Gervinho Ready To Fire Gunners To Glory

Good news everyone!

Gervinho is coming home to Arsenal from the Africa Cup of Nations sooner than expected.

His Ivory Coast team were knocked out of the tournament at the quarter final stage yesterday by Nigeria. It was a surprise result as Ivory Coast had been favourites to progress.

So the Dreadlocked Wonder returns to us having had a decent – if ultimately disappointing – campaign in Africa.

He scored twice in the group stages and was reckoned by observers to be one of the players of the tournament to date.

Yet it’s probably safe to assume that his next appearance at The Emirates will not be greeted with fanfares and garlands.  His name will not be ringing round the stadium. Banners saying “We’ve Got Gervinho” will not be draped from the walls.

Montpellier Herault SC v Arsenal FC - UEFA Champions League

If fans were ambivalent towards Gerv the Swerve last season, they have hardened their hearts this time round. Not all, of course. But right know he’s about as popular as an adder in your underpants.

Is this fair?

Gervinho can show touches of brilliance: he is fast, he can turn defenders inside out for fun and he has tucked away some nice goals.

But then there’s the other side of our Ivorian: what I like to think of as his “Afghan hound” side. I once knew the owner of an Afghan hound and she told me that they could be incredibly frustrating dogs.

Most mutts, when let off the leash, will hare about madly for a while but they will always zero back in on their owner. But Afghans were bred as high endurance hunting dogs and, according to my friend, once let loose they like nothing more than to head off in a straight line. And when you think it must be time for them to turn round and head back… they just keep going.

Gervinho’s inner Afghan is apparent on all those occasions when he has beaten one or more defenders out on the wing and – obviously – needs to either cross the ball or cut into the box. Instead, he keeps going in a straight line right off the pitch, ball and all. If it wasn’t for the small inconvenience of a short wall and a large crowd, he would probably be half way across North London before anyone could stop him.

I think that’s what frustrates fans the most: that he seems to do the hard work (beating people and getting into good positions) then all too often fluffs the final ball either through bizarre decision making or poor execution.

His stats make for interesting reading. Last season – his first at Arsenal – he scored four goals and provided eight assists in 37 appearances. Not bad but hardly stellar. This season he has five goals already in 15 outings, but no assists.

Contrast that with some of our other wide players:

Walcott has 18 goals and 13 assists this season in 29 appearances; Podolski has 12 and 11 in 31 and even Oxlade-Chamberlain has 2 and 3 in 23.

By those standards Gervinho is very much our third choice wing man and arguably fourth.

He should be scoring more often and, despite the skepticism of the fans, he has the ability to do so.

In the two seasons before he joined us – at Lille in the French league – he bagged 18 goals each year. That fact perhaps goes some way to explaining why Arsene Wenger played him through the middle earlier in the season: you don’t get 18 goals a season in a European league – even the French one – unless you have an eye for goal.

I would like to think that a good ACN will mean he returns to us full of confidence and ready to help us fight for a place in the top four and a run at the FA Cup and Champions League.

Unfortunately our experience of players coming back from that particular tournament is not good. If they haven’t gone off radar for an extended party or contracted a tropical disease, they often return injured or simply knackered.

Let’s see what we get with Gerv.

I still feel he has something to offer and that he can perform better than he has been doing so far – but if patience is a virtue it’s one that’s in short supply at Arsenal in these inconsistent times.

My fear is that his mistakes will continue to draw loud groans and his confidence will fall further, leading him to make even more so mistakes and more groans and on and on into the vicious circle.

So what do you think?

Is Gervinho a returning asset? A liability? Or simply irrelevant to our struggles to come?

RockyLives

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170 Responses to Gervinho Ready To Fire Gunners To Glory

  1. Manthan says:

    Hi Good morning all,
    Gervinho returing is very good news for all gunners… But as you mentioned he holds the ball more then required dat is wat is very frustrating….. But if he works on that then he is very dangerous… Before coming to Chelsea hazrad has mentioned the dangerous player he had seen in his life is gervinho better then messi and ronaldo…. If AW plays him in wide then he can be deadly again given the form is in he now… Playing in middle is waste as he is not dat good in finishing… But never mind we are getting two christmas gift gervinho and NAcho ;-)

  2. g c says:

    The arsenal watchers have ruined many an arsenal player for fun

  3. Red Arse says:

    For GIE,

    As Rocky is not up yet, I am going to cheekily answer a question, Daddy GIE, which you asked last night/this morning re the NFL breaks/half time before commenting on the Post.

    The game is made up of 4 quarters of 15 minutes each. After the 1st quarter and after the 3rd quarter there is a 2 minute break. (to allow changes of end).

    After the 2nd quarter (half time) there is a 12 minute break.

    So the game from start to finish should be 4*15 = 60 plus 16 minutes for breaks, totalling 76 minutes.

    The half time break can be a lot longer that 12 minutes because of the TV/Media mularkey, and the game usually lasts around 3 hours because of other breaks for players being ‘flagged’ or for ’2 minute time outs’ (3 each per team, per half) being called, where the clock is stopped.

    You now know as much or as little as I do GIE!! :D

  4. Manthan says:

    Best defending after 7:45 awesome….

  5. boyo says:

    Give him a chance without the boos and see what he can do he seems able to do it when confident and his fans shouldnt be actively destroying that!

  6. Manthan says:

    boyo agree… I guess all fans are in good mood after Stoke match so it will be great time for him to come back and show his skills…..

  7. GoonerB says:

    Great post Rocky. It is always interesting to bring up a topic that will divide opinion. Let the furious debate ensue.

    Manthan @9.33, I think when Hazard said that Gervinho was better and / or more dangerous than Messi and Ronaldo, he was suffering from a rare illness that made him hallucinate.

    Having said that I think Gervinho has his place in the squad. I don’t see him as a central striker at all. Personally I see him as an attacking wide player but would much prefer to see him become more specialised from the right, as a creator for others, rather than as an attacking wide right footed goal scorer from the left. He will need to work on his final decision and ball, but if he can improve this then I think we will have an asset. I would prefer to see him more like an Aaron Lennon type player.

