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Gervinho's Great Form At Roma No Surprise At All

Saturday 25th January 2014
When Gervinho left Arsenal and followed his former Lille boss Rudi Garcia into Roma last summer, the Giallorossi couldn't have been blamed for having reservations about the pair. Garcia, despite winning a league and cup double in 2011 was relatively unknown outside out France, and not the board's first choice to replace  Zdenek Zeman. While Gervinho arrived from the Premier League after two years of frustrating performances and low opinions from the English media and fans.In fact, it could even be said that the Ivory Coast international was a laughing stock in some quarters, both for his ability and rather cruelly the size of his forehead.

But this season he and Garcia have proven their quality, with Roma sitting second in Serie A and through to the Coppa Italia quarter final after a 1-0 victory over league leaders Juventus at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday, courtesy of a goal by the man who now looks a steal at £8million.

Four goals and four assists in 14 games this campaign may not sound a lot, but an average WhoScored.com rating of 7.5 and some performances in particular, are proving that he has more talent than he ever showed in an Arsenal shirt, or that he was ever given credit for in England.

But that is no shock, because Gervinho is a player that perhaps wasn't given a fair crack of the whip by Arsene Wenger, often used as a substitute during his two years at the Emirates Stadium, while also flattering to deceive at times. The man himself saw this upturn in fortunes coming, saying how happy he felt to be re-joining Garcia, whom he scored 15 league goals for in their victorious Ligue 1 season with Lille, and that he felt that he could finally get back to his best.

It is a regular occurrence in football that a player may go to a club after a good season, doesn't set the world alight and is moved on with a poor reputation, but with no less ability. Gervinho is no different, his confidence was lacking, nothing else.

Though it may be that he wasn't at the right level for Arsenal, and maybe he will go down as one of the few transfer blunders by Wenger, but his direct, pacey and technical style are really working well for him in Serie A. While Roma as a whole are a success story, his contribution so far cannot be overlooked.

Versatility may not be a skill, but it is certainly an asset. Capped 45 times by his country, the 26 year-old is a winger, come striker, come attacking midfielder, which makes any manager's job easier, let alone a manager who knows his game as well as Rudi Garcia.

Ironically, he has become a great replacement for a man who is struggling to break into a North London side, Erik Lamela, after his £30m move to Tottenham Hotspur from the Italian capital last summer.

With Roma maybe having fend off interest from Paris St Germain for Miralem Pjanic in the near future, they'll be glad for the good form Gervinho is showing. Despite being second in Serie A, the Scudetto already looks like staying in Turin. However, with Roma looking strong, they're more than capable of avenging last years Coppa Italia final defeat to city rivals Lazio.

In a World Cup year, Gervinho will be hoping for all the success he can get.
Harry De Cosemo
19 years old, Newcastle season ticket holder. European football enthusiast and aspiring football writer. Currently doing a Journalism degree at Teesside University. You can follow me on Twitter: @harrydecosemo

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