Wenger: Gervinho has his swagger back


After Arsenal’s comprehensive 4-1 win over Reading Arsene Wenger took the time to praise Gervinho whose goal and two assists served as a timely reminder of his potential.

Struggling for form and consistency since arriving from Lille, the 25-year-old winger has not only failed to win over the Emirates crowd but also spent much of the season as back-up to the likes of Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski.

Nevertheless, with the England man injured and the German international seemingly out of favour, the Ivorian looks set for a run in the side as he looks to build on his upturn in form during January’s African Cup of Nations.

“Gervinho’s performance was very strong,” Wenger told press after the game. “He was always dangerous. He always looked like he could score. He gave assists and scored.”

Touching on the manner in which he has often been treated by supporters, the boss continued:

“I believe that sometimes Gervinho has lost confidence because he played in a very negative atmosphere during a period. Strikers need confidence, and [with] his game, even more.

“He’s always taking the ball, going forward and provoking [the play]. Now he has found his confidence back, he’s a very dangerous player.

“At the Africa Cup of Nations, for me he was the best striker. He is the type of player who is difficult to find because they always go at people.”

With reports suggesting that Gervinho, amongst a number of other players, could leave N5 for pastures new this summer, Wenger stressed that he was only interested in his players demonstrating the necessary collective spirit to help secure Champions League qualification.

“Gervinho did not play for his future [against Reading], he was just playing for his club. That is what every player does.

“We are a group of players who want to go for it, and to go for it together. Sometimes Gervinho plays, sometimes Walcott, sometimes Podolski, but we can only do it if we all have the same target and do it together.”

Reflecting on the result as a whole and the closing of the gap on fourth place Chelsea to two points, Wenger also admitted that he was pleased with the momentum his side have found since losing at White Hart Lane.

“We have the experience, we have done it before and it is what we want to do again. I am sure we will but it demands a lot of dedication and nerves until the end.”


  1. I feel Poldi being “out of favor” has more to do with the injury he is carrying (there have been speculations that he will have a surgery in summer) than there being some problems between AW and him. I hope he does not turn into another Arshavin

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      • worst performances i’ve ever seen by someone wearing an arsenal shirt. but not worst player – even when he’s been completely abject, you could see that there was at least a reasonable player in there, failing to get out! Hopefully he’ll get a run and put that behind him and we can all laugh about it.
        Contrast against someone like Stephanovs who did his best to perform to the best of his ability, and only then be about a 6 out of 10.

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    • Look we have an arsenal team here. Not all players can be as good as the other. Wheras gervinho lacks in perhaps creativity and decisiveness, cazorla, arteta will help with that. Whearas cazorla and arteta may lack in breaking on a counter with absolute pace, gervinho will help with that. The team compliments each other for the better.

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    • At this point in time (even though you might have a case) why would you make such a comment after the player in question performed rather well and was much improved?

      Why do you choose to offend us after a win?
      Your timing is abit troll_like.

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    • Bit early to make such bold claims. He’s has hardly had enough minutes on the pitch, couple that with 40-60,000 fans booing you everytime you play is hardly going to give you the confidence to play better. Been saying it for ages, and it pains me to even refer to Rafa, but he said the same for Chelsea fans, the constant booing and criticism for your own players creates a viscous cycle and instead of inspiring the team/player, it mostly damages them even more. Support the team, and register your disappointments at the end of season by whatever means.

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  2. Lets hope he finishes the season strong and gets his confidence back, on another note David Rocastle (rocky) should get a mention today he was an arsenal legend and had everything as a footballer, he was one of the reasons why I was proud to be a gunner as a kid in a manc / scouse environment, I was devastated when he left, he was also a true gent who will always be remembered by true gunners RIP

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  3. Yesterday was not the first time he’d been clapped off the field, but it was the first time the crowd felt he’d earned it rather than relief he was being replaced – he was fantastic yesterday.

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    • really, he missed a hatful of chances, he can’t head the ball, he beats players and then messes it up with his final ball, he is another deadwood signing who isn’t fit to wear the Arsenal top.

