With the possible arrivals of Higuain and Fellaini, Gervinho should be kept at Arsenal.


Gervinho is a player who always gives his all. He is also a safe pair of hands when it comes to holding on to the ball and breaking through a defensive line from the wing, in order to make it to the by-line. He possesses skills that nobody else, except maybe The Ox, can offer to our team. He makes clever runs into the box, with or without the ball, as he reads the game better than most of us give him credit for.

This season, he played just 18 PL games for us in which he scored five goals and produced three assists: not great, but not a bad return either. He also played in six CL games, in which he scored two and also had two assists: a record he can be satisfied with.

Gervinho offers a good alternative to the likes of Podolski and Cazorla on the left wing, and he can also play on the right wing. He clearly needed time to settle in, and playing in two successive ACN tournaments since joining us from Lille, has not helped him much in doing so.

However, there is every reason to believe he will improve further next season.

It is fair to say, a number of bad, painful misses, against the likes of Bradford (away) and Blackburn (at home) for the cups, have done a lot of damage to both his image – and, subsequently, the support levels by the fans – and his confidence. Some fans are always looking to vent their frustration with anything Arsenal, and just like bullies do, they focus on the (perceived) weakest member of the squad. The season before last it was Rambo, and last season it was the Gerv. If there is anything I loathe about fellow supporters, it’s this.

His decision making and finishing are not always at the required level, and in general, he finds it difficult to gel with his team mates, and vice versa. With regards to the latter, it cannot have been easy for him last season, with new arrivals Podolski (German), Giroud (French), and Nacho and Cazorla (Spanish) all needing to settle into the team, as well as the PL in general. The Ivorian ball wizard appears to be an introvert person anyway, and he probably has limited command of English, let alone German or Spanish.


But once again, after a transitional season, there is reason now to believe that the (telepathic) relationships between all these players will improve significantly next season. The Gerv should benefit from this tremendously.

There are quite a few fellow Gooners who would instantly swap him for Nani of Manure. Nani, who played this season just 10 PL games, managed to score only two goals, and he scored none in four CL games. Nani scored a meagre 51 goals in 288 appearances, compared to 75 in 284 by Gervinho – that is about 50% more. They are of the same age, but if I had to put my money on who will make more progress in the PL next season and beyond, it would go to the Gerv.

Do I believe he is the best LW around? No. Could we improve on him? Yes. Do I believe Nani is the player to do? I doubt it very much!

It would be a big gamble by Arsene, and sticking with Gervinho for another season might be the far better gamble. I would like him to stay another season, in which he hopefully improves significantly.

With the now highly likely arrival of Higuain, and possibly another central midfielder/nr.10 – Fellaini, Jovetic, or Rooney (?) etc – we will see the likes of Cazorla, Theo, Ox and Podolski, or even Gibbs, playing a lot on the left or right wing. There will be no space in the squad for a top level classical (left) winger – which Nani clearly isn’t anyway – even if we were to sell Gervinho (a point which was made very well by fellow blogger AFC only a few days ago).

But when we play the ‘park the bus teams’ and we are just not getting through, there are very few players who accept sitting on the bench a lot during a season, and yet can come on and make a difference – a plan-B if you want – by breaking through the lines and feed the likes of Higuain, Giroud, Pod, Theo and Cazorla, etc.

To have such a player – at least on the bench – is a necessity for a silverware-winning squad. That player is Gervinho and for me he deserves at least one more season at the home of football.

Written by: TotalArsenal.

Henry the Gooner 016

104 thoughts on “With the possible arrivals of Higuain and Fellaini, Gervinho should be kept at Arsenal.

  • I must be watching a different player. So much good possession is wasted when he gets the ball

  • he might but your analysis is so off, where did he score all those goals compared to nani, not that i think nani is any good either , he scored them in France not the prem, hang on is he paying you to write this lol

  • Nice one TA.

    Once again i agree with you. Gerv should stay. He adds something different to the party, not many players can ghost past defenders like him. When he gets in the box hes a nighmare for the opposition, such a skillful player.

    His failings are that he lacks physical power, floats like a butterfly and stings like one. When he shoots its like hes kicking a medicine ball.

    But overall i want him to stay.

  • Mike,

    Nani scored 40 goals in 212 games for the Mancs (0.19 goals per game), Gervinho 11 in 63 games (0.18) for us. Nani had six years in the PL to ‘achieve’ that, Gervinho just two. As per the post, I believe there is more to come from the Gerv next season.


    Yes you are.

  • cant understand why you have written this about gervinho. if he stays at the club it limits the oxs playing time. 18 premier league games and 6 champions league, i would rather the ox have played in every single game. he gives our attack so much more. more creativity, drive heart, and most importantly is a million times more clinical. towards the end off the season the ox changed so many games, when coming off the bench, and if there was no gervinho last year he would have played more. i personally would like to see the ox starting for arsenal with theo and santi back in the middle. but obviously wenger will not do this and will keep santi on the wing, especially if we sign a quality central midfielder. but either way if gervinho stays the ox gets less time on the pitch.

  • Craig,

    Firstly, I like Ox too.

    Secondly, how many games do you think Ox actually played in the PL last season, and how many did he score? Answer 25 and 1. A million times more clinical…. Not YET my friend.

