Matt Jarvis has admitted that he always faces a big problem when not playing competitive football regularly.
The former Wolverhampton Wanderers and Gillingham winger has told London24 that he struggles with his fitness when not being afforded chances to play.
28-year-old Jarvis has just 10 appearances to his name this term, being cast out of the Hammers first-team due to a change in system.
A move to Sam Allardyce’s diamond midfield formation has brought plaudits and attractive football, but it has removed the need for traditional wingers in all situations.
Stewart Downing has adapted to play as a number 10, but Jarvis has been unable to alter his game, and his appearances have either come when playing a traditional system with wingers, or as a late substitute in games - he has just two starts to his name this term.
His second start of the campaign came on Saturday, and he did little to impress as the East London club fell to a 3-0 defeat at Arsenal.
Jarvis’s season is something of a double-edged sword, as he cannot play a run of games to gain form to impress, and when afforded the odd chance to impress he is out of form so does not look good.
He will often come into games after weeks with no football behind him, and so is far off the same level of match fitness as his opponents.
This obviously does little to make him look like a good player, and the winger has told London24 that staying fit is the biggest problem faced when not playing consistently.
“It is tough to stay fit when you are not playing,” the once-capped England international said. “But that is what you work hard for and do extra training for, to try and keep your sharpness up and make sure that when you get your chance, you can actually take it.”
Jarvis missed taking his opportunity against Arsenal, and it would come as no surprise to see him out of the first-team picture for the remainder of the campaign.