Saturday, September 20, 2014
Gervinho: No Greek tragedy if we don’t top group

Gervinho: No Greek tragedy if we don’t top group

Gervinho believes that Arsenal’s form in February will be a more important factor in deciding how the club fare in the Champions League this season rather than where they finish in the group standings.

The Gunners travel to Athens this afternoon for tomorrow’s clash with Olympiakos knowing that they have already qualified for the knockout stages, but dependent on Schalke dropping points against Montpellier if they’re to progress top.

Reflecting on the situation, the Ivorian, who is one first team player likely to be included in an expected weakened travelling party, said it won’t be the end of the world if they end up runners-up.

“Whether you finish first or second, there will always be some big teams in the next round,” said the winger.

“If a team has qualified for the last 16, it’s because there is a lot quality in it, so the further you go in the competition, the tougher it gets.

“Our objective is to finish top of the group, but if we finish second, it won’t be the end of the world either. Look at Real Madrid, they are sure to finish second, so if you win your group, you could still face them in the last 16.

“The most important thing is to be in great form before playing in the knockout stages.”

Interestingly, in a set of different quotes in the Daily Star he seems a little more bullish about going for top spot suggesting Olivier Giroud calls his former teammates at Montpellier and asks them to do us a favour.

Meanwhile, after Saturday’s home defeat to Swansea and the ensuing discontent voiced by the Emirates crowd, Mikel Arteta has accepted that until the team start producing the goods they can hardly expect the full backing of supporters.

“We know that results will bring everyone together. When they don’t come people will be criticised – the manager, players and staff. It is our fault if we haven’t done it [right] and they have every right [to react].

“They have been outstanding so far. We can’t ask them to be behind us if we don’t give them back what they deserve. It is up to us. We will get criticised [if we don’t win]. It is part of our jobs. The main thing is that everyone give 100 per cent now.”

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59 comments

  1. forehead. I don’t believe you belong in a big team that’s for sure.
    Go be fall over at some other club you clumsiest footballer of all time

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    • oh and dear god.
      Arteta’s talking about the famous 100% again.
      groan

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      • wengers furrowed brow

        arteta is the unofficial spokeman of our team since verm cant seem to speak his mind to team mate or media.

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      • Arteta's Hair Gel

        what percent are you giving when you say before the match that loosing isnt the end of the world?? how many of the invincibles would have made that defeatest statement, i’ll tell you….NONE !! its how far we’ve come from them,its part of the reason we are where we are. even if you play to protect your squad, or rest your players, YOU NEVER SAY TO THE PRESS OR ANYONE ELSE THAT LOOSING ISNT THE END OF THE WORLD BEFORE THE MATCH !! so many problems with my arsenal…it makes my head ache

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      • I don’t blame him actually. Such is the form that we are underdogs for most of the games, atleast until Jan when the transfer window opens/

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    • That`s why he is playing for us;)

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    • It does matter to win the group. Second place teams play at home first leg its a Huge disadvantage all the way to the Final.

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    • Gervinho , are you Eboue in disguise ?

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    • I still don’t understand why the players are being yelled at?! What have they done wrong?! They are poor to average players being asked to play at a level none of them will ever reach?! None of the players are capable of playing much better than they are right now.. And they reflect the level and the value they are worth. This is how arsenal wanted it wasn’t it?! Why else would you sell good players and replace with poor to almost average?!

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  2. PSG, Real madrid , Valencia , Juventus , Milan , it isn’t that big advantage to finish top of the grouop with these teams probobly gonna end up as runners-up

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    • Isn’t the aim to basically win. What ever happened to just focusing on a freaking WIN. Why give two sh*ts who we’re meeting in the next round? The aim of any football team is to WIN MATCHES. Again I keep saying the team’s main problem seems to be mentality.

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      • I posted this earlier and generally wanted to hear people’s take on our team in comparision to any other Championship winning team.

