Gervinho: Gooner or Goner?

There are persistent rumours in the media that Gervinho is close to the exit door at The Emirates. Should he be sold?

Can you remember a more infuriating player than our spindly Ivorian? Here we have a player with truly consummate skills – he has great pace, can beat 3 players with a shrug, can create space for himself in seemingly impossible situations, can play on both wings and given chances, he scores. So why isn’t The Mekon a first choice player, and why hasn’t he flourished in a team where his talents appear to fit?


Seems like a Nice Boy

I should start with this statement. I really like Gervinho, he has a wonderful smile, he makes me laugh and he appears proud to wear the shirt. There was excitement when he signed for us at what seemed a reasonable price of £11m; he had just gone through a fine season with Lille, scoring 18 goals in a season where Lille surprisingly won Ligue 1. Gervinho , who scored  28 goals in 68 appearances for Lille was much in demand with Athletico Madrid , PSG and others seeking his talents, but he chose Arsenal – probably thanks to the Mr Wenger attraction in France (and PL money!)

Sent off in his first game for trying to take  a swipe at the hideous Joey Barton (you should have decked him).  His first season was interrupted by a trip to the African CoN but a return of just 4 goals from 26 starts and 11 subs apps was sub-standard. It appeared that if you put Gervinho 3 yards from goal and asked him to shoot he would either miss the ball or miss the target -…… cow’s arse/banjo.

2012/13 was better. His confidence was raised by getting some lucky strikes but the ACoN once again deprived Arsenal of his services. At season’s end Gerv had made 18 starts (+8 subs) scoring 7 goals. An improvement but still unsatisfactory.

Onto the negatives. We are not as solid defensively when Gervinho plays. He does work hard to track back but tackles like a wet paper bag; his crossing is poor – actually worse than poor, his passing is fine at close quarters but not so dusty over distance and his finishing is as clinical as a blind dentist. Mr Wenger seems to have decided that his attacking left sided player is Podolski.

Mr Wenger has tried to play Gervinho on the right, on the left, given him the centre forward role, played him as shadow striker, tried to teach him to defend, tried to teach him to cross – nothing has really succeeded. Gervinho remains an anomaly – good at many trades, master of none.

However, Gervinho has improved; as a substitute remains a positive force giving defenders problems whenever he comes on but is that enough to keep him at Arsenal? In the likely event of Mr Wenger buying a striker what happens to Gerv? Would Arsenal be better off selling him and giving opportunities to O-C, Gnabry,  Myachi etc

For me a Goner and not a Gooner.

Big Raddy


54 Responses to Gervinho: Gooner or Goner?

  1. Mayor of the Woolwich says:

    First again?

  2. Mayor of the Woolwich says:

    Yea, and second again!

  3. Mayor of the Woolwich says:

    It’ll be sad really to see Lé Forehead leave. He always has that special flair when he has the ball to his feet. If he can improve on his decision making, and final ball, he’d be a great player. I believe he could still improve, and become for us what Robert Pires was for us, as he claimed he wanted to be. Good luck to him, whatever the decision of the mighty ARSENAL!

  4. kelsey says:

    Morning all and thanks once again Raddy for coming to the rescue.

    It is blatantly obvious to me when push came to shove in the run in that AW had little or no confidence in Gervinho and he he was benched making the odd cameo performance.

    As I have said before one often doesn’t know what he himself is going to do next,when on the ball, let alone his team mates, a truly frustrating player with a powder puff shot. Don’t see him as a long term prospect.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    I believe Gervinho is best suited to the French League where he shone – perhaps because they have more time on the ball before being pressed. Though that is balanced by his inability in front of gaol when he is given time to think!

    He is a classic example of the risks of buying second level players – some succeed and some don’t.

  6. Morning
    Myself I find him a little clumsy and erratic,you never know what he’s going to do next.
    So case closed for me = Sell.
    It’s been said on sky sports news this morning that Dortmond are after L Podoski,and will offer arsenal a huge fee for him .
    Sheep Hagger™

  7. LB says:

    That, you call a throw away post? I call that a good post. A very enjoyable read on this fine Sunday morning.

    I don’t think Wenger has given up on him but he is not being given priority which I like.,

    The upshot being that he has got to fight for his place and rightly so.