  • Well said TA
    The Swerve does not deserve the level of stick he gets and there is no way I would prefer Nani over him. Your figures show perfectly that Gerv is much the more effective player.

    The only reason I can think for letting him go if a decent offer comes in is that he seems to have become an unpopular player with a section of the fans. His confidence is possibly fragile at the best of times and if some of the fans keep moaning and groaning every time he fails to beat five defenders and rifle the ball into the roof of the net I could see him suffer a further dip in form.

  • Myles Palmer wrote an article about Wenger’s transfer targets. I am inclined to agree with him. Wengerr is disinclined to change his tactics week in and out.
    Even if Wenger were to get both Rooney and Higuain,he has to adapt tactically. His predictable brand of soccer is the main cause of Arsenal’s trophy drought.
    I won’t be surprised if the drought continues if he wants to play tippy tappy soccer and dance/walk the ball into the net.That will be a recipe fot another trophyless season. Of course the fm can surprise us.

  • Hi and agreed, Rocky 🙂

    If we let him go, he will be missed, unless Arsene believes he has a youngster who can offer what Gerv does. I doubt that though.


    I don’t care what Palmer has to say. This is my blog and I don’t discuss (the content of) other blogs here.

    Wenger has changed his tactics more over the last few seasons than you think. Should we go back to Wengerball with the right quality players. Nah let’s play boring Maureen footie instead. LOL 😆

  • TA,
    For me, Gervinho is the most 50-50 player we have. On one hand, no one can argue that he is talented. His movement off the ball is really second to none in our current squad. He is probably the best dribbler in our squad (save for maybe the Ox and Santi). His work rate and pace are commendable. On the other hand, his shooting technique is woeful to say the least. Gervinho is not the kind of player who when played on the left flank you expect to curl in beauties. In fact when he shoots from outside the box, there’s a 30% chance that he’ll score. His finishing generally is just not up to par. Also while his dribbling is good he tends sometimes to dribble himself into trouble. A lot of these (except his shooting technique) can be chalked down to poor decision making and a lack of composure. If he was 18-23, we could forgive that and attribute it to inexperience but you do not expect a 26 year old to make such mistakes.

    The thing that makes me agree with the notion that we should give him another season is his form for his country. When Gervinho plays for Ivory coast, he is a COMPLETELY different player. His dribbling is majestic and purposeful, he scores goals that Robert Pires would be proud of, his influence in the team is profound. And he does this consistently. Did you know that it has been 14 games since Gervinho did not score or assist in national team colors (when the team has scored)? 14 games on the trot. If he can capture that kind of confidence and consistency for us, he will be devastating.

    Thing is, and I think I have mentioned this before, Gervinho is a sensitive and fragile character. He is generally shy and soft spoken. So when the fans get behind him his confidence soars and that form we are all hoping for becomes the norm. If you castigate him however, his confidence is shattered and even getting him to kick a ball would be a tall order. If I ever had a chance to watch even one game live, I’d chant his name to death. That is the kind of thing that will fast track his progress in our team.

  • well 14 off those 25 were as a substitute, and as all arsenal fans know wenger does not make a sub until the 70th minute. also gervinho played as a striker for a good 10 games in the season. you are also missing the meaning off clinical. yes it is commonly used for scoring goals, but also used for creating chances, making correct decisions when it matters, assists, general team play(making assured passes). for this reason i call the ox clinical, he makes things happen and finds an arsenal shirt at the end off it. i defended gervinho for a long time saying he makes things happen. he does he confuses defenses, because even he does not know what he will do. except squander a great chance. i think you should watch highlights off his games this season as i firmly believe he missed 10-15 open(tap ins) or as close to open goals as you can get. that is not including the 10 one on ones he missed. nor the million awful crosses/simple passes he misplaced. i wont start with the defending, just watching as full backs join in the play and run straight past him. i think you should watch again just how bad he has been.

  • TA,

    Nice post. I know that you are a fan of the Gerv and clearly you can see him playing a role within our team. I would agree that he could make a difference coming off the bench but is that enough for him or for the team in that sense?
    Maybe one more season is what he needs to shine and who knows he may prove his critics wrong just as Rambo did last season to some extent with his hard work. If he does not, then ship him out as we cannot continue to collect ‘dead wood’ sitting in our team as it has been the case of the last 4-5 season.

  • Marcus, that is a beautiful, well-balanced comment on everything that is Gervinho.

    Let’s face it, if his finishing for us was a lot better, he could be as good as Robben or Ribery.

    There are better wingers out there, but the more I thought about it, the less likely it is we will buy one this summer, as we need positions for the big boys in our current squad (and Wenger does not seem to care too much about traditional wing play). And if that is the case, The Swerve, as Rocky just called him, is of real value to us.

    Just imagine he has a good run and the fans start to love him: he could make a real difference to our season then…

    And thanks for the Ivory Coast stat: pretty amazing!

    Let’s all start loving the Gerv! (that should have been the title!)