        “I really question Arsene’s logic sometimes. I remember watching the United-Reading game as United were conceding goals from crosses launched from the right side of their defence. Sir Alex just stood up called Smalling to sub Rafael- who was pissed- so as to bring in a big CB to block some of those runners off the ball. The sub was done on the 30th minute. Contrast that with Arsene’s 70th minute subs. Remember Arshavin for the Ox last season? MAAAADD. What struck me as well was Rafael’s reaction. He really was pissed but it seemed he was really angry at himself. He wanted to do it right but couldn’t and it was eating at him till the final whistle. He didn’t even smile. That is a freaking WINNER/FIGHTER. Contrast that with shirt swapping while putting in a sh*t performance. Contrast that with numerous hugs given to opposition players after a humiliating loss. WTF?”

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      • I think the point is that, even if we do beat the greeks, we are dependant on Montpellier beating Schalke to top the group. Or at least a draw there I think (not sure about this head to head tiebreaker stuff).

        Also place it in context, as the journalist probably asked something like “would it be a disaster if you didn’t top the group”, to which Gervinho rightly replied no essentially, because well what can you expect him to say. Don’t forget its all asked to make headlines, just like the “Gervinho: Table finish isn’t important” that they have run with, just so Arsenal fans can click on the link, thinking he’s talking about the league, and bluster themselves into a frenzy over nothing ;)

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      • Fergie the Gooner

        Yet again we’re compromising on our objectives. We should be challenging ourselves to go out there and top the group regardless of who makes the squad. Settling for second place shows a lack of ambition that seems to be prevalent in our squad. Having said that though, you can’t expect anything else because it comes from the top when year after year we’re told that fourth place is a trophy.

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  3. Got nothing against Gervinho but considering how he has been playing surely Arshavin should get a chance ahead of him. And i don’t mean a chance with 5 minutes left in the game

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    • You should read 7amkickoff blog. Arshavin is a huge liability. He just don’t really bother to defend.

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      • Then play him behind the striker where his defensive lapses is less likely to hurt us. And play Cazorla wide. As much as i like Cazorla i just don’t think he should be playing the Attacking midfielder position. He has done reasonably well there but i think he is better suited out wide(a position where he has often played for both Malaga and Villareal). Anyway i thinks it about time we dropped Podolski. He will turn up for 1 game and then go completely missing for the next two. And his work rate in the recent weeks has been awful

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    • I think AW needs to use AA as our creative midfielder to provide cazorla with some rest.

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  4. The comments from Arteta are again professional and most importantly honest. Our fans have been brilliant and have put up with a lot of crap – I don’t want to keep Wenger-bashing but when you hear Arsene say that he needs us to all stick together and get behind the team, it feels almost insulting (because we’ve been getting behind this team and paying ridiculous prices for a long time). Maybe looking into it too much, but sometimes feels that way.

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    • One thing is calling oneself brilliant, but there you go. Completely other thing is calling brilliant fans 99% of which are completely clueless and able to spot even the simplest things such as moving gervinho to cf after coquelin/giroud sub.
      Whether you feel insulted or not, the fact is that not supporting the team is making it worse.

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      • 99% of Arsenal fans are clueless??? You heard it hear first chaps! Still, I guess that’s 1% less than spud fans. Anyway, you missed my point entirely.

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  5. Gervinho, Gervinho. He seemed promising after his first season with us and gave me something to look forward to the next season. Well I guess its already next season and i’m still waiting!. I want him to make it but his overall play is not at all encouraging, Get me a goal tommorow gervinho then we can all over again start our football r/ship.

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    • He was even more promising before it. In his last season in France he got twice as many goals as the much-hyped Hazard and more assists. He was also pretty good in his first weeks with us. So what happened? His penalty miss at the African Nations seemed to drain his confidence completely, but I suspect the problem is deeper-rooted than that. He may be one of those players who needs more coaching and tactical help than Wenger provides.

      I heard a journalist on the radio yesterday saying – don’t know how truthfully – that Walcott had once begged Arsenal for some intensive and focused coaching to make him into a more effective right winger. It wasn’t forthcoming. I don’t think Wenger believes in coaching in the sense of giving players instruction. I’ve noticed that he uses the word ‘practice’ rather than ‘training’, which sums up his philosophy of leaving players free to work things out for themselves. Fine for the exceptionally gifted; less fine perhaps for the clueless?

