Eleven months ago Gervinho broke the hearts of his Ivorian compatriots by missing the 17th penalty of an epic shootout in the final of the African Cup of Nations. It was an error that was to prove costly with the next kick winning the trophy for unfancied opponents Zambia provoking such personal distress that our winger pretty much soiled himself when anywhere near a football for the rest of the season.
Swaddled in Pampers during the summer, the 25-year-old subsequently regained a little confidence and started this season comparatively well scoring five goals during a short-lived spell in which he was deployed as a striker.
While injury has since curtailed his first team involvement at the Emirates it hasn’t impeded Gervinho’s newfound determination to put things right on the international stage.
Indeed on the eve of another African Cup of Nations tournament he has confidently, presumably with the aid of a Grays Sports Almanac, outlined what will happen in South Africa over the next few weeks.
“I missed my penalty last year but this time I will score the winner to offer the trophy to Ivory Coast,” he has told Arsenal.com.
“I have faith in myself and my team-mates. This year will be the one for us,” he continued.
“I am very excited and I am even more motivated than last year where we lost in the final and got denied that trophy that we have been waiting for so long.
“We have the chance to redeem ourselves. We are determined to win it this year and free us from that spell which has been on us for a long time.
“It [the penalty miss last year] was very tough. I tried not to think about it. It should have been a great moment and it turned into a nightmare. It was frustrating. My aim is to redeem myself this time and I know I will do it.”
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