West Ham winger Matt Jarvis: I should have gone down to win penalty after Bacary Sagna clash

Incident occurred during the Hammers 3-1 defeat at Arsenal

West Ham winger Matt Jarvis has admitted that he should have gone down when he clashed with Bacary Sagna in the penalty area during the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal on Tuesday night.

With the score still goalless, the Gunners right-back clearly made contact with Jarvis in the box when he swung out at the ball, but missed and hit the Hammers player, who stumbled but did not fall to the ground to win a penalty.

Instead referee Kevin Friend waved play on, prompting criticism that failure to award fouls if the player stays on his feet encourages 'diving'.

“I don’t really know what to say,” said Jarvis told the Evening Standard today. “Maybe I should be a bit cleverer and do what other players have done. Perhaps then, I could have got the penalty. I thought about it too late and then, if I had gone down, it would have been a late dive.”

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was furious the spot-kick was not given and Jarvis said: “I could hear him from the touchline. I realised at that point, I definitely should have gone down.”

Allardyce said: “The fact is that for many years now and three different referees’ chiefs, the facts are they don’t give penalties when you stay on your feet, so there is no reward for  honesty.


“A foul is a foul and it doesn’t matter if you go down or stay on your feet. The players get slaughtered for diving and being dishonest but when someone, such as Matt Jarvis is honest, you don’t get what you should.

“It seems to happen often in the penalty area, so you have to make the referee’s mind up.”

So what will Jarvis do if he is faced with a similar situation when West Ham meet Crystal Palace at Upton Park on Saturday?

“I don’t know,” he said. “If I go down I’ll probably be booked!”

The former Wolves player headed West Ham into the lead, before the Gunners rallied to eventually emerge convincing winners with two goals from Lukas Podolski and one by Olivier Giroud.

“The timing of their goals didn’t help us,” he admitted. “It could have been completely different had we kept it at 1-0 at half-time but they scored at  the end of the first and early in the second and that knocks the stuffing out of you.

“Once they took a 2-1 lead they started to pass the ball around a lot better and it became harder to get back into the game.”