  • i would like to add i hate nani, but at least he can cross a ball and has a decent shot and guaranteed with 18 games would have better statistics than gervinho. that being said he is not good enough to make us challenge again. yes we have been blessed with world class wingers in pires freddie overmars, even theos stats are verging on world class. there are certain players who are not great but step up and play better with better players around them, like ooh ahh ray parlor, dirk kuyt, phil neville. gervinho is not one off these players. he is not good enough technically and does not have the work ethic to be in a team challenging for silverware. and we do have a kid who is a lot better than him his name is gnabry and i would rather see him challenging for a place.

  • and ribery is well known for possessing atrocious finishing, but makes up for it in other areas. so i wonder if you total arsenal actually have any idea about football. 11 goals in 43 for the best side in the world at the moment who ran away with the league? assists my friend that is what he is known for 22 last year and 20 a season for 6 off the last 7. we can not say the same for gervinho, playing in a worse league

  • Hi TA, 🙂

    I have just got back from being used as a pin cushion in the hospital, and needed to take a breather and a coffee while reading your Post.

    After all this time, I am still in awe of your grasp of English, and the polished level of your writing skills.

    Before reading the comments about your Post, I had in mind a comment of my own that will not surprise you, but before putting my one handed typing skills to work, the very thing I intended to say was borne out by a well known correspondent. So I will still say it! 🙂

    The two closest blog friends I have, you and Rocky, always seem to have a similar take on players, and each of you therefore have opinions that are diametrically opposite to my own.

    Try as I might, I just cannot see the value in the Gerv, and will go so far as to say that i think he is one of the worst players we have had at Arsenal for quite some time. Talk of his unpredictable dribbling skills, and his ability to run with the ball at pace simply leave me cold, as if he does not know what he is going to do at the end of a move, it is no wonder we fans watching him do not know either.

    Then up pops my man, Rocky, from his estate in Italy and completely agrees with you — what a surprise! 😀

    The logical solution to this, is that I should find new friends — or change my opinions!! 🙂

    Well I do not want to lose my friends, so I will try, again, to reassess the attributes of Gerv the Swerve.

    It always surprises me that I agree with so much of what you have to say, and the Rock too, that when it comes to players we are frequently miles apart. Perhaps because you both see the potential, whereas rather more prosaically, I see the here and now! 🙂

  • sorry to bombard your site, but 37 assists in 284 games in his career great winger. obviously can not pass a football stats do not lie. so unless you want to play him as a striker with a one in 4 record career and at arsenal 1 in 6 for goals and assists. it just seems your argument is pointless. unless you want us to come fourth again.

  • Craig

    Ribery is a top winger and the Gerv is not in his class. Full stop. I never said anything else.

    Re the Ox and Gerv comparison.

    Ox played 1082 minutes of PL footie: scored 1 and had 5 assists, so every 180 minutes he had a goal or assist contribution on average.

    Gerv played 1022 minutes (less than Ox): scored 5 and had 3 assists, so every 127 minutes he had a goal or assist on average.

    Your super-crosser Nani had 630 minutes: scored 1 goal and had 3 assists, so every 158 minutes he had a goal or assist on average.

    I leave the conclusions from these bread and butter facts to you. 😉

  • Hah RA 🙂

    As my longest blog friend, I always value your views and seldom disagree with you either. 🙂

    I don’t think we are so much apart. I do see great potential and would like to see him have a proper non-ACN interrupted run in the team. As per the post, we could definitely improve on him as a winger, but I don’t think we will get somebody else who is clearly better. And if that is the case, I would love to have him in the squad and fight for his place. Just one more year.

    Agreed on him needing to improve on his composure/final ball, but I also believe that a more settled team/ relationships would do him a world of good.

  • TA,
    All is well thanks for asking. Even more excited since our future little Gooner has received her first Arsenal Home Shirt as well as many other things today.

    You certainly raised a touchy topic today. There are not too many positive comments here. Gerv is not my favourite player but there is potential there.
    Cmon guys, we’ve had past players who have made slow starts only to improve with time. I guess our patience as fans is a lot shorter due to the fact that we have not won anything in a long time.
    Imagine being a Liverpool supporter no PL titles for 23 years. Yes they have won the CL but they have been a team in turmoil as well. Arsenal fans seem to be the first ones to jump down the throats of our team the minute we struggle. Things will change. Have faith.

  • Wow Alex, you are well prepared my friend! Good to hear your wife is doing fine. 🙂

    The problem is that many of us see other players in MOTD summaries, and they usually only show attackers during their best moves. So we get a good impression of these players: Nani being a prime example.

    The Gerv’s stats are not that bad at all, and he has a role in the team next season if and when we don’t buy a top top winger to replace him, which I really don’t expect.

  • bread and butter facts? this does not include chances created, nor chances squandered. misplaced passes and dribbles incomplete or completed. it also does not include gervinho played as a a striker for 10 game.s it is clear for all who actually watch games, how the ox’s drive and purpose, is better than gervinho’s. his passing, his shooting and the thing that really makes him a better option is that one big thing in between his ears. its his brain, in case you were a little bit confused. i would like to ask one question have you ever played football to a decent standard? i am not sure you have, as i do not think you would be trying to justify what you have written about gervinho. i find it a little bit embarrassing that an arsenal fan, wants to settle for mediocrity. finally we have a chance off challenging after 8 long years, and you want him to keep a waste off space in the club. how many games did gervinho start in the second half off the season? you know the second half when we were the best team for 19 games. podolski, and the ox are great squad players and an options from the bench not gervinho. in a side that wants to be challenging. and both those players could not get into the team for the second half off the season.