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      • Top comment Miranda and it highlights exactly where Arsene’s approach to player development is flawed.
        Some players thrive when allowed time and freedom to develop on their own – Song, Henry, RVP for example – because they are either naturally gifted, driven, or intelligent at analysing their own strengths and weaknesses.
        Others – Walcott, Gervinho, Santos, Chamakh the most obvious ones – have OBVIOUS flaws in their games, which if addressed could make them complete players, yet nothing seems to happen.

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  6. Why aren’t the players giving 100% anyway?

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  7. Fairly recent Gooner

    The next story I want to hear about Gervinho is how through hard work and dedication he’s become a decent header of the ball, especially goal wards.

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  8. he should learn what to do at the right time

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  9. For some reason we’ve never managed to win away to Olympiakos, not even with a good team, so it hardly makes much difference who plays. Besides, Schalke aren’t likely to lose to Montpellier.

    More to the point, and even more depressing, finishing second in the group might be all for the best. Let’s face it, a team that can’t beat Sunderland, Norwich or Villa isn’t going to progress very far in this comp. Just imagine the ignominy of it if we did top the group and then drew Celtic and lost – which we would: they’re exactly the type of team we struggle against. I’d rather play somebody posh like Barca or Milan. Then at least the TV audience/revenue will be better – 35m last year – and Gazidis can, yet again, breathe a sigh of relief.

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  10. Really don’t care if we win there or not, first or second doesn’t matter, we are going to meet the better teams in the competition at some stage. The important thing for me is to give santi and and arteta a rest along with one or two others. If its tiredness as arsene suggests that’s the reason for some of our recent performances then to play them again is madness.

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  11. Maybe ur hairstyle aint allowing a good head on the ball! Man city would be happy with ur services

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  12. Are these guys press trained as fans all we want are players coming out telling us they will try to win everything.

    I know its fan’s ego asking for this but we pay the bills :)

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  13. FUCK OFF FOREHEAD!

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    • Oh god I have been laughing my head off at the simplicity of this post and I know its rude but it just made my day.

      Ivor you have made my day just a little brighter

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  14. Djourou,AA, TOMAZ, Gnabry, Eiesfield, SHOULD Start 2moro. Our team is JUST MENTALLY DERAILED With there FATHER Wenger.. We should just manage and win CAPITAL ONE.

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  15. I wish the players/manager would just say nothing. I’m tired of hearing dull sound bites telling us about collective responsibility, mental strength and spirit, its like I’ve be listening to the same drivel on a loop for three years. Just go out there and bleed for the club. I know it doesn’t matter if we finish first or second but I want to know that the XI that pull on the shirt will do their utmost to win that game.

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  16. We should be looking to win EVERY game, not making excuses beforehand about how it would be OK not to win. Do Ferguson or Mourinho tell their players that it doesn’t matter if they lose? Not bloody likely.

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  17. Chamakh's overworked barber

    Could really do without this lacklustre attitude of ‘doesnt matter whether we finish 1st or 2nd’ – what about everyone that has paid for tickets and flights to go out to Greece! FFS

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  18. This is a very poor attitude to have.
    Is that the reason why the clown missed a sitter against Swansea?

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  19. I love you guys !!!

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  20. Shouldn’t we strive to win the group? Is it just me or are these constant “affirmations” that things will still be ok even if we “lose” getting really tiresome. Voicing things like this are tantamount to striving for failure! It all starts with attitude and there should never be statements like this before the fact. If all the situations play out and we finish second in the group then come out and say “we still qualified” but you don’t throw it out there ahead of time! For fucks sake…. it’s no wonder we keep dropping points at home and away to teams we should be beating.

