This article, unlikely many of mine, will be short and to the point and is based solely on what appears to me to be simple logic. Of course I am not a qualified coach, merely an observer of all things Arsenal and a passionate fan, but the following argument is compelling for me at least.
I love Gervinho, or at least I think I love what I think he could and should be, but he is certainly not the finished article. He has scored goals but he should have scored more. He has provided several assists already this season, but undoubtedly he should have provided more. He has great strength, pace, dribbling ability and an incredible work ethic, but he does not make the correct decision for his final ball and takes on one too many players far too often. Even when he does play the right ball the execution can often be flawed. In addition, he panics in front of goal, which may just be confidence thing, but he chooses the wrong shot and frequently shoots too early.
Loitering around London Colney with time of their hands are two individuals who combined to form the most formidable left side attack combination the Premier League has ever seen, or may ever see. So who better for Gervinho to look to for some advice and mentoring than Robert Piresand Thierry Henry.
In between 2001-2004, arguably our three most fluent years under Wenger, Pires hit 37 goals in the league and assisted for an incredible 49. Has there been a better player wide on the left for knowing when to make a pass, when to cut the ball back, when to cross, or when to cut inside and shoot? If I was Gervinho I would not be waiting to be told, but seeking advice and guidance from Pires after every session at Colney, if Robert was present. As if this was not enough, at the moment our Ivorian winger can also pick the brains of the greatest striker our great club has ever seen. Of course if we were playing the formation we now play back then, there is little doubt that Henry would be playing where Gervinho plays now, and he did play there for Barcelona after he left the Emirates. If we just take the unbeaten season of 2003/04, Henry had 30 goals and 18 assists, while Pires had 14 goals and 20 assists. The Premier League will probably never witness the likes of this left sided combination ever again, so please Gervinho ask these guys to stay back after training for half an hour or so and pass on the benefit of their huge experience and passion for the game .
I am sure this is all too logical and quite simple for the modern game, but on the one side we have an exciting raw talent, who has dreamt of playing for Arsenal and Wenger, inspired no doubt by watching Pires and Henry. On the other we have Henry and Pires, still in love with the club, training with the first-team and wanting to give back to the institution that gave them so much. Just imagine if just some of the decision making, precision and coolness in front of goal of Pires and Henry did rub off on our Ivorian diamond in the rough. The results could be devastating. We only need to look across at Theo on the other wing to see what a difference to the team the correct final ball can make.
Arsene – Make it so!
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