  • Give me the facts then, Craig. His pass success rate is 85% for example, on a par with the best wingers. He played only six times as a striker in 24 games (PL and CL).

    Let’s just agree to disagree and keep your immature comments to yourself. I could have said all sorts of things that come up in my mind about you, but I just stuck to the facts.

    Please read the post again and try to get the essence of it. Maybe you will get it then.

    Re Ox: a super talent and great player, but a long way to go at Arsenal as the facts show.

  • Hi all..
    TA.. I just send a reply to Marcus post.. and end it with my comment about Gervinho..
    Yes I love him more then Podolski.. you know that.. hehehe..
    But I got the feeling that Wenger will let him go.. hope it’s wrong..
    For me losing Podolski is better than losing Gervinho.. hahahhaha..

    Now.. it’s depend who will be Wenger’s Central player.. Is Cazorla or willshere..??
    If Cazorla as a CAM.. and Willshere as his subs.. then we may see Gervinho again this season.. but if Cazorla play as a LW.. then Wenger will let Gervinho or Podolski go..

    For me Gervinho is still my best LW.. Last season is very different case.. we lost RvP who can scores a lot.. so the winger just need to cross the ball and boom…. goal..
    And in that scheme.. Gervinho is our man.. his speed and dribble is fantastic.. also his pass / cross.. just because Giroud not in his best performed.. the assist were not a goal’s assist.. hehehehehe.. I pretty sure that he can bring a lot of easy cross to Higuan..

    But again.. Who will be our CAM and LW.. only Wenger know the best..
    And hope all the best will come to our team.. VCC.. Go Gunners..

  • TA,
    I also think that this coming season, rotation, and I mean proper rotation will be very very very important in getting the best out of some of our players. Players like Giroud, Poldi, Gervinho, Ox and Carl. You see we are in a unique position where we virtually have 2 proper players in each position. Let me take Giroud.

    Last season, Giroud scored 17 and got 11 assists. That is fantastic by any measure for a first timer in the EPL. I’ve always backed him because he has the stuff to be a 20+ goal getter, no doubt. I think one of the reasons he fell short was because he was thrust in the first team and was expected to replace RVP. This makes his stats more impressive. You see with the probable signing of Higuain, the pressure will be off Giroud. He will be able to play in a more relaxed manner(because he knows that any mistakes he may make most likely will not be costly to the team) and this way his natural instincts will be able to come out more. Honestly I believe that Giroud is a better player than Dzeko. He has a better skill range. But I must say that Wenger must get his rotation spot on if he’s to get the best out of him/them. Unless a player is injured or woefully out of form, they shouldn’t go 5 matches without game time.

    This goes for Nacho/Gibbs, Gerv/Poldi/Ox, Santi/TR7, Jack/Arteta, Bac/Carl…etc etc

    A team of:
    Szczesny, Bac, Kos, Per, Nacho, new DM, Jack, Santi, Poldi, Higuain, Theo

    is a bit better if not as good as:
    Fabianski/New keeper, Carl, TV5, New CB, Gibbs, Ramsey, Arteta, TR7, Gerv, Giroud, Ox…

    Honestly I would even advocate for Wenger to play around with these teams. For example when we play physical teams Giroud and Nacho can start, when we play counter attacking football the Ox can start ahead of Poldi..etc etc. He should also make sure that in every line up he fields, there is just the right mix of youthful exuberance and experience..That way not only will we be able to get a fantastic team of 23, the players can remain fresh throughout AND if we win silverware, they can all feel like they contributed.

    Last season players like Arteta, Santi and Theo were seriously overworked..This shouldn’t happen.

  • I agree. Gerv should get one more season. I think he has raw potential he just needs to get over he confidence issues and focus on his game not what the fans think. If he can do that and improve his decision making and passing he could be a very good LW indeed. So, I want him to stay at least one more season. That being said, even though I want him to stay, I still want us to buy Tello.

  • TA, fine post. 🙂

    I do not really remember the comment that I made. It must have been the one where I was saying Wenger will look to play Santi on the LW and hope to develop a partnership between Santi and Monreal.

    I want Gervinho to stay but if he does leave then I would like Nani to come in.

    Gervinho will do something special when we are not expecting it. I think Gervinho scored two goals against Swansea which led to us winning that match in the second part of the season. He was one of the best players, if not the best at the AFCON. He will get better and soon we will see the best of Gervinho. I think 15 EPL goals should be his target.

  • That is it, Henry, Gervinho always knows how to get in the box with the ball and then pass it to somebody or into space. It is fair to say that, sometimes, he does not get it right, but I agree with you that for a cross or pass to become an assist, the attackers also have to read the game and the Swerve’s intentions. This should improve further next season.

    You might be right that with the arrival of another top central midfielder, Cazorla, Pod and Gervinho will have to fight for the LW position, although Santi and Gervinho can also play on the right wing, but of course we have Theo and Ox to consider as well – and possibly Gnabry and Myiachi too.