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      • Its strange that you refuse to see the positive aspects of his game and instead concentrate on the negatives Paul.
        Dont get me wrong he still has a lot of work to do, but Gervinho has a lot of potential and if there’s 1 man that can extract that potential its Arsene.
        If Gervinho improves on his decision making & final ball, then we’ll have a hell of a player.
        And he’s a squad player that can actually contribute. Give the guy a break.

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        • I completely agree with glory hunter. He has done great in last 2 games and we just need to focus on the positives… He will improve as we go along.

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      • You conveniently forget to mention the fact that it was because of his own skill that those chances were created in the first place.

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  4. Some people are too harsh on Gervinho. While he’s an Arsenal player we should support him. Can’t help a player with the fans at him.

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    • Its a bit sick the way we treat some players, thinking back to eboue where our own fans literally and perversely happily booed the lad into a nervous breakdown and subsequently off the pitch. I don’t understand it, we are fans, we are there to support our players and intimidate the opposition, not the other way around regardless of whether you trust them or how highly you rate them.

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      • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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        • I don’t agree with a single thing you have just said, but I respect your right to say it and will reserve my opinions about the brand of john terry you are to myself.

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        • Maybe we should spend wrecklessly to guarantee success, like Leeds and Liverpool.

          And how on earth can a manager bottle it in a final? It’s his job to devise the team and game plan, only the players (who were good enough to reach the final) can then bottle it.

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        • Financial prudence has been a necessity for the last 8 years.We are lucky that Wenger has kept us competitive during this period
          And I would rather wait for a year or two and see arsenal dominate for a decade than win a trophy now and suffer later(due to overspending)

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  5. He had a good game yesterday but lets not jump the gun, reading were piss poor and lets hope he churns out more solid performances on the trot before we start the hype.

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    • Gervinho always creates space for himself and for others and his off the ball movement is fantastic. We have a lot of technically gifted midfielders in our ranks who benefit from the space that gerv creates. That is why, I dont think he is useless when he is not scoring goals.

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  6. This Gervinho-performance proves nothing because Reading’s defence was non-existent. Gervinho will never perform against a top side.

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    • he scored our only goal against chelvskid earlier this year. I’d consider the current club champs of Europe a top side.

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      • and that was a class goal. Funny, how it seems that he can produce such classy goals with ease and tap-ins need some work. Hopefully, these last few matches will let his confidence grow.

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  7. A bit of over-talking Gervinho’s performance by Wenger. It was Reading, at home. Check their place on the table. Where was Gervinho, when we dropped that 24 points Man Utd is leading by? Of course I’m not arguing it’s Gervinho’s fault we haven’t won the title, far from it, it’s the whole team’s lack of quality/mentality (24 points are 8 more wins, that’s HUGE, by the way). We have lot bigger problems than Gervinho, who is a backup attacker.

    I’m only saying, that Wenger should take a deep breath, and make a fair assessment of his team. He needs to stop saying things like “the summer transfer activity depends on the last 9 games”, because even if we won all of the 9 games, it doesn’t change the fact we fell 8 wins short of being on level with Man Utd.

    He needs to stop overrating our squad, because it will only lead to another season like this, and the way isn’t to glorify Gervinho after being able to capitalise against an awful team with absolutely no stakes at the game.

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    • Man city are behind man united as well who have spend nearly 500m More and didn’t have to lose any of their best players..

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    • The last opponents Reading faced were ManUre at Fergie’s den (OT) and they let in a solitary goal (1-0). So while they may have been poor, it was more apparent because Arsenal were brilliant

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  8. Its a shame there are still a few gooners that begrudge a bit of credit when its due. Good performance G, lets see more of that.

    Were only a win behind in the race for 3rd, come on you Gunners!!!!!!

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  9. Gervinho didn’t filled us with confidence this season but to be fair to him neither the fans helped his confidence at all .

    He overcomed this ,scored a goal and got 2 assists and the most important thing he got a standing ovation when he was subbed.Hopefully that’s going to do wonders to his mojo!