    I don’t like him from the left as I think he has a powder puff shot, and when we play teams that pack the penalty box I feel we need someone who can strike the ball cleanly and with power. As such I would prefer to see the Ox adopt more a left sided role where he can cut onto his powerful right foot around the edge of the box.

    I personally think that much of Gervinho’s problem stems from AW using him in the wrong positions, but maybe this will turn out to be the wrong assessment.

  8. kelsey says:

    Gervinho is a player i find fascinating to watch yet must be hell to play with. Every time he is on the ball i get the impression that he doesn’t actually know what he himself is going to do next let alone his team mates.

  9. Manthan says:

    GB,
    Agree with he is not at all suited as Central striker in the way arsenal plays and AW has ruined many player by playing them out of position for instance take ashravin he plays left for arsenal but he was SS.. if he can provide good cross and some nice skills that will be very good boost for arsenal….

  10. Manthan says:

    Kelsey…
    Spot on everytime he is on the ball next thing what he will be doing no one knows neither do he… Tats suprise for all to guess wat next :P :P :P

  11. Manthan says:

    Stats show that this season OG,Theo,Santi,Poldi everyone has numerous assists and goals so we are not one man team now like previous season…. That is very positive thing for arsenal….. Now we are not depended on a player like other team do.. Manuted—>BSR…. Chesky—->Mata…. Totnum—>Bale but arsenal —-> Santi,Theo,OG,Poldi ;-) ;-)

  12. GoonerB says:

    As an addition to my last post, I personally think there are some things that can be more readily improved in a player such as decision making and the final pass. Conversely I think there are certain attributes that cannot be so readily improved. One of those for me is having a powerful shot (not the bend it into the top corner type but a through the laces blaster). I believe that by and large a player either has this or doesn’t, and it is not something that can be vastly improved upon with training, which is why I make my observation about the differences between Gervinho and the Ox.

  13. Morning all, good point you raise The Rock and as usual my response isn’t exactly one of the choice of answers you give.

    The reaction on Twitter to Geronimo coming back has mainly been negative, lots of groaning and moaning, which is ,of course , rather knee-jerk.

    For me, it’s good to see that our forward line is looking in fairly decent, if not exceptional, shape which should motivate Geronimo to fight to win back his place.

    Last year our Ivorian fluffed a penalty in a shoot out to send his team out of the ACN so obviously his confidence was shot when he returned. This is not the case this year as he appears to have had a better tournament – so the upside is that we have another forward option.

    Downside ? I’ll leave that for others to delineate.

    No doubt the next time he plays at home the crowd will remind him of his mistakes/shortcomings in their own inimitable way.

  14. Gooner from augrabies (RSA) says:

    I just can’t see the good news. Really. It will be better if wenger can just send him straight to the sub bench, better so so the reserves. Please sell him wenger when the transfer window open again. He is like Fringe player to us. In Arsenal I Trust

  15. Big Raddy says:

    Welcome to AA, Gooner from Augrabies, boyo and g c,

    Gerv has positives, mainly his ability to beat a man but what he lacks is composure.

    Can composure be taught? I don’t think so.

    I much prefer the Pod option on the left or Ox who showed flashes of quality on Saturday.

    Rocky. Thank you for another thought provoking post.

  16. Hashim| says:

    I would have Gervinho in the side, but as a backup. I would rather have Ryo (being wasted at Wigan) come back and make an impression. He has the pace and the skills to go past defenders. Imagine what it would be like to have the pace of Theo and Ryo on either wing.

  17. marcus says:

    I think part of Gervinho’s failings at AFC are the fans fault. Let me explain why. When Giroud signed for us, his first 9 games were extremely frustrating. He was missing sitters left right and center. All this while, the fans stuck with him and even composed a song for him and continued singing and chanting his name and now look how that confidence booster has lifted him. He is playing some fantastic football. For Gervinho however, even at the beginning of the season when his form was great, fans never gave him the kind of encouragement that would make him play even better for us. He still doesn’t feel like the fans are on his side. We as gooners must change that. Chant his name for a change, give him the support. See how that could transform his form and make him like the Robert Pires he so craves to be like.

  18. Red Arse says:

    Gervinho is a strange case.

    I have sometimes heard that he was dynamite when playing in the French league, and manthan has mentioned an alleged quote from Hazard comparing him to Messi.
    Seriously? Surely someone has been eating magic mushrooms.

    Alternatively, I have the evidence of my own eyes and that tells me that he would struggle to make an impact in the Championship.

    It would be unkind to refer to him as playing like a headless chicken, so I won’t.

  19. kelsey says:

    Red Arse my friend. the answer lies in the beads knotted into his hair. This has been scientifically proved that it throws him off balance.

  20. Reddawn says:

    Marcus…..Good point, nothing succeeds like success. If you can back a player who is not having a good day, I am sure that would make all the difference. Maybe Arsene should mention it in the programme before the match.

  21. GoonerB says:

    Morning Redders I hope you are well. Did you stay up beyond your bed time last night you naughty boy!

    I am sitting on the fence (for a change!) where Gervinho is concerned. The most effective I remember seeing him for us this season, and I can’t recall which game, was when he came off the bench and played from the right in a game we struggling to get any penetration in. We actually started to look a far better and more dangerous team in that game once he came on and started running at their defenders.

    He is not a polished performer in all aspects of his game, but does offer a different quality than other players. I like to have different qualities in the squad because it gives us a different option if we are struggling against a certain team playing in a certain way. I certainly don’t see him currently as first 11 ahead of other players but I don’t want to write him off yet either.

    I still think that his final ball can be improved upon, and if AW plays him in the right position then we could still have a valuable squad asset. He at least doesn’t stop trying, so when he pulls on the jersey we should all get behind him, and Arsene’s past record for proving many of us wrong on players we had written off probably demands that leeway.

