Gervinho returns from break in Africa

I used to have a thing about international breaks and especially the Africa Cup of Nations but you know what? I’m over it.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think FIFA and these international breaks are nothing more than a form of nationalistic onanism. Nothing more than a way for people who love their country to celebrate themselves and their favorite players; wonderful humans like John Terry and Joey Barton. But what I’ve come to realize is that, at least when it comes to the Africa Cup of Nations, having the players go away to a tournament in January isn’t much a of physical drain.

Take Gervinho as the example. The Ivorian last played for Arsenal on 1 January against Southampton. It was 17 minutes of football total. According to Gervinho’s next match was for Ivory Coast on the 14th of January, a friendly against Egypt in which he played 90 minutes and scored twice.

Gervinho’s challenger for the left forward role at Arsenal is Lukas Podolski. The German played 56 minutes against Southampton as well, and in the same two weeks that Gervinho was on vacation in Africa also played in an FA Cup match against Swansea (19 minutes) and a League match against Man City (56 minutes).

If you’re keeping count, Gervinho played 107 minutes in the first two weeks of January and Podolski played 131.

Gervinho then played in three ACN games in relatively quick succession taking his total minutes played in the period from 1 January to 3 February to 377 (360 ACN + 17 AFC). Podolski, meanwhile, completed just two full games (v. Brighton and Liverpool) and totaled 335 minutes in the same period (he had two subs).That puts Gervinho playing a whopping 42 minutes more than Podolski.

But in that same period, Theo Walcott has played 652 minutes. Theo played all but one minute of every League game this calendar year (Southampton, Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Stoke: 449 minutes) and in all three of Arsenal’s FA Cup appearances (Swansea, Swansea, Brighton: 203 minutes).

That means that in the same period that Gervinho was off getting “tired” playing for the Ivory Coast, Theo Walcott was playing in two competitions for Arsenal and totaling 235 more minutes than the Ivorian. And even if we were to remove the unnecessary FA Cup replay from our calculations, Walcott still played 185 more minutes than Gervinho, two whole games.

And that’s the same for all the Arsenal players. Wilshere played 653 minutes, Giroud played 607 minutes, and Cazorla 546 minutes.

Maybe there should be a European Cup of Nations in February? Some of the Arsenal players could use the rest.


23 thoughts on “Gervinho returns from break in Africa

  1. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Martin

    I think ‘mental fatigue’ was the big issue for Gervinho to get over last year and it’ll be the same this year (although on a much lesser scale considering he didn’t put a penalty kick into orbit this year – to the best of my knowledge anyway).

    You’re absolutely right though. When compared to other players in the squad, Gervinho had a really handy time. It makes you think that a winter break in England deserves some a lot more consideration than the casual talk we occasionally hear regarding it. Yeah the Christmas games are awesome but I think something like a ten day break in January would make a massive difference to players’ stamina levels.

  2. Vote -1 Vote +1Yan

    Hahahahahah Stoke…. Uh? What? We can’t make fun of them anymore? Ok.

    Ok, so 4 points off the 7amkickoff (r) 4th place trophy eh? Not too bad!

  3. Vote -1 Vote +11NiltotheArsenal

    So what are we to think finally of Gervinho and his imminent return? I for one, don’t “get” Gervinho. Don’t get the concept. Don’t get the man, or the player. I certainly don’t get the hair. I mean Sagna can wear those braids all day long because despite recent form, he’s well and truly proven himself so valuable to our side.

    But the G-Man? The jury is still out. In fact it may like Elvis, have left the building.

    Gervinho, you ain’t nothin but a hound dog…

  4. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Eurasian

    What I don’t get about Gervinho is the huge gulf between his Arsenal form, and what he has displayed at Lille and for the Ivory Coast. Obviously the EPL is a tough league, and he’s a mercurial kind of player, but that alone can’t account for his occasional utter incompetence in an Arsenal shirt.

    1. +10 Vote -1 Vote +1wegster

      i remember reading an article where they said gervinho was accepted and encouraged by the ivory coast team, so he is given the wings to be the best gervinho he can be. with the arsenal, he is booed for having a large forehead and being crap.

      1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Sabre

        Exactly my thoughts. I’m really annoyed at so called Arsenal fans who do everything in their power to do harm to the club. I mean do you really think Gervinho or Santos or anyone else is going to play better if you slag them off?

  5. Vote -1 Vote +1Nikki

    Ah, Gervinho.. The enigma is back soon. He really does bring a lot of question. Why can’t he replicate his form in Lique 1 (Which actually I couldn’t get a grasp either, but supposedly he was better or more influential than Hazard) ? or where was the form of the start of the season where he scored regularly playing as a striker? Maybe we will ask again where is his form when he became “the best player” in AFCCON?
    Because Tim seems to “like” him, maybe he has the answers.. ;-)

  6. Vote -1 Vote +11NilToTheArsenal

    When he first came to us and had those early goals it was so exciting and the future looked so full of promise. But is latest performances have made him look like black 3rd rate Bendtner. I really want him to succeed. Not just for the glory of the Arsenal, but to claim his place as part of the Golden Generation of Cote D’Ivoir, who despite all their promise and potential have to win anything.

    He’s got pace, movement (too much), great work ethic, I believe he’s sincere and not cynical, but what gives? I just don’t get Gervinho. He could be soooo good!

    1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Tim

      Onan, the sinner. Refused God’s orders and spilled his seed on the ground instead of his brother’s wife. Perfect analogy.

  7. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Cliffy

    The fans in general do not have patience…and have a quick draw with their knife…

    Couple of years back anyone would have been eager to show Theodore the door..and slap him on his way out…and a year hence there was a huge cry that we let his contract situation to go into last year..
    Rosicky was dead wood for almost a year and came back to ressurect our season..last time…
    Same situation with Diaby…

    Gervinho on the other hand contributed to a great deal last season before ACN and came back after a dissapointing result. He had mental fatigue…had a bright start the next season…now finds himself easily out of reckoning from peoples minds.

    He is not a player who is a drifter..but someone who is yet to impose himself on the premier league..
    For that matter,
    Victor Moses has played 9 minutes less than Gerv for a sum total of 1 goal…in the league
    Antonio Valencia has played in about 23 matches for ManU this season and is yet to score
    Same cases with Ashley young.. Milner who plays in the similar roles for city is making impression only recently..

    Do not expect Gervinho to be a Gareth Bale in the league which leaves the commentators (s)creaming when ever he dribbles past two players…but for his two years seniority and credentials, Gervinho is more talented and more accomplished than Mr.Planet of apes.
    He is yet to impose himself on the premier league…he might not also…
    But He is also not utterly useless as people consider him to be..

    His issue currently his mentality to get it done by himself…got almost no assists this season..but for the cut back for Rosicky goal in CL…He needs to gel himself into the team and not take all the chances onto himself. Podolski for that matter used to score twice the number of his assists else where. At Arsenal, he is an equally effective provider…a role Gervinho is yet to get right. Infact if you play him with Giroud enough times, I think that should also be sorted..

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

      I generally root for any player in an Arsenal kit and that includes Squillaci although you can set your watch on his next mistake. I really appreciate these comments about Gervinho because there is hope that he will ‘get’ it one day.

  8. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Chongo

    How does he score when he is on vacation? Arsenal fans need to go to night school to learn about fanship like Ivorians.

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