    Personally I haven’t written him off, he seems to have a greater level of skill than Walcott but is erratic in his decision making where as Theo has a lower level of skill but calmer in his decision making. In many ways it should be easier to improve decision making than improve the level of skill; we shall see.

    I agree that he seems to be proud to wear the shirt and I hope that that kind of determination will carry him to success at THOF.

  8. koye says:

    Pls sell Le Forehead. The guy can be frustrating at times… Poor in decision making at d last quarter when it matters most

  9. GoonerX says:

    For me Gervinho lacks far too many of the prerequisite skills required to be a professional footballer – the main one being the inability to kick a ball straight!

    Goner – we can do much better!

  10. barumgooner says:

    Nice post. I agree that he seems to be a nice guy and does try hard. I dont find him as frustrating as the little Russian but dont really feel confident when he is on the pitch either. Personally I would be happy for him to be sold but I would guess he’s on a decent wage with us and its this thats making him want to stick it out with us rather than take a pay cut and play elsewhere, as opposed to loyalty to the club. Unfortunately I see him as one of a line of ill-judged panic buys that have just been over-paid squad-fillers. Hopefully the club is moving away from this period now with the last seasons purchases all proving far better.

    I would hate to see Pod go, seems to take a lot of stick from pundits but I think he’s had a great start to gooner life and is the sort of player who makes things happen.

  11. Mk says:

    This article is nonsensical and lacks substance.How can a player who scores 7 goals in 18 starts be considered a bad player.This is just hatred for Gev.But that will never take away the the fact that he is a talented player.Statistics do not lie.If he is sold it will be because he is hated by arsenal fans like you maybe because he compete for the same position with English players and he is better than them.

  12. Aras1913 says:

    Is gervinho nt beta dan theo n ramzey bt those 2 alwayz play n kontinue 2 make mistakes 2ruawt d whole 90mins while d single mistake of gervinho is spot’d by fans n want’n him 2 go! D problem is d venger 1 top style dat he’s adopt’d ie play’n home or away..we must play 4-4-2 wer gervinho kan kombine wid gerioud,2 me gervinho is guud

  13. Adrian says:

    LB, I honestly doubt Gervinho is more skillful than Walcott.. Crossing: Walcott wins. (Yes, he can actually cross the ball now as of late and is getting much better at it). Pace and finishing: Walcott as well. Dribbling: Ah, here is perhaps where some might consider Gervinho excels more than Walcott, but IMO Walcott’s dribbling isn’t too shabby as well (Think of the goal for his hat trick against newcastle and the tottenham derby where he beat two defenders on the right to cross in a delightful goal for Mertersacker to score.) Gervinho’s dribbling on the other hand, while undeniably useful and efficient in beating a defender at times, is however hindered by what he does AFTER he manages to dribble past a defender.

  14. Adrian says:

    Back to the topic, Gervinho is a good player for sure with a totally different skill set to most of our other players but I’m not sure if he’s starting 11 material to me. A really good utility sub to have or for the on and off cup games, but the question is would he be willing to stay for these purposes?

  15. Iyke John says:

    if walcott was werent english he wld hav bn sold lng time ago cos he wld hav had as much critics as gerv. Gerv is d only player who gets thumbs down wen he plays bad n no thumbs up wen he plays wel. U guys wld say he is lucky wen he plays. He is a better player dan walcot anytime anyday.

  16. Iyke John says:

    @ Adrian ur analyses is very poor. if u dont think dat gervinho is better skilled dan walcott i wonder what u wld b able to judge right in footbal cos walcot is stopable but gervinho is not.

  17. Big Raddy says:

    mk. Sometimes I just despair…. I wrote….

    “I should start with this statement. I really like Gervinho”

    Just because I do not agree with your assessment does not mean I don’t like Le Swerve.

    The English/ Foreigner (usually African) argument is just insulting. No AFC fan gives a monkey’s where a player comes from. When he is wearing the shirt he is Arsenal, nothing else.

  18. Big Raddy says:

    lyke. You may be right that Gerv has more skill than Walcott, but he is definitely not more effective and that is what counts.

  19. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy, I completely agree with your post and your conclusions. The swerve did start the season really well (as did Podolski) but I am looking for us to improve the quality of the squad, and therefore I don’t see Gerv being more than a very good bench player.

  20. GunnerN5 says:

    Nice throw away Raddy, I think you should keep throwing posts away, but always in the direction of AA.

