition from dangerous Championship wide man to one of the best in the country is both a credit to him and to the Wolves coaching staff.
Now aged 24 he still has that electric pace but has combined it with ball skills, trickery and consistent delivery. And of course like any player in a Mick McCarthy side, he works his socks off in every single game. Oh and he can finish as well – just ask Brad Friedel. The call-up makes Jarvo the first Wolves player since Steve Bull in October 1990 to be named in an England squad. And for trivia lovers, should he be capped he would become Wolves’ 35th full England international.
While Matt’s fortunes have soared over the last two seasons, Michael Kightly’s have spiralled downwards. It was great to see him back in the squad at Villa Park after 15 months on the sidelines. Thankfully, he’s still only 25 and if the knee problems are really behind him, there is still time for him to excel at this level as Jarvis has. After all, from 2006 to 2009 he was our brightest talent.
In his first season after signing from non-league Grays Athletic, he scored 9 goals in 26 full appearances. The next year it was 5 in 21 and then 8 in 39. This was a better scoring record than Jarvis in every season. Manchester United were in the hunt for him when he signed for Wolves for just £20,000 – surely one of Mick’s shrewdest transfer market moves.
He was player of the season and an England under 21 international as we were promoted. Then he broke a metatarsal in a friendly, missed pre-season ahead of our first premier League campaign and, on his eventual return to the team as a substitute against Birmingham in 2008, picked up an ankle injury that required an operation. He has been out of action ever since.
Just think what we could have if right-sided Kightly can now fulfill his potential as Jarvis has. He didn’t get on the pitch against Villa because with only a one-goal lead, it wasn’t the time to bring on a flair player. Wolves had to dig in and they did it brilliantly – finally beating Villa after more than 30 years. Now we’re only two goals or one point from the safety zone, in great form and with almost an entirely fit squad for Mick to choose from.
Like we did against Villa, who robbed us of a point in September with that late Heskey winner, hopefully we can exorcise some more of the demons of earlier this season – the late goals conceded against Fulham and West Brom, and the shameful branding of us as a dirty team following the Newcastle match.
For the coming week though, let’s enjoy the feeling of an away derby win and get behind Matt as he pulls on the England shirt for the first time.
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