  22. koye says:

    Gervinho coming bck to d emirates does not make aby diff. Its not as if his absence has been felt. I agree he can make the best defenders look tick but he tends to run out of idea at the final third when it matters most making him look more tick & confused. So Gerv firing us bck to glory? Naa i doubt it

  23. doctore says:

    Gervinho best player at the AFCON? Where did you guys get that from?that headless chicken?

  24. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky a hot topic for a Monday.

    I would be happy if Gerv only scored a couple of goals but had 15 assists at the end of the season. Shooting is not his strong point, ghosting past defenders is what he is good at and then ? …….. this is where the problem lies as many have said.

    He doesn’t come across as a great team player. If he could look up and find a team mate in a good scoring position he would be a valuable asset to our strike force. As it is, we haven’t missed him and I wouldn’t want his return to the squad to complicate AW’s strategy for our attack.

    If Gerv could learn that creating goalscoring opportunities rather than putting the ball in the net himself is his role, he will fit in much better. For this reason, I too was very surprised he was given the central role.

    I think we are seeing the real Pod emerging now and the drop in form was due to an underlying injury problem. For me Pod should start in front of Gerv, and the Ox and Gerv should be given equal opportunity and whoever performs the better should seal their place in the side.

  25. So the FA are not going to take any further action against Owen for the incident with Arteta as Foy reckons he saw it and deemed it not worthy of action.

    Even if Owen had got a ban would anyone notice as most people would assume he’s injured ? He makes Diaby look like an ever present.

  26. Shady says:

    what do you mean Gerv has no assits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!? which game do you watch?

  27. Bryan says:

    Sadly I don’t think it is good news that Gervinho’s coming back earlier than expected because for me he keeps better players out the side because Wenger seems to favour him.
    Personelly I would sell him tomorrow as I think he reminds me of Glenn Helder but alot worse lol.
    Don’t agree that it is the fans fault either as we all gave him the benefit of doubt last season but he has carried on his rubbishness this season.
    & forgive me if I’m wrong but I think he scored 15 goals in his last season for Lille not 18 but just being picky there ;-) Chamakh scored 12, so what does that say.
    If we could get our money back & use it to buy someone better, I think we should do that.

  28. Manthan says:

    Rasp,
    Valid point as always ;-) ;-) … He beats defenders and try to score which is not helping us rather if he provides crosses to OG that will be very good for Arsenal… But neverthless we got an option upfornt so i would welcome him…. And coming to poldi i always loved him when he used to play in Germany… Germany is my second favourite after england because of Klose and Poldi and Poldi is proving his woth my scoring and assiting……… We can go with a new system when Gerv comes in give poldi some games to play in middle as OG is still not good when it comes to score sitter with foot… Play gerv in left poldi in center and Theo in right for some games and it will be deadly combitnation Any Toughts?????

  29. Rasp says:

    Shady @ 12:13

    Gervinho has 2 assist for Arsenal this season, both from the CL, he has no assists in the EPL.

  30. Rasp says:

    Thanks Manthan, your suggestion is certainly worth a try but for some reason AW just doesn’t fancy playing the Pod centrally otherwise he would have tried it by now I imagine.

    I think Giroud is the best central option we have but its just my opinion. The attacking wide players generally have license to swap position and come in field when the play dictates and the fullbacks overlap.

  31. LB says:

    I argued earlier in the season that Gervinho was more of a threat on the left than Podolski; I stand by that but things have changed. Since Podolski’s Christmas break he has come back leaner, meaner and over all a far more determined player. I cannot see the Ivorian taking Giroud’s place either therefore I go for the last suggestion; that being, that he will return but be an irrelevance to our struggles.

    Good post Rock.

  32. LB says:

    I still get excited about reading Rocky’s post on Mondays I know there will always be something that makes me laugh and today is no exception.

    “Gervinho’s inner Afghan”

    Pure Genius.

  33. jnyc says:

    Good subject Rocky. I have always thought gerv is an immense talent with an average shot ( average-not terrible as detractors say ) But an average shot with all of his skills still makes a very good player. He was showing good signs early this season. . Also, he does track back and help out more than he gets credit for. I think the fans are a little tough on him, though his last miss was horrible.
    i blame Arsene for not getting him enough playing time. He hardly used him towards the end of last season. And this season he has used ramsey on wing when gerv could have played. Plus he rarely rotates pod olski or subs him when he is ineffective.
    but i admit gerv can frustrate me with his indecision in the box or lack of directness. I think coaching can help with that.

  34. Big Raddy says:

    :-D Shady , don’t mess with Rasp!

    Manthan. I think that front 3 will be sure to start at some point. It has the balance of pace and power.

    If we had signed Gerv this JAnuary after watching him play for Ivory Coast we would be very excited. He deserves patience.

  35. Big Raddy says:

    Interesting stories coming out about corruption and match fixing of a CL game in England

    For some reason I assume it was the away team, though of course, Spurs were in it once ….

  36. marcus says:

    Ok, here is my take on things. We can go one of two ways: We could either continue undermining Gervinho’s confidence by criticizing him ultimately destroying him and making him another chamakh OR we can begin to support him and see how a confident Gervinho will perform. One thing that remains constant is that as long as he remains an arsenal player and wenger sees his potential, he WILL play. So what will it be? Boo him and destroy him or support him and see how good he can actually be. Your choice.

  37. Rasp says:

    Hi marcus, that’s a strongly worded plea to the Arsenal supporting world but not a message you need to drum into the regulars on this site.

    For once I think I can speak for everyone – we don’t boo our players

  38. Bryan says:

    I think as a supporter of any club you should not boo your own players ever. But for me, sorry to dissagree but we can not have players that we keep on giving time too, we are out of time, we need to have players that show results & if they are not doing the buisiness, get rid of them.
    He has no place in the Arsenal team for me, we have better players in each of the positions he plays, another dud in my opinion

  39. Absolutely Raspers, if you can’t bring yourself to cheer one of our players on the field then FFS don’t start groaning instead. Silence is better than groaning and/or abuse.

