Gervinho 'desperate' for a goal
Published 26/11/2011 | 05:00
Arsene Wenger has described Gervinho as one of the best Premier League signings of the year, but admitted that he has spoken with the Ivory Coast forward about his lack of goals.
Gervinho is keeping Arsenal's record signing, Andrei Arshavin, out of the team, but his contributions have divided fan opinion, with his highly effective build-up play being marred by so many missed chances.
Wenger said that Gervinho was "desperate" to add to his tally of just two goals so far this season and expressed his confidence that the issue will resolve itself.
"At the moment, Gervinho is a fantastic provider, because he creates space for the other players as he always goes behind," said Wenger. "The problem with Gervinho is he is in the opposite position to Robin van Persie. He is desperate for a goal.
"You could see the other night he had the chance to score, but started to think. When you start to think, you are already finished. For the rest, I'm personally very happy with his game. His attitude, his work rate, his technical quality and the intelligence of his runs are absolutely fantastic."
Gervinho wasted clear goalscoring chances in the games over the past week against Borussia Dortmund and Norwich, with Wenger deciding yesterday to talk to him about the situation.
"For a long time you don't talk about it, but at some stage you have to say 'don't worry -- try to be natural'," said Wenger. "I spoke to him about that, but he is not obsessed with scoring goals. It will come naturally."
The performances of Gervinho, who cost £10.5m from Lille, have certainly helped mitigate the pounds £24m sale of Samir Nasri to Manchester City.
Indeed, with both Van Persie and Theo Walcott in the best form of their careers, Wenger is delighted by the attacking variation of his three forwards. Other than the missed chances, the only blot for Gervinho was the red card on the opening day of the season against Newcastle following his fracas with Joey Barton.
"He has settled very quickly," added Wenger. "He got sent off in the Newcastle game for a mild reaction after being provoked by Barton.
"The intensity of the challenges here is higher than anywhere else, but he adapted. They love to interchange up front. All three can play in all of the positions." (© Daily Telegraph, London)
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