Jonathan Wilson published an editorial during the 2013 African Cup of Nations in late January. The short piece highlighted the difference in Gervinho’s demeanour when playing for Arsenal and when playing for la Cote D’Ivoire.
Wilson concluded that Gervinho’s delicate mindset dramatically affects his form. Cote d’Ivoire deal with his shortcomings by sheltering him, but he’s often left stranded in front of Arsenal’s fickle 60 000 on Saturday afternoons.
Arsene Wenger commented on Gervinho’s psychological fragility in a recent post-match press conference:
“I believe that sometimes Gervinho has lost confidence because he played in a very negative atmosphere during a period. Strikers need confidence, and [with] his game, even more.”
So why is it that Gervinho is so diametrically different in Abidjan than at Ashburton Grove? A few factors come into play…