    This is one of my pet hates, Arsenal supporters groaning at through passes that don’t work or attacks that break down.

    We all have players that we don’t think are good enough or shouldn’t be picked but if you are in the crowd don’t do the oppositions work for them by undermining the home team.

  40. Bryan says:

    Yes I will never forget how sorry I felt for poor Eboue & I loved his charactor, could do with someone like him in the dressing room now I think, he was very much liked

  41. Manthan says:

    Chary,
    Spot on ;-)

  42. slime says:

    I like him!

    It’s fair to say he’s a confidence player, so fans greeting his every touch with moans and groans is not going to help him. He scored some decent goals early in the season but fell by the wayside after that. I think he’s got the potential to be a match winner, but probably not a starter.

    I’m starting to see a bit of potential in this current team. It feels like confidence is coming back and I think that plays a massive part.

  43. 26may1989 says:

    Excellent post, Señor Rock.

    The Gerv? Useful squad player, no more than that in my opinion. The comparison with Glenn Helder was funny but wrong, he’s far superior to the gambling-addicted Dutchman. But to state the obvious, Gerv’s just not consistent enough, either on the flank or throught the middle. Is he a better bet than any of Poldi, Walcott, Ox, Theo or Giroud? Not in my opinion. He’s a little more useful than Arshavin and that’s about it.

    So, I’d want to keep him, he can be a useful option from the bench, but he’s not at the core of our side.

  44. Bryan says:

    Sorry 26 I think Glenn Helder was better, I really don’t rate Gervinho at all, think my girl friend sumed him up well, he’s like a spider who can’t control a ball :-D

  45. RockyLives says:

    Hello Everyone and thanks for all the comments and kind words (LB :) )

    Like GB I’m on the fence about Gerv. Scoring 18 goals a season twice in succession for Lille indicates he’s a better finisher than we have seen him be at Arsenal.

    I feel his confidence is fragile and even though one would wish him to be mentally tougher we have to accept that that’s just not his character.

    As Marcus and Chary have said, it might help if people didn’t groan so loudly when he screws up. The thing about groans at the Emirates is that they are not distributed on an equitable basis. Players like Jack, Santi, Giroud and Poldi can make bad decisions and mistakes with barely a murmur. Others, like Gerv and Ramsey, are greeted with howls of outrage every time they put a foot wrong.

    Obviously that’s partly because the latter two have not sufficiently convinced the supporters of their quality, but still…

    And I’m sorry, but having suffered Glenn Helder, I can confidently say that Gerv is 10 times better.

  46. Bryan says:

    No way is he 10 times better, Helder certainly had better control, even when Gervinho beats afew players he never looks like he has the ball under control. Rocky I know its nit picking but I’m convinced it was 15 goals not 18.
    I just don’t get how so many rate this guy, even Chamach has contributed more than Gerv, in my opinion, I really think he is one of the worse signings Wenger has made

  47. RockyLives says:

    I wonder if that investigation into rigged matches in European will include our obviously bent game against Barca in Spain, when BSR was sent off for shooting.

  48. RockyLives says:

    Bryan
    OK – I’ll concede your point: he’s just nine times better than Helder :)

    I got his Lille stats from his Wiki page – so I guess they could be wrong. Or maybe it’s 18 in all comps.

  49. 26may1989 says:

    Rocky, I completely agree, Arsenal fans en masse are a fickle bunch: once a player attracts opprobrium (and for some reason, we always seem to need to pick on one or two of the squad), it almost doesn’t matter what that player later does, his contributions will be ignored and his errors jumped on, while teammates’ errors are glossed over. The example I pointed to was Cesc, who, while a magnificent footballer, had the capacity to disappear in games, and trot along when he should have been busting a gut, while lesser mortals got the groan-and-boo treatment.

  50. Bryan says:

    Yes I don’t dissagree with that but perhaps its because the fans don’t think the players are good enough

  51. 26may1989 says:

    I think Gerv is 9.675 times better than Helder…..

    “Chamach has contributed more than Gerv”? Blimey, that’s some statement. Chamakh has an Arsenal PL record of 8 goals and 6 assists in 40 games across two seasons (he didn’t play a minute of PL football this season before he headed off to the Whammers), whereas Gerv has a record of 7 goals and 6 assists in 41 games across 1.5 seasons. Which means Gerv is half a season ahead of Chamakh. But fair dos, there isn’t a lot to choose between the two records.

    But watching the two players, I do think Chamakh is a lost cause as far as English football is concerned (though I would love to be wrong), whereas Gervinho has some quality that is useful. Neither one represents Wenger’s most glorious signing though.

  52. Janman says:

    We have to take the positives from the early return of Gervinho. Podolski is not a natural left sided player he is a CF although on many ocassions he plays on the left side for Germany. Gervinho however has great pace and dribbling technique and could prove to be a valuable impact sub to bring on for Podolski (or anyone else) in the later stages of a game against a tiring defense.

  53. Bryan says:

    26
    Ok I was exagerating a bit with the chamakh comment but damn they do have similary useless stats don’t they:
    Conclusion: They are both totally useless ;-)

  54. 26may1989 says:

    So Europol (which is surely an organisation invented by Hergé for a Tintin adventure) reckons the results of 380 professional football matches in Europe were fixed. Sounds very suspect to me – just how does one make sure a result is fixed 380 times, when for each game, there are at least 22 players, coaches, referees and linesmen to take into account? I don’t doubt that a few games are successfully fixed, and that there is loads of fixing for spot-betting (didn’t Matt le Tissier say he once put the ball out for an early throw-in for spot fixing?), but fixing 380 results? That will be very tough to prove.

  55. Red Arse says:

    So, 26, you reckon the Europoodle report that claims there were 380 fixed professional football results were fixed – was fixed.

    So does that make 381 fixed results, or just the one?