  • Marcus

    Rotation, rotation, rotation is very valuable indeed. Arsene just does not do the different teams for different types of opponents approach, but I agree it is attractive. What he is likely to do is add physicality in midfield when needed (especially up-North) and let’s hope he’ll get that sorted during the summer.

    Agreed though, Arsene should avoid over-usage and burn-out of certain players next year, but it will be a fine balance to strike for him.

  • TA, talking of assists, the goal Rosicky scored in the group stages was set up brilliantly by Gervinho.

  • AFC,
    I think the fans never really warmed to him, and every time he makes a bad miss, any credit he built up, is gone again! 😕

  • TA, Wenger should look at it like. If we are playing Palace do we need to play Santi and even Walcott. I do not think we do. Rest these players. In these matches we could easily get away with playing one or two youth players.

  • TA, I don’t think I will need to choose because I still see Ox moving to centre midfield. Which means Gerv may move to the right leaving room for Tello on the left. Or Tello just replaces Ox on the right. Either way, I feel we need another winger and Tello is one of my
    top choices 😉

  • Agreed in principle, but this has often back-fired on him. I guess once the team is settled in and starts winning games with some ease, Arsene can rotate easier.

  • Afternoon Flangeapene`s 😆

    Thank you Totes.

    Gerv the Swerv Perv is another Arsenal player who divides opinions, we seem to have quite a few and imo only Szczesny, Jack, Koz, Ox, Santi, Gibbs and Sagna have less critics than the rest !. ( just my opinion )

    I personally like Gerv and think his obvious faults are outweighed by his plusses. One of his hidden talents is his ability to draw more than one defender away !. This ability is down to that his head has it`s own gravitational pull ! ( also known as The Gervitational Pull ! ). It`s also down to him that everytime he runs up and down the touchline as a sub warming up, he inadvertently starts the beginning of a Mexican wave in the crowd !.
    I like the man and also this winter he wont be on his bike to the African cuppy wuppy thingy !.

  • If I had to chose between keeping Gervinho and selling him to acquire Jovetic, in all honesty I would choose the latter. I just feel that Jojo is such a talented player that whoever ends up snapping him up this summer will have bought a player who in a few seasons will be considered among the world’s best. Plus he actually prefers playing on the left side or behind a central striker where he can pull the strings and also score. For me he is just the player to complete that tantalizing attacking triumvirate.

    Watch his performance against Inter this past season and see what I mean ——> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA9cKIlQfh4

  • I can tello, Dylan 😀

    He is certainly a fine prospect, and yes there is some space on the right wing.

    I would love to play Ox in the ‘2’ of a 4-1-2-3 formation, next to Santi, or Jack etc.

  • TA, have you thought of turning Arteta back into an AM. Instead of buying Fellaini and a LW/AM/SS, buying Fellaini and big W from Celtic.

  • Do you guys still think we are in for Jovetic ?, it`s gone very quiet on that front, he was all the big talk a month or so ago !.

  • He is comfortable anywhere. He is given a free role at Fiorentina and more often than not ends up on that left flank. If you look at the free movement of Santi and Jack he would fit in at Arsenal from day 1.

  • Glic, Juventus wanted both Higuain and Jovetic so I cannot see us taking both. I think Jovetic will go to Juventus. Moving to another team in Italy will be much easier for him.

    Or the whole Rooney thing could be cover for Jovetic.

  • AFC. How come you don’t go to games if you`re 10-15 mins away ?. Don’t answer if you think I`m being a nosey bastard !, but if you don’t answer, me and Stretch will come and get you !. we still have some chloroform from getting rid of Herb !. hahaha

  • Glic, I do not go to games as I am often busy on the weekends. Plus I do not want to pay for the overpriced tickets. 😀

  • AFC,
    Juve simply cannot afford Jovetic. They offered 20 million euro for him which is waaaaaaay off the mark. Juve even admitted that they cant afford the 23-25 million pounds Fiorentina are asking for but we certainly can. Plus Jojo currently earns around 50,000 pounds at Fiorentina and considering the funds we have and also the 200,000 pounds a week in wages we have already freed up from Squillaci, Arshavin and Denilson (and more pending the sales of Park, Bendtner, Chamakh and Djourou) he is a very realistic target.

  • TA, I like gerv, immense talent — i think i would start him a few times on the left, then use pod as a sub late. I think pod against the defenders that gerv has exhausted would be very effective!

  • TA – You have done him proud, I have to say. My opinion is split because of what he could be, and what has stopped him being closer to that level?

    The comparison to his International play and Arsenal might give the clue?
    The opposition?

    Is it just possible that the EPL game does not suit him as well?

    If he stays, then I think it will be down to AW not being able to get another body off the transfer market, not necessarily for his position, but one that would need space being made in the squad numbers. rather than AW being convinced of his suitability for the team he is trying to create?

