By Walter Broeckx
Last year I wrote a bit of a funny article being angry at Wenger for having bought some players with difficult names as Szczesny, Koscielny… well luckily our new signing has an official nickname which is rather easy to write down.
With the signing of Gervinho a lot of things can be said. Some will welcome him and some will have their doubts. And yes in fact you can always doubt any signing. But how can we see if Gervinho could be a very good player for Arsenal? So I thought that I could make a comparison with Drogba. The fact that both come from Ivory Coast has a lot to do with this of course. So let us see if we can compare them. Are there any similarities to be found in their career? Well maybe there are a few things that look the same.
For the moment Drogba is 33 years old and nearing the end of his career. Gervinho is 24 years old and starting the best years of his career. But how were they if you compare them in the years you can compare them. Let’s compare them until the age of 24.
When Drogba was 24 years old he had played at Le Mans for most of his career. And in his career he scored around 1 goal in 5 games. 72 appearances and 15 goals. And this at a club in Ligue 2 in France. After those years he went to Guingamp in Ligue 1. And in his first season he only played 11 games in total and scored 3 goals. So statistically a bit better but only 11 starts is not much.
So in total at the age of 24 years old he managed to score one goal in 5 games on average. (4.61 to be precise – 83 games – 18 goals)
If we compare this with the numbers of Gervinho in France we can see that in the 4 season he has been playing there he has played 142 games and has scored 45 goals. This is an average of 3.15 goals to be precise. And this was in teams in Ligue 1 so at a higher and more difficult level than Drogba did at Le Mans. (When Drogba played at Le Mans it was a Ligue 2 team and when Gervinho played at Le Mans it was a Ligue 1 team). (You can always keep up with the live football scores).
And from the moment Drogba went to a bigger team he started scoring more. And now he his on 2.12 games needed to score one goal. Or one goal in 2 games on average. A number we all love to have in our team.
So it will be interesting to see if Gervinho who has already has an average that is more than one goal better than Drogba so far in his career will also get better like his older team mate in the Ivory Coast team could do? Now that would be something to look forward to. If he keeps ahead of Drogba like he has done until the age of 24 he could end up with one goal in each game. Okay this will be asking too much I think, but I would be glad if he could do the same thing as Drogba did for Chelsea. Oh, what the heck. Gervinho, just do better than Drogba did.
Prove the doubters wrong and maybe you could also prove Wenger wrong in a way. Because way back in 2006 he wanted you to come to Arsenal but the transfer failed because of the Beveren manager (Walter Meeuws) didn’t want to let you go. Maybe there also was a visa problem at the time but I’m not sure about that. If he would have let him go then you would have been an Arsenal player for many years now. And who knows how much better Wenger would have made you by now?
Another thing is that Gervinho is more versatile than Drogba. Drogba can only be used as a central striker. He has played in such a position his whole career. But Gervinho can be used as a central striker but also as a winger. One could say he is a winger who scores or a striker that can wander around the pitch in different positions and more unpredictable than Drogba.
If we look at assists it is clear to see that Drogba is not the person to let other score when he was at such a young age. As for Gervinho he gifts his team mates more than a few goals a season. It is interesting to see that not only the number of goals from Gervinho has been rising but also the number of assists has gone up in the same order.
So a few things do hint that Gervinho could become even better than Drogba. The only thing that Drogba has is that he has more height than Gervinho. 1,89 for Drogba and 1.79 for Gervinho. So he is shorter than Drogba. So from that part of the game he will have to work harder to get things done. But to make this up a bit Gervinho is much more mobile on the pitch and has better dribbling skills. Drogba can go past a man on power but Gervinho is the better technical player of the two.
And then we have the fact that Gervinho is starting what should be the best years in his career. After his move to the top Drogba remained there for 7-8 seasons (and still is there in fact). If we can get the same number of years out of Gervinho and with the same goals and assists as let us not forget that Gervinho also creates more goals than Drogba, it could be a big success. Oh and I don’t want to put any pressure on Gervinho his shoulders with this comparison and I hope that most of our smart readers will not expect a copy of Drogba. Because Gervinho is a different type of player compared with Drogba on the field. I’m not even sure if Drogba would have been successful at Arsenal with his style as I think it is not compatible to the Arsenal way of playing football.
Let us hope for a good signing and wish Gervinho all the best for his career at Arsenal.