    Lawyers, smawyers! :D

  56. 26, I liked “Red Rackham’s Treasure” the best. :)

  57. jnyc says:

    GoonerB great points on an interesting subject that i often wonder about– that is, what can be improved on in training, or by extra coaching. — i believe it was obvious gerv almost never went for goal last season, and maybe partly being new AND the obvious rvp dominance, which i think made walcott and others shy about going for goal. ( to be fair, rvp didnt ask anyone to defer, but it happens when there is a super-dominant striker ))—-it drove me crazy how FEW attempts he tried.
    i believe this season he has been told to attack the goal regardless of whether on wing or striker, and the striker starts were done to force him to shoot more. I think that explains what RASP is describing this year. — in his case

  58. Red Arse says:

    Janman,

    Your comment is nearer my own view.

    The Gerv does have pace and mesmerising dribbling skills, and provided he is pointing in the right direction, at the time, he can be devastating.

    If he gets better support (Nacho Man) perhaps that will improve his lamentable end product.

    There is always hope. :-)

  59. jnyc says:

    In gervs case i think he needs to stay aggressive trying to score — and i think the assists will come. This is exactly the opposite of most forward players. But Gerv isnt a typical player :-) but definitely talented.

  60. Hi all

    I have to admit to being taken in by The Gerv’s pace and dribbling skills and really looked forward to watching him playing when he first arrived. But as kelsey said earlier no-one ( including Gerv himself ) really has any idea what he’s about to do once he’s reached the end of the pitch :(

    He really went off the boil when he returned from the ACN last year so I’m not holding out much hope that he’ll be any different this year.

    He probably worries the opposition and his team-mates in equal measure but maybe he’ll be more focused and successful this time around.

    He could be fantastic coming off the bench.

  61. Red Arse says:

    If you are going to show off, CharyB, a little bit of French, if you please!!

    Le Trésor de Rackham le Rouge. :D

  62. Agreed Peachy, if he fights like hell to get a starting position by showing us what he can do with sub appearances then that’s all good for the team and us.

  63. Ha ha Redders, I only remember seeing that as a cartoon when I was at school. That curmudgeonly Captain Haddock was quite a character and a story that centred on him very much impressed a pre teen Chary.

    Very little choice in viewing in them days, so I was easily impressed.

  64. Red Arse says:

    Hi JNYC, :-)

    Now I think you have put your finger on it.

    Gervinho is not a ‘typical’ player, and I suppose the skills he shows in two thirds of his game only makes the finishing look that much worse, his parson’s nose, as it were! :-)

    I have been watching the ACN over the last couple of weeks, and Le Gerv has looked excellent — and I wonder — is that the standard of the other countries making him look good (tho’ they all look OK to me) or is it that ‘confidence’ thing bringing out his best?

    Somewhat surprised the Ivory Coast got knocked out.

  65. Red Arse says:

    look this is in confidence, just between you and me, CharyB, but I used to enjoy the Tintin cartoons too — don’t tell anyone I said so!! :-)

  66. RockyLives says:

    Apparently someone left a Richard the Third in a Leicester car park.

    Is that really news?

  67. Bryan says:

    if so, it is shit news :-D

  68. 26may1989 says:

    My choices would be Flight 714 and The Black Island (or for RA’s bebenfit, Vol 714 pour Sydney and l’Ile Noire)! See http://us.tintin.com/ or http://fr.tintin.com/ for a bit of nostalgia….

  69. Your secret’s safe with me Redders. :)

  70. vp says:

    Nice post.

    One thing he’s got going go for him is the fact that he’s direct.We don’t really have too many players in the team who like to take a man on. Although he doesn’t do this as much as he did when he arrived. Perhaps, he’s low in confidence or maybe his skills have become a little bit predictable- not really sure. His awareness and composure needs a lot of work if he wants to become a first team regular- that’s for sure. I don’t think we read too much into his impressive ACN as the Prem is totally a different kettle of fish. I had high hopes for him when he arrived and felt he looked good in the first game of the season (perhaps our best player on the day), but it’s all gone downhill since then. I just hope Wenger brings him on at the right moments (perhaps when we’re comfortable) to avoid him being exposed to boo’s. Not substituting him off in certain games hasn’t really helped matters. To be fair, he’s been given a lot of game-time, maybe too much if anything.

    Despite the right wing probably the most ‘up for grabs’ position in our team right now , i still don’t see him playing too many games. So Maybe its time to find someone who can make that position their own.

    Interesting post below which suggests that we’d be joint top of the table if only second half performances we’re taken into account.

    http://www.mixturesport.com/picture-special-arsenal-would-be-joint-top-of-the-premier-league-if-only-the-second-half-of-matches-counted/

  71. Red Arse says:

    How very scatological of you Rocky!!

  72. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    I have no idea what you’re talking about.
    Your scatological appears to be my historical :)

  73. Red and White in My Blood says:

    I never want to see Gervinho in an Arsenal shirt ever again. First let me say though, I appreciate his efforts and he’s clearly a good lad, but without a doubt, he’s making other players worse.

    His off the ball runs are atrocious. If you think, the whole philosophy of Arsenal’s football is about create space, find teammate in space and pull the trigger, then by running into places where Gervinho shouldn’t, he’s actually throwing off other’s momentum. Many a time I’ve seen Santi tried so hard to create a space for himself, either through a clever trick or a flick on, only to see defenders being dragged in when Gervinho ran into the exact spot where he created the most obstruction to Santi. If seems like Gervinho only cared about his own glory IE be in space to shoot, more than worrying about the good for his teammates.

    It was interesting to see how Walcott said a few things on the TV which can be construed as a dig to Gervinho: “We need to work for the team and create space for each other”. Also, am I the only one who thinks we played better when he’s not in the team?

    If he was merely a bad finisher, a bad passer or a lazy slouch, then there could be space for him in the team. Heck, even John Jenson had a 100 games. But, if we clearly perform worse as a unit, then it’s best if he stayed on the bench.