    On the digression posts; marcus, I am with you on your 12.25, except you are still in the two team mode. I am not sure we can just slip in an entire 2nd eleven without coming unstuck somewhere? The idea of rotation, and better use of subs, is to keep the team that goes out on the field is as strong as possible, whilst changes are made to keep it fresh.
    For example, you could replace the pair of CB’s if there are two matches in a week, but not the FB’s at the same time. In fact, it might be a mistake to change both FB’s at the same time? You could change the focal point of attack by switching the CF/ST and a midfield support/ winger, but not take out the creative or defensive elements at the same time … well not without causing chaos elsewhere? These are things that can be tried out, if we are in a strong position, with subs coming on in pairs with 65 mins to go?

    To keep cohesion and rotate is the balancing act that needs to be handled with great care. You give a positive mention to Giroud. He came with his own attributes, not RVJ’s. But he still gets labelled as the latter’s replacement, and gets stick for not being it(adequately enough)? The team developed around feeding the Dutchman ammunition which suited his technical ability. If we were build the team around Giro’s skills it would have been a whole lot different to the team that played with him last season. HH said it months ago, that at Montpellier he had someone alongside as foil. That gave him space, both for assists and to score goals. For whatever reason, it did not work with Walcott, maybe because he was too driven to be the ‘main man’, nor fully with Podolski, both being left footers perhaps? Either way, you credit to have done as well as he did.

    So how is the Higgy/Giro/Higgy Poldi conundrum going to work out? The former could appear in the same line up if we want to hold the ball up for the likes of Walcott and the Ox to join in on a quick counter attack? The latter might be best in a 4-3-3, with Walcott on the right? But if we are going to start with Giro he will need the new No 10, or the Ox later in the season to give him that support. Likewise Higgy( if he has had his medical by the time I’ve finished this?), he will need to sort out which of the squad that can be picked can bring out his best?
    Not as simple of sticking the No 9 jersey on him and saying ‘Go on my son, fill your boots’?

    No, this rotation lark is a minefield of disasters waiting to happen. But if we are to play 60 odd matches, it will have to be persevered with?

  • i must say it, “TA you’re one brave son of a gun” , nice one and thanks for writing about a player with immense talent, promise yet infinitely frustrating to watch (most of the time)….he’s that one player , whom most of the gunners love to hate 😀

    my own opinion isn’t as divided as most fans nor am i going to be comparing him with the Ox or Nani as Gerv is a different kind of animal.

    you do make a very compelling case for him to be retained and played next season, however, as much as i would want to keep as much of the first 15/16 from last season together, i also know that with Gerv you get the element of surprise (which often ends up with me shouting at my tele whenever he’s got the ball and chooses the wrong option or takes too long to make his mind e.t.c e.t.c) .

    he makes the easiest things look so damn difficult and yet the difficult of things made to look so easy.

    finally his defensive duties also leave much more to be desired, where as Theo has improved a lot last season in this area along with others, Gerv not so much so for me.

    12-13 million for Gerv from a french club ? yes, please.

    Loan deal for Gerv from a french club ? no, thank you and f*off, we much rather keep his unpredictability at the emirates for another year 😀

    it’s premature to talk about bringing Nani or Jovetic until and unless Gerv was sold, for now it’s his position and place and it will be unfair to talk about other players to replace him unless he wanted to leave himself.

    Gervinho the best player in Africa (according to AW) yet for me he remains an “Enigma” and will continue to do so unless and until he stops trying to hard and just passes the dang ball when the opportunity presents itself instead of making it harder for himself.

  • AFC & Dylan (from previous article)…

    yes, agreed for a 29 year old CB, 8 mills a lot of money .

    it wouldn’t make any sense to me that deal, considering we could have DJ back and keep him as our 4th CB… ( there were talks of selling him for 5 million and then replacing him with Williams for 8 is rather silly).

    Williams is an older version of DJ.

    may as well get the options both of you have suggested, someone younger and with all the right skills and qualities.

  • JB,
    I do agree with you…13M from Marseille and I say take it and run. Add 11 million to that bounty and Jojo is wearing red and white next season next to Theo and Higuain. With the acquisition of a proper DM we’d have best midfield and best attack in the league…

  • JB, I have no issue with spending more on a fourth choice centre back than we get for selling Johan, if and only if it’s being spent on a younger kid with huge potential (19-22 or 23 I’d say). But spending more than we’ll get for Johan on a 29 year old average player is no good. And I don’t think we’re really interested in him, it’s just the media grasping for stories.

  • yep, Marcus

    besides clubs may offer 13 million now, in an years time we may struggle finding suitors in the region of 3 million ? it’s a no brainer isn’t it for some ? yet for some, he is good enough for our current team and i think he’s good for the african audiences , fan base and also commercial point of view as well.

    so it’s not as simple as we may think it is, as he does add things outside the footy pitch as well and bring to the club.

  • By the way I have an update re Higuain. Arsenal AND Juve have both agreed personal terms with him now will fight it off and the biggest offer will take him. This is according to Guillem Ballague ( https://twitter.com/GuillemBalague ) the most respected La liga journalist. Never has he got it wrong in a transfer to or from la liga.