    I need some coffee

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  21. hi Gervinho!

    whaaaattttsooofuckineverrrrrr

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  22. the difference between finishing 1st or 2nd looks to have been reduced this year when you look at the size of clubs who are currently lying second in their respective groups.
    There is an advantage by finishing top of the group but it’s not massive this year. I think this is the reason Wenger is resting some players, because the West Brom game is now far more important.
    Win that one and we’ll be back in the hunt for third place, (christ know’s how we’re only 5 points off third position).

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  23. Am I the only one who thinks that from the outside, watching the games, the main problem seems to be urgency. Good article to use as well as Gervinho is possibly the least urgent player I’ve seen at the club. At times, when he squares up a full back one on one, he can be devastating, but he just drifts in, and mainly out, of games far far to often. I’ve seen the invivibles DVD countless times and I can’t help but notice we used to get 4, 5, even 6 players getting forward at break neck speed on the counter (eg. watching the 2 we scored at Sp*rs in 04 crowning us champions), nowadays were lucky if 1 player is sprinting into space. We’ve become to reliant on playing infront of a stern defense and hoping we can break it down more than they can break us. Against the swans we couldn’t fashion anything, they broke twice and got 2 very well taken goals. I’m not saying we should mould the way we play around any other club but surely we can learn, mainly from our former selves, that it’s best to attack 4 on 4 in a counter than a stale 10 against 10 attack. But that’s just me. IAWT.

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  24. Gervinho is one of the reasons we are in ths mess….the guy can barely stand on his two feet and hasn’t a clue what it means to play in a football team!
    £12m of total shite.

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  25. Barber and nick. I totally agree about winning etc and a very fair point about the fans that are paying to be there.
    My post was more an observation on a very poor and small squad and the fact that arsene constantly states after Europe that the players are tired etc. ideally id want to win every game but just don’t want the usual excuse to stand on Saturday when we play west brom.
    But agree about the fans going deserve better, just can’t see another way to rest some players.

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  26. I am waiting for end of jan
    It all depends on the board & wenger showing some intent and trying to get some players to improve the team. If there is only empty words and henry for loan then all the fans should know their places in current arsenal’s affair and cease voicing their opinion.
    This jan IS MAKE OR BREAK month for wenger, the board, the players & the fans.
    This is the month where we will know whether arsenal is a true football club with footballing value or just another profit earning venture for the owners and the board.

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  27. furious arsenal fans

    Can you leave Arsenal? It’s unbearable to see your poor performance.

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  28. Get well soon, phw…

    I think the fan protests must stop and the booing by our own fans too…i am sure, arseblog will agree….all this creates a bad environment and pressure upon the plyrs..who thn as u know cannt perform up to the levl required..another factorin this spell is fatigue….Arsenal hve plyed 3 gmes a week for the past couple of weeks, nd wil cntinue to do so for a couple of mre weeks..nd the sme bunch of plyrs hve plyed..arteta has plyed 1350 minutes out of a possible 1350 league minutes..which cn xplqin his dip in frm since the game against fulham..sincere request to all fellow gooners to stop all these protests nd boos and give Wenger some space in which to work his magic..

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  29. As much as what Gervinho said irritates me it doesn’t surprise me. They’ve all got the “4th place is a trophy” mentality.

    It’s more worrying because I can’t see how the club can pull this around without making the wholesale changes that they are highly unlikely to make.

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    • Without a top down change it’s impossible, IMO. When Wenger, Gazidis, etc all use the “4th place is a trophy” in the media as their justification for not spending more money there’s no way to combat it.

      Just wait and see what happens in the Jan window to see any signs of this turning around.

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  30. Just what I’d expect to hear from that shite!

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  31. Bacary's right foot

    the way we talk about some of our players is soo bad. Like seriously how can a player want to play for a team where he gets abused by his own fans is beyond me.
    Anyway I hope we go there to win but its not the end of the world this season because of all the teams finishing second but if you want to win this comp you will play the best anyway so first or second you will still face quality.

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  32. Red and White Stripey Socks

    I don’t know what Arsene see’s in gervhinihead the man is beyond the pale even a blind person can see that!
    But at the moment I’m not sure about anything Arsenal related. A good result is key don’t care who’s playing.

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