  74. kelsey says:

    Match fixing has been going on for years but I am surprised to read it involves an English team playing in the CL

    Usually the matches are low key games in Europe,not often televised but strange betting patterns emerge, nearly always from the Far East and the big bookmakers are fully aware of it, as are FIFI and my understanding is that some members of FIFA are involved themselves.

  75. kelsey says:

    Goinng back to Gervinho, i always look at him as a poor man’s Hleb, and we all know what happened to him.

  76. Big Raddy says:

    Red & White. If that was a slur against the Great John “Faxe” Jensen, I will have to ask you to step outside.

  77. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Afternoon all
    Good post enjoyed reading it .
    My opinion is we should keep him until the aug transfer window and see what he can do from now till then.

    I can’t see him getting many starts he’s a bench player for me he’s to clumsy on the ball,and to erratic and he make me Shout At The TV when he plays.
    Mrs sheep shouts at me when I shout at the TV,and she says IM NUTS.
    I say I’m nuts watch Gervieno play that ask again who’s nuts.

    Much love

  78. Red Arse says:

    A man in Canada, woke one morning to find a bear on his roof.

    So he looked in the yellow pages, and sure enough, there’s an ad for “Up North Bear Removers”.

    He called the number, and the bear remover said he would be over in 30 minutes. The bear remover arrived, and got out of his van.

    He then took out a ladder, a baseball bat, a 12-gauge shotgun, and a mean looking, massive pit bull.

    “What are you going to do?” the home owner asked…

    “I’m going to put this ladder up against the roof, then I’m going to go up there, and knock the bear off the roof with this baseball bat.
    When the bear falls off the roof, the pit bull is trained to spring on him, grab his testicles, and not let go.”

    “The bear will then be subdued enough for me to put him in the cage in the back of the van.”

    With that, he then handed the shotgun to the home owner.
    “What’s the shotgun for?” asked the home owner.

    “If the bear grabs the baseball bat and knocks me off the roof, shoot the fookin dog.”

  79. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    I had a tee shirt once.
    It said I SAW JOHN JENSON SCORE.
    I lost it drunk in bennidorm a few years ago.

  80. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    We all know you were talking about the little shit who bumped off the two princes in the Tower! :D

  81. Red Arse says:

    Did anyone keep count, on Saturday, of the number of crosses that were still-born because Theo and/or Sagna kept hitting the nearest opponent?

    No – let me put it another way – did any crosses get made from the right wing? Poor old Giroud.

    I understand Theo and Sagna are up in front of the Beak, next week, for hitting on the sexy Stoke defenders.

  82. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    No proof that he bumped off the lads in the Tower.
    He’s as innocent as OJ :)

  83. Janman says:

    Red and White, not sure that I would concur to such statements as, “never want to see him in an Arsenal shirt again” granted he has moments that have tested the calmest of Arsenal fan, however, he has had some great moments and like RA said, if we point him in the right direction he could cause havoc on a tiring defense. I tend to agree with Kelsey, he is a poorer version of Hleb but has twice the speed. Personally I believe in utilizing any Arsenal player to his individual skill and strengths as long as it benefits AFC. Hence my comment that he is/can be a great impact sub.

  84. Big Raddy says:

    R3. Was clearly the perp. Ask any of the men in dresses at the Tower.

  85. Red Arse says:

    This may be apocryphal but having lost my dog some time ago, I like to think it is true.

    Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month.
    The day after she passed away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey.

    She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her.

    I told her that I thought we could do that, and so she dictated these words:

    Dear God,
    Will you please take care of my dog?
    She died yesterday and is with you in heaven.
    I miss her very much. I’m happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.

    I hope you will play with her.
    She likes to swim and play with balls.
    I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog.

    I really miss her.

    Love, Meredith

    We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey & Meredith, and addressed it to God/Heaven. We also put our return address on it.

    Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven.
    That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the Post Office.

    A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet.
    I told her that I thought He had.

    Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, ‘To Meredith’ in an unfamiliar hand.

    Meredith opened it.
    Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, ‘When a Pet Dies.’
    Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope.

    On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

    Dear Meredith,

    Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I recognized her right away.

    Abbey isn’t sick any more.

    Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart.

    Abbey loved being your dog.

    Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I’m sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

    Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you to write it and for sending it to me.

    What a wonderful mother you have.
    I picked her especially for you.
    I send my blessings every day, and remember that I love you very much.

    By the way, I’m easy to find.
    I am wherever there is love.

    Love,
    God

    Brought a tear to my cynical old eye. There are good people out there!!

  86. Red Arse says:

    Yes, well, that brought the site to a crashing halt! :-)

    A little old guy tottered into an ice cream parlour, and painfully pulled himself up onto the stool.

    After catching his breath for a while he ordered a banana split.

    “Crushed nuts?” the waitress asked kindly.

    “No – it’s just arthritis”

  87. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Sad story but it has a happy ending,
    Who sent the book back was it the post office?.
    How is your daughter now .

  88. RockyLives says:

    Sheep… it was God!
    Duh.

  89. Big Raddy says:

    Shows the difference between the US and UK postal systems.

    Probably only a week between sending a letter and receiving the parcel. Impossible in the UK – at least a month required for the two transactions.

    I suppose it depends upon the amount of postage paid and whether the book sent recorded or registered.

    There are holes in this story RA……..

    For example, if God is all-knowing, why did he/she need a picture of the dog?

  90. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    I’m not a believer in god or the bible but that’s another debate.

  91. Red Arse says:

    Sheepy,

    Sorry for my clumsy English. :-(

    I do not have a daughter. The story was told to me by a Gooner friend/acquaintance, and it was told to him by his girlfriend’s sister, and I do not know whether it was apocryphal, or not.

    I suppose that ‘God’ was some unknown person at the Post Office – handling mis-addressed letters,

    Anyway, for those who have had dogs or pets which have died, it touches the heart.

  92. Rasp says:

    I’ve gotta give this a try ….