  • Marcus, I just saw that tweet too. I’m ok with that, let’s just hope Wenger isn’t cheap and offers a good amount. We have more money than Juve so we should be fine if Wenger is smart. 😉 Also, I have another way to show people who want Williams why in my opinion he’s a bad investment. Say we pay £8m for Williams. He’s 29. So if we’re lucky we get 4 years from him at the most. That’s £8m/4=£2m per year of service, excluding the high wages he’ll want for the final big move of his career. Then compare to Papadopoulos. We supposedly could get him for less than his release clause, but let’s go worst case scenario. Say we pay the £19m release clause for him. He’s 21. So we could probably get 11 or 12+ years out of him. That’s £19m/12=£1.583333(repeating) per year of service. And that’s worst case scenario, we could get him for a lower price and therefore and even better value per year. Plus he’d have smaller wages seeing as he is younger. And he has much higher potential at a younger age than 29 year old Williams has now. Papadopoulos (or probably another young centre back) is better value as a fourth choice than Williams.

  • all a ploy to maximize the price for Higuain i reckon, nothing more.

    all agreed, Dylan and good points !

  • Dylan,
    That is exactly what Real wanted. Good thing is Juve have limits, and we don’t. Except Wenger. I really do hope we capture him by Wednesday. I’m getting sick of this back and forth.
    And re Williams, I agree. But only for the simple reason he is not good enough for the caliber of player we want to bring in. Age wise, I don’t mind. I like your value per year analysis but I don’t agree with it fully. Utd signed RVP, 29, for 24 million and immediately he won them the league. He may not give them any more than 4 years of service but that was value for money.

  • Marcus, those are all very good points. But the difference between the price of RvP and Williams is that strikers score goals and therefore cost more. And they bought him as a starter to help win the league, whereas we would be buying Williams as a fourth choice centre back who might score one goal for us if we were very lucky and probably wouldn’t be the man leading us to a trophy. But I see where you’re coming from.

  • marcus, If what you say is true, Juve and Arsenal are in for Higuain and the highest bidder wins, I fear Wenger will drop out as its not his style. He doesn’t get involved in auctions.

  • i just feel it’s Higuain’s agents (family) messing about too much as well, it’s not cool in my opinion.

  • Calm down lads. My source says its in the bag. Higuain is ours.

  • 007.. if Gervinho worth 13 millions and Nani only 8.. than We know who is better.. hehe..

  • VCC,
    That’s why in my comment (17:11) I said, ”Juve have limits and we don’t. Except Wenger.” Thing is though, now that we are financially capable and more importantly, more capable than Juve, it could be different. Now that Wenger knows that he has money to spend and if you are to believe reports, he is in Spain with the delegation all this could work in our favor. Just haope that we sign him because this time round there are no excuses.

  • Henry Henry Henry,

    i could go on comparing both Gerv and Nani and the price tag,

    but let’s just say if Nani had a contract which ran out at the same time as Gervinho, then you can bet your bottom dollar that Nani be in the 20 million bracket at least, if not more.

    Gerv, needs some love from the fans and he may well be back to his very best but if i was to be a neutral i’ll say in my opinion Gerv at his best wouldn’t come close to Nani firing at full cylinders – Nani is a game changer on his own, Gerv needs to step up to the plate a bit more (ignoring all the stats and commenting on what we see on the pitch ).

    but i do agree with you, he’s a big hit with our African supporters and we must look after all our supporters as a club 😀

    for me it was a big statement you made when you said “we much rather sell Poldi and keep Gerv”….it showed how much you value him 😀 nothing wrong with that either 😉

  • Terry,

    let’s hope so as all of us would want to move onto our next target in the terror window as TA calls it, ha ha

    that was a great bit of innovation by TA 🙂

  • hahaha, it will be me living in terror if Higuain dont sign Bondy.

    Ive told everyone about my source and just got a rather irate and menacing call from a bouncer type who just heard those twitter rumours and let me know he would be very “Dissapointed”

    A life as an unknown Monk in some South American Monostary is not what i envisoned for myself. hahaha

  • Bond.. Nani is an egoistic player that just ain’t fit with our spirit.. and he was and still a diver.. We don’t need him.. haha..
    And If he is good enough.. like was said as the next CR.. no matter how short his contract with MU.. he must be valued more than 10 mil.. hehe..

    Yes my agent.. I love Gerv more than Poldi.. especially for winger position.. Poldi is a SS.. and will be fit to 4-4-2 system.. but as Wenger will remain playing his favourite 4-3-3.. than a faster and skillful winger is what We need more..

  • When the ” Source ” is Heinz or Daddies and comes from tray being passed into the padded cell at HMP Strangeways, then I would take it with a pinch of salt !. hahaha

  • I feel sorry for Tony Adams. he`s getting a lot of shit from all angles !. The mans a club Ledge !.
    Everyone has different opinions and they are just opinions, even two former players and great mates such as Adams and Parlour can have completely conflicting views.
    Parlour like most on here, wants Higgy and Adams thinks it is a risk !. I think he is a good player but not SQ imo. Adams hits the right spot as far as I`m concerned in that he says Higgy is not good enough for Real Madrid !.
    We maybe holding onto our players this TW, but look at who we have lost in the past, all the so called big clubs bought our best players, when have we bought their best players ?, never, only the ones they don’t want !.
    We should have got Goetze, we should have got Isco. We had the money for Goetze`s release clause but sat back and let BM walk in unapproached and they`ll probably pay him less than we could have !
    Isco and Santi were offered to Real Madrid as a pair for £30M and Maureen turned them down, so why did we only get Santi ?. Are we f**king slow or what !, maybe the fast twitch muscles of Sir Chips would have done better !.
    Messi and Ronaldo are the worlds top two players, but everyone below them should be attainable to a club as big as The Arsenal !.
    Gazidis has openly said we can compete with anyone now, so don’t piss about wasting time going after risky players, go after Super Quality !.
    I want the cake, not the f**king crumbs !.
    The above is just an opinion, just like I think you lot are Broke Back Bastardildos……. I do have evidence though !. hahaha
    I expect Stretch to come now and tell me to calm down with the offer of sharing his intravenous magic mushroom drip !. hahaha