    Gervinho, Well. in my mind, he displays incredible natural skill, but simply lacks good instincts and his football brain Is underdeveloped.

    I’m not at all sure that he can be taught/trained to add/develop the missing components in his engine, technically he seems a long way behind his teammates.

    I don’t know what he adds to the team, even as a sub, as he has very little impact.

    But then again all of that may be a lot of BS and he may be suffering from Eboue syndrome – (being bullied by the Arsenal “fans”)

  21. njstone9 says:

    Gervinho won’t be sold because a) we need to buy a striker, central midfielder to cover Diaby, and a GK to replace Fabianski.

    It’s not good for stability to replace too many players at once. Gervinho offers unpredictability and I think he’s a worthwhile squad member to have around.

    In addition he seems like a nice guy and does always try his best. Unless we get a event bid for him close to what we paid for him, I can’t see him being sold.

  22. kelsey says:

    This post isn’t meant to be racist in anyway ,yet some of the comments are not based on the topic which simply is a debate if Gervinho is a gooner or a goner .

  23. RockyLives says:

    Good talking point BR
    I think I’m with njstone, in that I haven’t given up on him yet. He can be amazing at times and leave defenders tied up in knots (The Swerve, that is – I’ve never seen nj play 🙂 ).

    The fact that he scored 18 goals in each of his last two seasons in Ligue Un shows that he has the capacity to finish more calmly – we just need to see that calmness in an Arsenal shirt.

    I suspect he’s a confidence player, so we fans can help him achieve his potential by supporting him.

  24. RockyLives says:

    To those who claim Gerv is getting fewer chances and more criticism because he is not British – I can only say you clearly do not follow Arsenal very closely.

    For a start, under Wenger, we have been famous (some would say notorious) for fielding teams with few or no British players.

    And as for the fans… Just ask Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott whether they have had an easy ride from the supporters…

  25. LB says:

    Err Adrian, this is what my comment says.

    “Gervinho’s dribbling on the other hand, while undeniably useful and efficient in beating a defender at times, is however hindered by what he does AFTER he manages to dribble past a defender.”

  26. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good afternoon to you all.

    To nice a day to spend arguing.


  27. Gunner. His unpredictability is as confusing for us as it is for the opposition. They have to commit defenders to mind him in case he has a brilliant game.

    :What is this about: Borussia Dortmund have joined Atletico Madrid in targeting a move for 27-year-old Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski.

  28. jnyc says:

    Raddy, i know people always say it, but so frustrating. I would rather keep him as a super sub. Its difficult enough for fresh legs to defend him, late in matches even more of an advantage. He does work hard, i just wish the fans werent so negative towards him.

  29. Big Raddy says:

    Losing Lewandowski and Gotze means BD have to make a significant signing and Pod is a big star in Germany – though a flop at BM.

    I could see him leaving if the money offer was right.

  30. Big Raddy says:

    jnyc. I agree entirely that Gerv is a confidence player – who isn’t?But to play at the top you cannot hide and Gerv disappears in games when he feels the crowd are on his back.

    This is where we miss a TA type captain. A few words and the threat of violence stops any player hiding!

  31. RockyLives says:

    Just back-tracking to yesterday’s manager vote – I just had a great time reading through all the manager assessments with my 10-year-old son.

    He then voted for…

    Herbie Chapman.

    His reasoning: “Chapman started from scratch. He set all of the traditions and other managers all followed on from what he set up.”

    I was surprised as I was sure he would vote for AW, but he was much taken by HC’s innovations and particularly liked the story of how he bamboozled the Bolton directors into selling us David Jack on the cheap 🙂


  33. ces1ne says:

    Redtruth……care to apply that to every team in the PL??? Goals scored….are goals scored, end of story

  34. chas says:

    Excellent, BR.
    I like the Swerve and think next season could be big for him.
    On the subject of passports, I was thinking of having my nationalty changed to Gooner.
    I’d feel more happier with that than British. 🙂

  35. chas says:

    More happier. Ouch.
    Too much beer with Subday lunch.

  36. chas says:

    Subday too. Definitely too mulch

  37. chas says:

    I vote Le Foreskin is a Gooner

  38. RockyLives says:

    Too more beer, surely, Chas?

  39. RockyLives says:

    Gooner passports – great idea!

  40. chas says:

    Five more, more like, Rockster.