    Dear God,

    Could you please fix it for AA to have 5 posts to see us through the rest of the week? Tomorrow’s is most urgent because we have nothing. We’re not greedy, just a couple of paragraphs to spark a discussion is all it takes :roll:

  93. Red Arse says:

    Raddy,

    If Dennis Bergkamp wants a ‘photo — he gets one! :-)

  94. RockyLives says:

    Dear Rasp
    In my magnificence I assembled not one, not five, but 50 Headline Posts for your excellent blog.

    (I am, after all, a Gooner myself).

    Unfortunately that damn mutt Abbey ate them all. And pissed down my ethereal leg.

    Yours,
    God

  95. Red Arse says:

    Look, I know I said if a certain blogger comes back, I will make way for him by taking my leave.

    But …… it has come to my attention that a number of you have been emailing him and inviting him back.

    That’s a bit mean ……………….. you will miss me when I am gone! :-)

  96. Big Raddy says:

    What shirt number would God wear? An 8, a 14 or a 10?

  97. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp I’ll write one for later in the week.

  98. GOD says:

    KA BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Rasp, you wretch!!

    I have had my heavenly accountants check out the AA Posts and YOU have not written one for ages!

    Altho’ they are usually indecipherable — that is NO EXCUSE – get writing before you feel my WRATH.

  99. Big Raddy says:

    Bloody hell …………….

  100. mickydidit89 says:

    Knock knock, I want to enter, but quite like the conversation without me. Do need to comment on the fine post at some stage though. Plus, its chilly out here.

  101. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh Rocky,
    You certainly know how to push our buttons. Nice, and thank you.
    Your description of The Afghan disappearing over the end line and on into North London, reminded me of one Theodore Walcott. Now, he has learnt the art of the cut back, so how hard could it be for our Ivorian Hound?
    What I really like when he is on the pitch is how, like any nimble dribbler, he attracts defenders like flies to muck, and thus frees up space. So to my mind, he could improve quite easily.

  102. mickydidit89 says:

    RA,
    Keep Omming for a winning streak, and said stink will not return, and you can stay right here where you belong.

  103. Talk about divine intervention :lol:

  104. mickydidit89 says:

    Are you flashing your eyelids at me, Peaches?

  105. It’s just four posts we need actually but the need does start with tomorrow ……….. just a couple of paragraphs would do :)

    LB – you must be itching to write something about Jack and how he fits into our midfield ……. or not :oops:

  106. Ooooh sir, it’s entirely possible ;)

  107. mickydidit89 says:

    Hi Peaches,
    Hope you had a good pre-match, while I was in a cable car high over the Thames :-(

  108. mickydidit89 says:

    I’m disappearing, rather than hiding, but will think a bit.

  109. A cable-car high over the Thames? What an excuse for not getting to the pub …… :)

  110. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    If I have time I will do one when she’s watching the WORST program on TV
    IT’S on tonight .

  111. Thank you Sheep, send it through.

    What’s the worst program on TV?

  112. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    If I have time I will but I’ve no topic as of yet.
    Clue to worst programme on TV.
    It’s set in London

  113. GoonerB says:

    Sheep is it one man and his dog comes to Hackney marshes. Come by son, come by, Oi you little s__t I said get over ere.

  114. GOD says:

    Peaches, Rasper,

    I have put a poor effort into arsenalnuts for you to abuse — I mean use!! :D

  115. RockyLives says:

    Wow – the Word of God!

    Can’t wait… :)

  116. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    No GB you are cold not even close.
    It’s set in the east end and when I watch it I feel depressed and that’s unlike me I’m always happy .

  117. GoonerB says:

    Only pulling your ender Sheep, I know which one you meant. It depresses me to. Alistair McGowen did a good comedy sketch of it about everyone “aving the ump”, and you might like that one. Can we get Gonad or Rasp to put it up?

  118. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Got news on just seen Paul gasgoine been admitted to a clinic in the USA.
    He’s English and I wish him all the best from Wales but unless he wants to stop drinking with his mental health problems he’s going to be another George best .
    I like Gazza his humour and silly sense of fun but we all know when to stop the stars do not.

    Come Paul get well .

  119. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    You got it Gb worst programme on TV it come on my jack Russell called Limpar sit bye the door as he knows when the music comes on we are going for a walk and a smoke

  120. GoonerB says:

    I am so looking forward to hearing the word of God tomorrow.

  121. Big Raddy says:

    Will it be sent from Mount Sinai?

  122. LB says:

    Hello God

    How is life in Amsterdam?

    I look forward to reading you post tomorrow.

  123. Red Arse says:

    O mi gawd, what is going on?

    Sheep is pretending he does not like Eastenders.

  124. Rasp says:

    Rocky @ 5:53 :lol:

    Thanks a lot God, we’ll publish your excellent article … better than that other book what you rote … and I’m still an atheist :?

  125. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Rocky, Gerv is a vey good player.

    At the start of the season when Giro and Pod were finding there feet and Theo was on the bench he was our main attacking threat.

    For large periods we lacked movement, very un Arsenal like, but gerv bailed us out.

    Gevs problem is that he is lighweight. Floats like a butterfly and stings like one. Lets see how he performs when he gets back from Africa. The jury is out, but if he can go up one more gear and the fans can show some more paitence we might just see a very good player.

  126. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Nice article Corky.

    To me Gerv is another option, not a great one at times, but an option all the same.

    Overall, I like his directness and willingness to take defenders on. If its late in a game, and we need ‘something different’ he’s exactly what we need.

  127. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Oh and hello to all mi old muckers on here. :-)

  128. Mobile Mallard says:

    Good stuff, Rocky.
    The massive forehead is going to be like a new signing. :)

  129. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    “Thank you and goodnight – much love”,
    Sheep Hagger™.

  130. Red Arse says:

    Oh go on then Terry Baby, tell me, if “Theo was on the bench he was our main attacking threat.” how come? :D

  131. I’ve always liked Gerv even though he can be frustrating at times. One thing he can do is keep defenders busy which gives other players space.

