The Man Who Should Never Have Worn The Shirt
So, I’ve been thinking for a little while that Gervinho reminds me of a certain fighter aircraft, specifically the Eurofighter.
A few things stick out in my memory about the Eurofighter. It was a cooperative effort between Britain, Germany, France and Spain primarily. A bit like Arsenal.
But the most striking thing that has always stuck in my mind was that it was an aircraft designed to fly unstable.
Say what now? An aircraft designed to fly unstable, you say? Errr, that sounds like the worst idea ever since the invention of worst ideas.
“Eurofighter Typhoon has a foreplane/delta configuration which is, by nature, aerodynamically unstable.
The instability of the aircraft is derived from the position of a theoretical “pressure point” on the longitudinal axis of the aircraft. This is calculated from the contribution to lift from each of the aircraft components (the wings, the canards, fuselage etc). If the pressure point is in front of the centre of gravity on the longitudinal axis, the aircraft is aerodynamically unstable and it is impossible for a human to control it.
With the Eurofighter Typhoon, in subsonic flight the pressure point lies in front of the centre of gravity, therefore making the aircraft aerodynamically unstable, and is why Eurofighter Typhoon has such a complex Flight Control System – computers react quicker than a pilot.
When Eurofighter Typhoon crosses into supersonic flight, the pressure point moves behind the centre of gravity, giving a stable aircraft.
The advantages of an intentionally unstable design over that of a stable arrangement include greater agility – particularly at subsonic speeds – reduced drag, and an overall increase in lift (also enhancing STOL performance).”
So, the craft is basically unstable, the purposing being for it to be so tricksy that it is practically instaneous at flipping directions. It is already trying to flip before the pilot attempts to change direction. It is so unstable that a human pilot hasn’t got reactions quick enough to keep it straight. It is always fighting to flip and spin. What could be more manoeuvrable than an aircraft that you’re already fighting to pull out of a death-flip. Nothing. And that is it’s critical advantage.
And that is Gervinho’s critical advantage. Like a fighter aircraft, Gervinho bears down on his marker, one on one, strafing the ground before him with his machine guns.
He is quite one dimensional in his play. But he is unstable in his flight path. Small changes of direction at high speed will out-manoeuvre the reactions of his human marker. There is the constant sense with Gervinho that he is losing control, that each touch will be his last. Everything is on a knife edge.
And his layoff, or shot, or whatever it is he just did, is just as unpredictable. It is unpredictable AFTER you have seen it, let alone before. Was it a shot, was it a cross, was it a plane? No one knows. Not even Gervinho. He’s just trying to poke it somewhere dangerous.
In fact, it’s best he doesn’t reveal his intentions afterwards. You don’t show your cards when you bluff your opponents at high-stakes poker lest they learn your “tells” or mark you down as a bluffer.
Gervinho is not in the business of football. He is in the business of chaos. Like Heath Ledger’s Joker:
“Do I really look like a man with a plan, Harvey? I don’t have a plan. The mob has plans, the cops have plans. You know what I am, Harvey? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught one. I just DO things. I’m a wrench in the gears. I HATE plans. Yours, theirs, everyone’s.”
Yes, chaos is what he does.
Here are a few of my favourite to tweeps unable to agree what it was that Gervais was trying to do on the Rosicky assist, but in unanimity that they want him to keep getting the chance to continue doing it.
We all remember journos and fans alike stating Gervais should never be allowed to pull on the Arsenal shirt again. We was a popular member of 99% of the deadwood lists that fans drafted throughout the season, and yet here he is. The majority of supporters don’t believe he should be automatically dropped for a returning Walcott or anyone else. Along with Rosicky. Or even Ramsey. Their performances merit our continued support and that of the manager.
So, now that we have rediscovered this love for Gervinho, or rather his goals and assists, and the resulting points and victories, what should we do about it?
Philippe AuClair recently waxed lyrical about Gervinho, confirming Arsene’s view that he was the top player at the ACN and Hazard’s view that he was at least at influential as Hazard himself while saying that he was arguably the player AuClair would have taken of the two from Lille.
But perhaps even more insightfully, he pointed to the constant TLC (tender loving care) that Gervinho’s teammates lavished on him throughout, because Gervinho needs to be loved. Perhaps, if we knew more of his background we would respond to that. That is why Arsene has warned us that Gervinho struggles when there is a negative environment around him. I hope we listened because he was talking to us. If you want Gervais to play like that most of the time, we will need to support and encourage our boy, not moan and groan and what the fuck him.
Gervinho is a Eurofighter, but he needs constant mid-air refuellings if he is to stay aloft and ready for the fight.
When you think about it, it is tragically, poetically karmic. We want what he can produce but he can only produce it if we show him the love. And we only show him the love, when he produces. It is an opportunity for personal growth for the Emirates faithful. An opportunity that a small but vocal minority may pass on. It will not end well at Arsenal for the player who rivaled Hazard in Ligue Un if the moanies don’t get their act together, small minority though they may be. Just sayin’.
Here’s my take. We’ve spent good money on him and you know he ain’t leaving. He can be devastating on his day. We need “devastating” any time we can get it. Ergo, let’s support the beejaysus out of the goofy looking bastard and find out what he can become. What would it cost us?