  • Cornwall, get out on to those Cornish fields and pick the most exotic looking mushroom you can find,consume and listen to the Doors “Crystal Ship”

    I gaurantee you wont worry about nothing ever again

    You will also grow a ponytail, back pack across Asia, lecture women on sex and how they should do it with you, before returning home to bring tranquility to the Universe. hahaha

  • But who`s going to look after my Lesbanians ?……..would you Stretch, my pal, my buddy, my chum !….would you know of anybody who will fill in for me ?. hahaha

  • Course i would mate. I must say the thought excites me, but thats the problem

    My excitement levels would get so high that on the journey i would probably internaly combust, causing a right mess and a hugh tailback on the motorway. hahaha

  • I went Strawberry picking before after picking up my Grand daughter, I took my own caster sugar and cream ready to eat as many as I could without paying and go back to the shop and pay for a little punnet !. We were their 2 hours, that is a lot of strawberries digested !. hahaha
    When I arrived, there was a notice to say where to go etc` and the final sentence said, ” beware the Scarecrows are watching ! “. I got a bit paranoid thinking they might have put a camera in the scarecrows faces to watch how many bastards like me ate without paying !. I just went up to each scarecrow and punched it in the face just in case !. hahaha

  • hahahahahaha, nice idea. They probably had a man inside. hahahaha

  • My Grand daughter said, …” why are you punching the scare crow Grandad ? “……..” I`m just showing you what I do to bad people, especially those trying to conceal cameras ! ” hahaha

  • The chap with the 10 stone space hoppers is on Ch 4 @ 9pm or on Ch 4+1 @ 10 pm !. I know some of you Broke Back nut crackers like that sort of thing, thinking it`s the dogs bollocks, well it aint !.

  • Henry ,

    well of he’s a diver and so on so then that means it’s the way the mancs are as a whole isn’t it and that’s what their culture is.

    under Wenger’s supervision he’ll have to lose all those “shenanigans” of his.


    Agreed re- Adams, he wears his heart on his sleeve and speaks his mind, love him or hate him, he’s a Gooner through and through and wants what’s best for the club.

    for that he’ll always have my respect even though he is losing the plot 🙂

  • Aaah Dylan, another America-based Gooner. Welcome. 🙂

    AFC – Nah I would not have Arteta as AM at Arsenal. His current role suits him so well that I would not change it. What about you?

  • Hahaha 007

    I`ve watched a few interviews and punditry by big Tone and come to the conclusion that his brain is inside the bronze statue !. hahaha

  • hahahahah certainly seems to be the case.

    re- Higuain

    if i’m RM person in charge (president)

    i wouldn’t want to announce the departure of one of our players before we sweetened it first for the fans with a signing first , or even 2 signings (both manager and ISco)

    Carlo and Isco in

    Higuain to Arsenal

    much more sweeter for the fans and also he gets elected president again.

  • yep, it’s a pity really

    i can understand why Jose said no to both santi and isco for 30 mills though , they had just spend 35 million on modric and they didn’t have the need for 2 similar types of players.

    we should have perhaps signed Isco on a pre-contract or loaned him right back to them.

    we lack this killer bite from an investment point of view, we need to be more relentless and creative and bold.

    Isco is going to be the next big thing in my opinion and he’s gonna be another one “who got away”.

  • Exactly my thoughts . It would be nice for once to be/get a step ahead of the competition, it seems not since pre-Abramovich days have we done that !.

  • Good post TA , I agree with you i like him and want him to stay. All of your points are right 1of the biggest and the 1 that seems to be being overlooked is the fact that he has played in the Africa cup of nations in both season and in both cups it seemed to damage his confidence and the fans gave him a hard time.
    He is very talented and defo deserves 1 more season, Wenger rates him and i am no one to doubt his judgement and his finishing is also strong or Wenger would never have put him centre forward for that period. He will come good im sure

  • I am not liking Southampton sniffing around Victor at 10 million surely his is a bargin, is he better then Arteta? Not sure to be honest but fine back up for sure.

  • exactly, Glics

    on a side note, have we changed the timings for new posts @ TA

    i liked the old timings better 😀

  • Why let him go now? At a minimum, bring him on at 60 minutes if we aren’t breaking down a defense. He brings the ability to dribble into the box like no other player we have. Having him on the bench or for lower team games is a great option. If we add a couple of players we’re talking, basically, about a bench with Gerv, Podolski and Giroud. Wouldn’t mind those three coming on to change a game if needed. Squad depth with these kinds of players is a far cry from the last few years when the bench was bare.

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