10 footballing attributes Gervinho possesses
Gervais Yao Kouassi was born on the 27th of May, 1987 in Anyama, Ivory Coast. In his youthful days at the ASEC Abidjan academy, his Brazilian coach in the acedemy derived a nickname from his first name Gervais. The nickname shared the same last syllable with Brazilian legends like Serginho, Juninho and Ronaldinho. Like Farmer Eboue, he got his big break in Beveren of Belgium before Le Mans snapped him up for a meager sum of £575,000. Two seasons, 59 games and nine league goals after, LOSC Lille Metropole came knocking on Le Mans’ door and they multiplied his transfer sum by 10 to sell him to Lille at £5.75m. He dazzled the Lille faithful in his first season with 13 league goals in 32 appearances and went even better in the season that just wrapped up with 15 goals in 35 appearances which inspired Lille to a League and Cup double. The best thing about Gervinho is that he’s in the mold of excellent wingers that can be deployed in the center forward position and that kind of versatility could play a role in a club like Arsenal.
Gervinho has also represented Ivory Coast on the International scene. He was the captain of the Ivory Coast Under-23 side that represented Africa in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. His first competitive stint with Ivory Coast came in the 2008 African Cup of Nations that took place in Ghana. He has done well to make 27 appearances for his national side and he has scored six goals. Gervinho has certain attributes that make him a standout performer. These attributes have have made him to become a sought-after player and he has attracted sides like Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal.
Here’s my take of the top 10 attributes possessed by Gervinho.
Pace is an attribute that’s important for any winger in World football. Gervinho has lots of pace in his system and it’s going to be a useful tool in the World’s fastest league, The Barclay’s Premier League. In a club like Arsenal, Gervinho will have to do some running because they’ll be times when Fabregas or anyone else would want to give that killer defense splitting pass that cuts opposition backlines like hot knife through butter. There are many wingers that are faster than Gervinho in World football but the top five on my list are Theo Walcott, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Eljero Elia and Victor Obinna
Gervinho can be a live-wire when the ball is at his feet. His technique has been proven in his Le Mans and Lille games because he has scored all sorts of technically astute goals ranging from first time volleys to bicycle kicks.
Before you decide to take on the role of a winger, you’ll have to be able to take on opponents using a direct technical skill called dribbling. Luckily for Arsenal, Gervinho can be ranked as one of the best dribblers in the business. There are not much better dribblers in Africa than Gervais Yao Kouassi. Adel Taarabt, Salomon Kalou and Steven Pienaar are the closest contenders to the Ivorian winger.
Gervinho’s goal scoring record in the French league speaks for itself. In the space of two years, he has played 69 league games for Lille and he has scored 28 goals. We all know that there are two goal crazy wingers in World football and they are the star players of the two biggest clubs in Spain but Gervinho is the kind of player that would score a goal when he gets the chance to.
When the word stamina is mentioned in football, Dirk Kuyt and Park Ji-Sung are the two names that come into any football lover’s mind but Gervinho is a player that also has the stamina of an ox. He can go on a competitive run of games without whining that he needs to be rested but when he joins Arsenal he’ll have to prove that he deserves to get a run-out of consistent games. Africa’s number one stamina bison is Michael Essien though.
Gervinho is a winger that possesses an excellent first touch. In football, one touch too many is more than enough for the opposition defense to recover well so having a player that has a good first touch will be vital in attack. Robn van Persie is one of the most technically gifted players with an amazing first touch but the King of the First Touch in my book is Manchester United’s Bulgarian forward, Dimitar Berbatov. That guy can control a ball that landed from outer space.
Off the ball
Gervinho’s off the ball movement shows that he can be a constant thorn in the flesh of the opposition. Last season, there were many games where Ludovic Obraniak and the BioHazard of Eden possessed the ball with the aim of feeding Gervnho who played behind Moussa Sow sometimes but the opposition defense failed to keep the winger in check because off the ball ability.
Gervinho can give himself a pat on the back for being one of the most flambouyant wingers in Africa. His body language as well as his movement is a thing of beauty.
Arsenal Football Club is a team that is renowned for its amazing reserve of creative talent and this is evident because the creativity begins from the frontline to the midfield. Robin van Persie is a striker that has laid assists for his teammates times without number. Marouane Chamakh is also a selfless footballer that can lay a pass to a teammate to score when the chance arises. Nicklas Bendtner tends to take the selfish approach at times but his lovely weighted cross to van Persie against Leeds United in Elland Road can’t be forgotten so easily. Theo Walcott is another forward that has lays on passes for the killer blow although he had a knack for feeding van Persie with goal scoring chances and Arsenal’s flying dutchman wasted no time in converting the bulk of them. Arsenal’s midfield is honored with the most creative 24-year old in existence, Francesc Fabregas. Andrei Arshavin is a player that has been criticized by the fans but he still managed to lay on 17 assists to his peers. The list of creative midfielders in the club is quite endless but you’ll have to make do with Samir Nasri, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Tomas Rosicky. Gervinho shold be grateful that he’s going to join the ranks of such a creative array of talent. An array so creative that it gifted Emmanuel Greedybayor 30 goals and a shitload of misses.
When the chips were down for Arsenal last season in many games, Robin van Persie, Bacary Sagna, Jack Wilshere and Wojciech Szczesny stepped their game up to put up stellar performances but their teammates still let them down in many games. When Arsenal played so poorly against Stoke, van Persie did very well to score a goal for his team but Johan Djourou’s carelessness gifted Stoke with the match winner late on. When Manchester United were leading Arsenal by two goals late on, Bacary Sagna did extremely well to get clear of Evra to sent a cross to Rosicky but the Czech captain chose the wrongest time to shoot some air. When Arsenal were a goal down to Bolton, Djourou foolishly conceded a penalty and Wojciech Szczesny did well to save the spot kick and spare his blushes but the defense crumbled in the last minute to concede the goal that said sayonara to Arsenal’s title challenge. Gervinho is a player that is highly motivated so I’m positive that he can come with the goods when Arsenal needs that unsung hero that would score a 90th minute goal to win all three points.