    Btw, Evonne 12 was about right emotional development-wise. Though my intake of nefarious substances is a little on the greedy side for one so young.

  41. listen Monster, it is no good for you jogging to the gym at the crack of dawn, then swimming to your bum-kissing yoga classes if you drink yourself stupid; you will never reach 13 at that rate!!

    England look nervous, very nervous

    Where is GM??

  42. Shard says:

    What a fantastic post BR. And on such short notice. Wow!

    I think I agree with you completely. I like Gervinho, and I actually think he has all the attributes needed to be a brilliantly effective player. To be fair to him, he’s not really had two seasons as such because both seasons have been disrupted by the ACN. I think he CAN be great. But sadly, I think he can be improved upon as well, and if we get the chance to do so, we should take it. The way I see it, Jovetic (for example) would actually be an upgrade on Gervinho rather than the poacher/striker we feel we need. That role would then be fulfilled by Podolski who is a very good finisher. Add in Sanogo and Walcott along with Giroud then we have a nice mix of attacking talent, and greater flexibility in midfield because the Ox can then play infield as well.

    I’d like to keep Gervinho as well, but it all depends on who we buy. We should buy good players regardless of what it’ll mean for Gervinho. If we get someone like Villa, I think Gervinho stays. But someone like the aforementioned Jovetic, and I think he probably goes. Which in some ways would be a shame, but if it improves the team, then no one can really complain about it.

  43. Big Raddy says:

    I went to almost all the England home games for 25 years and despite some dreadful nights there was always the hope of victory or at least one or two exciting individual performances.

    Of late we have become an embarrassment. Can anyone tell me why when having two strikers under 5´8″ we lump the ball in the air to them?

    One shot on target – but that is not the worst – the worst is the lack of any skill; no-one seems to be able to trap a ball let alone pass it. Theo at least had a shot but no-one has given him a pass to run onto.

    Hart’s having a decent game.

  44. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. I would be surprised to see both Pod & Gerv at AFC next season – one will leave. We have to find a place for the new chaps and for the kids coming through, Ox, Gnabry and Myachi.

    I can see Villa signing because he is already 31 and will sign a max. 2 season contract.

  45. Shard says:


    I agree with you once again. But I don’t want Podolski to leave. He’s our most efficient forward, and we haven’t seen the best of him yet because it was his first season and he was definitely carrying an injury.

    Although I’m not dead against getting Villa, I would prefer to get someone else. The main worry with Villa is if he can recover sufficiently from his broken leg. He was very good before that. Since then, I don’t know. I hope if we’re looking for the clinical striker then we go for Higuain ahead of Villa.

    If the rumours about Grenier (or Cesc) are true, then we might be playing Cazorla on the left more often, which would indicate that you are correct about Podolski/Gervinho. IF we are also getting another established striker (otherwise Podolski becomes the striker and Gervinho stays)

  46. Big Raddy says:

    Totally different second half and the introduction of Ox made a difference. Great goal which he will treasure the rest of his life.

    Sadly, Theo had one of those nights (good title for a song), his choice of pass was very poor.

  47. RockyLives says:

    Didn’t see the England game, but the plaudits for the Ox can only be a good thing for us.

    He has the potential to be a great player and the confidence boost from this will be fantastic.

  48. RockyLives says:

    I’m sure you’re ludicrously busy, but do you think we should have a widget that gradually fills in all the spaces on our All Time Arsenal XI ?

    We could slot AW in now as manager (assuming that the vote is ended once the next day’s Post goes up). And the other blanks fill up as we go…

    Anyway, just a thought. And if it’s lots of hassle don’t worry…

  49. GunnerN5 says:


    The 2G’s have planned a reveal day at the end of the series when we will announce both our A & B squads, so let’s not worry about a widget. We want to build up the anticipation……………

  50. RockyLives says:

    OK – that makes sense Gn5

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all.
    Bloody hell GN5. Staggering work. Well done and thank you.
    Thanks also to GiE.
    Loved the “throw away” post Raddy.

    Would have to have voted AW on stats alone.
    Keep Gerv 🙂

    Back later.

  52. LB says:

    What, an Arsenal player shooting from distance, is that allowed?

  53. Ox’s dad missed the goal – he had fallen asleep on the sofa!! Is THAT allowed?? Shocking

  54. Rasp says:

    Morning all ……..

    …… New post …….

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