It is hard to imagine Gervinho has only been gone for half a season. It somehow feels a lot longer. It is fair to say the man with the LCD sized forehead was not a great success at Arsenal. But I reckon Arsene did not give him long enough, as he, uncharacteristically, let him go after just two seasons.
I don’t think we, the supporters, always realise enough what an incredible step it is for an African player to come and play in Europe; and a move from a medium sized city like Lille to world city London is also not to be pooh-poohed at.
Gervinho clearly lacked confidence at times, but in each and every game there were at least glimpses of his potential. I guess his low point was the League Cup game against Bradford, on a cold, wet and windy autumn night in the grim North. Giroud was rested and Gervinho led the line. He missed a number of sitters and the rest is bleak history. It was not just Gervinho who had a below par game that day; the whole team let us down badly.
After that, many fans had it in for our former meandering Ivorian and he never got properly over this. I was not Gervinho’s biggest fan, but I could see his potential and value to the team. He had speed, dribbling skills, decent first touch and close ball control. He was the only one of all our players who could penetrate a well protected box. His understanding with fellow players was not great and neither was his finishing. The question is, though, could this have been worked on within the team and on the training ground?
Four goals and four assists in sixteen games for Roma tell us he is settling quite well into his new environment. I have seen him play a few times and he appears to fit well into his new team. Roma play with pace and quickly turn defence into attack, and for this Tricky Gervais is a great outlet. His winner (1-0), against Juventus for the Italian Cup, will no doubt be one of his club career highlights, and I am really pleased he is doing so well right now.
I don’t really want him back now, but I do wish we had kept him a bit longer, especially now that Theo is out of for the season.
Written by: TotalArsenal.