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Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round

'Streak' star Gervinho far from class

Arsenal FanZoner JC gives his frank verdict on Gervinho, despite his goalscoring display in the weekend's win over Reading.

Last Updated: 02/04/13 at 10:42 Post Comment

Gervinho: Netted against Reading

Gervinho: Netted against Reading

Let's get one thing straight, Gervinho is not a world-class footballer.

Since we made light work of a Reading side all but doomed to be playing in Championship next year, I have had the misfortune of reading far too many blogs and fan posts not only hailing his determination and direct running, but also implying that he should be in our starting XI even when everyone is fully fit.

I'm sorry, but no. Gervinho is what he is, nothing more and nothing less. He is a streak player who relies heavily on his confidence levels.

His poor finishing and final ball often making him a closer rival to Marouane Chamakh and Andrey Arshavin, rather than Olivier Giroud or Lukas Podolski. High profile misses against Bradford and Blackburn, as we exited both cup competitions, join a whole plethora of wasted opportunities.

He often runs up blind alleys and ends up just giving the ball away with our team stretched and out of position.

With all that being said, and with all the criticism he has had to face, it's time for some credit where credit is due.

He played well on Saturday. Reading didn't put up too much in terms of resistance, but you can only beat what is in front of you and the Ivorian put in a man-of-the-match performance. Good on him.

It was disappointing to see Nacho Libre cat napping at the back post and allowing Reading to pull one back, especially as it had looked recently like our defence was finally cutting out the silly errors from their game.

In the end the goal was inconsequential, but it should be a warning to the players that a few good wins doesn't necessarily mean that all our old problems are completely behind us.

With Tottenham being Tottenham, and Chelsea being far from convincing - and with their hectic fixture list - the race for the final two Champions League places is well and truly on.

Gooners should take heart that players seem to be hitting form once again, with Giroud getting on the scoresheet and Santi Cazorla looking back to his magical best recently.

The partnership that seems to be forming between Laurent Koscielny and the big friendly German also helps me sleep a little easier at night.

Hopefully we can get Jack Wilshere back soon, but Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey have been performing admirably in his absence.

All in all things are looking up for the Gunners, but I won't be at ease till the final whistle goes on the last day of the season and we have claimed one of those 'like a trophy' spots.

By JC London, FanZone's Arsenal blogger. Follow @FanZone on Twitter!

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