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  10. If we get a good offer and we could make our money back I still think we should sell him, because of the Africa Cup of Nations if nothing else.

    However, I have never doubted that if you give him the ball at his feet, he’s about the only player in our side who will really make a defender backpedal apart from Santi.

    He’s not adapted well to the pace and the physicality of the game in England, he’s been asked to win balls in the air and hold the ball up more than he was probably used to. I’m not going to claim he’s always been okay for us because some of the stuff he’s done has been dire. I still believe he’s a useful asset to have in the squad though, a bit of a maverick who can create something from nothing.

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  11. Regarding the Rocky ovation when everyone stood up yesterday, did the Reading fans applaud too? I forgot to look round at the time. It seems to whole stadium stood up.

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  12. I think both Ramsey and Rosicky deserve a mention for their performances yesterday. Aaron worked tirelessly and we look a different side when Tomas plays. He’s always looking to drive forward, can turn on a sixpence and when he plays we look a different team!

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  13. Gervinho is rubbish. He may have a good game or two now that the season is almost over. Wenger doesn’t sign anyone then in the summer and come August we are left in the same shit. We have maybe players who are rubbish, then dropped but are brought back. A continuous cycle of average players not winning anything..

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  14. “Gervinho will never perform against a top side”

    1. Almost like you want him to fail…that’s wrong and unlike a true fan.

    2. In the event he performs well against a top side, that will be incredibly hard to swallow and you’ll still point to some bullshit excuses about how he’s not good enough.

    3. Give credit where it’s due sometimes…..it’s not that hard I tell you.

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  15. He has to be the worst player I have ever seen play for Arsenal, any decent player would have scored four with the chances that clown missed, he is simply not good enough and how he started ahead of the Ox shows the clown Wenger doesn’t cut it any more, a waste of money, but hey that’s the deadwood signings of Wenger, fifteen shots on target, tippy tappy football boring fans, nothing changes

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    • What are you talking about? The player who was on instead of the ox had a part in 75% of the goals yesterday. How can you complain about that? You moan when he plays badly, you moan when he plays well.

      What exactly do you want from him?

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    • The point is that he is the only player in our squad who can create those chances in the first place. Ox is good when we play on the break but he cannot create space for himself like gerv does. They are both useful in different ways. I think that as arsenal fans, we should support every player in the squad

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    • You really underestimate the intensity of the game. Last time I checked I remember Henry scuffed a few shots himself too and it’s not like he was pulling hat tricks every game. You expect too much.

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  16. More confident, perhaps. Swagger, I am not yet convinced. Gervinho played well against Reading, and I genuinely applaud him for his effort and contribution, but I would like him to be cheekier and more decisive in front of the goal. When he wins the mental battle, he will be able to become more lethal in and out the box. I believe he can get better. Gervinho, let’s go!

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  17. I would rather see Gervinho start than Theo “look at me everyone, I’m a big time Charlie” Wallcott. At least Gerv has the best interests of the team at heart, not strolling around the pitch like some sort of Henryesque superstar, shooting from outrageous angles while ignoring unmarked players in the box!

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    • I was wondering who was next on the hit list.

      It’d be nice if just once we could be happy with a win, without the unnecessary player bashing.

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  18. If Gervinho is the worst player you have ever seen in an Arsenal shirt i would suggest you are either very young or blinded by your obvious childish rage. There have been plenty of average players down the years but you know what? Most supporters accept it and view them as squad players but nowadays far too many impatient fly by nights get on their keyboard and start ranting regardless of performance. I really don’t know why people like that bother ‘supporting a team’

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    • Ed you said it mate! G is a good player and yesterday he played by intuition. This negativity causes him to play with too much thinking. Hey guys get out of his head and you will see how great he will be.

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  19. I think Gervinho is a bit flat footed which is why he can dribble well… Bt lacks the final ball and a good finish. I saw hi goal a couple of times and saw tht his tap in was really close to the bar

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