    Great post but as a professional I’ll have to pull you up on the dreadlock bit. They are actually plaits. :)

    If you’ve seen the picture of him when he was young he looks so much better with his hair cropped.

  132. Just posted some comments and they got lost

  133. RockyLives says:

    Haha GM – I feel well and truly busted! Darn it – plaits it is then :)

    If God says he’s sending a Post, can we take that as gospel?

  134. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evening all a terrific Monday morning post Rocky and a decent discussion too.

    For me Gerv has many of the ingredients necessary to become a good player for us, more likely not a regular starter but definitely an option.

    My concern is mainly his decision making, or as Theo used to suffer from over complicating things, the best players trust their instincts, a Gerv goal that sticks in the mind was against Villa I think (in FA Cup) but may be wrong) he broke trough one on one and proceeded to hesitate turn in circles and eventually roll the ball in the net, but not once was I convinced he was going to score even when he only had an empty goal to put it in :D

  135. mickydidit89 says:

    Now I haven’t exactly been Mr Consistent on here recently, but this Migration of The Mallard is beginning to annoy me.
    I vote we give the bloody duck 24hrs to get back on here with some vid’s, or out with the 12 bore.

  136. mickydidit89 says:

    I have revised that to either 12 or 36 hrs, as the best time to ambush our feathered friend is dusk.

  137. mickydidit89 says:

    Having a general flick around Sky Football, I read: “England’s Steven Gerrard says fans should support centurion Ashley Cole if he faces Brazil on Wednesday”.
    Well, you can count me out Steven.

  138. Big Raddy says:

    Mallard is moving house.

    But I agree dusk is best

  139. mickydidit89 says:

    Given that The Level 1 morning crew have not showed up, I’ll come back when I think the Level 2 mob have bothered to get out of bed.

  140. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah ha, Raddy to the rescue.
    I say we get Mallard tonight.

  141. dandan says:

    Morning mickey, did you get my email. :-)

  142. Big Raddy says:

    I have mixed feelings about Cashley.

    Positives: Fantastic player for AFC, an Invincible, and he has been brilliant for England. IMO the best LB in PL history.

    Flipside: Dreadful human being and a Chav,

  143. mickydidit89 says:

    dandan,
    Just checked, and unless you are called Rachel, Sarah or Efax, then no.
    I’m now very curious as you ended the question with a smiley.

  144. dandan says:

    B R. Did you see it was twenty years ago today Bobby Moore died, what would he be worth in today’s silly market place

  145. mickydidit89 says:

    dandan,
    Saw your comments yesterday, and I suspect I know where you are staying. Did you bring your Sea Trout rod? :-)

  146. mickydidit89 says:

    Raddy,
    That settles it then. If I were Mallard, I’d avoid a fly-past anytime between 5 and 5.30 this afternoon.

  147. Big Raddy says:

    I have a pic of Bobby holding the WC in my house. He was one of my heroes.

    Baresi was the only modern CB I can think of who was as good.

    Do you recall all the fuss about the bracelet in Mexico?

  148. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Do we net him or take out the trusty 12 bore?

  149. dandan says:

    No I didn’t but it is a very friendly place , sent an email yesterday on your AA address is that still valid or can you send me your phone number via Peaches/ Rasp. am back home today

  150. dandan says:

    Indeed I do, he was set up, but what a player, was he as quick as the BFG? Interesting thought

  151. Big Raddy says:

    Really looking forward to God’s post today.

    Do you think it will be written in Latin or Arabic script?

  152. dandan says:

    Suspect it is lodged in the cloud, and Rasputin has to use his secret incantations to empower us mere mortals to view

  153. mickydidit89 says:

    Raddy,
    I do remember the bracelet story, but my favourite off-piste world cup story concerns the Brazilians.
    On their triumphant return from Japan/Korea, they were stopped by an over zealous customs bloke in Brasil who demanded full duty paid on many tons worth of cameras and other electrical goods.
    Romario stepped forward and said: “Simples. No duty or no victory parade”.
    The team passed through unhindered :-)

  154. mickydidit89 says:

    dandan,
    Peaches has my numbers and email. Maybe easiest, as I’m all over the place today, if you get her to text me your home number.

  155. dandan says:

    OK she has it, will ask her to do that mickey, be pleased to hear from you.

  156. Big Raddy says:

    Have you ever experienced a thunder storm followed by snow?

    We had that last night. I blame Margaret Thatcher

  157. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    dandan are you back home or still in Devon.?

    Bobby Moore bought my house in Putney Heath in 1988 and I always remeber what a quiet humble man he was.His second wife Stephanie was a bitch..He died on the 24thFeb 1993.

    Another one bites the dust: Reg Presley, lived for over 20 years over here in Mijas and was in his latter life famous for his interest in Crop Circles.

  158. Red Arse says:

    Morning Pipples, :-)

    DD be very careful of accepting any invitation from Micky to join him for dinner.

    All I will say is — Sweeney Todd, and Hannibal Lecter!!

  159. Red Arse says:

    Big Raddy,

    You asked; “Have you ever experienced a thunder storm followed by snow? We had that last night.”

    I had a girlfriend like that too!! :-)

  160. Buggs Bunny says:

    Micky,

    You leave my friend, Daffy Duck Mallard alone!

    He has migrated to Scotland to go awooing. Spring is just around the corner you know, so buckshot up the jaxi would not be helpful!!

  161. Big Raddy says:

    RA :-D

  162. Red Arse says:

    How rude!

    Micky, moi, not a level 1 morning gang member — and demoted to level 2.

    Well I am off to level 4, china, perfumery, technology and customer services – going down!!

    Morning Kelsey. :-)

  163. dandan says:

    Kelsey I am at home Mate

  164. Morning all

    We have a New Post ………………..

  165. @Dmjgooner4all says:

    I think he’s a plus for us, on his day he’s a winner. An asset for me!

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