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Feb 4, 2014

Gervinho: Arsenal time was 'positive'

Gervinho has told L'Equipe he feels his time at Arsenal was "positive" despite generally being considered a flop by Gunners' fans.

• Cross: Confident defending gives Arsenal something to build on

Great things were expected of the Ivory Coast international, 27, when he arrived at Emirates Stadium with his reputation embellished having played a central role in Lille's domestic double of the 2010-11 campaign.

However, a return of 11 goals in 63 appearances in all competitions was all he could provide before heading for Roma last summer, leaving a feeling of underachievement among Arsenal supporters, though not within himself.

He said: "I think my adventure in London was positive. I have always dreamed of playing for Arsenal, and I had good times there. It's just a shame I didn't get to play more. But it's not a failure. All leagues correspond to my qualities, I just need confidence. In the Premier League, it's physical and intense whereas in Italy, there is less space."

That has not prevented Gervinho becoming an instant hit in Serie A with Roma fans unveiling a banner in his honour in front of the Coliseum only last week. He has already provided five goals and seven assists to Roma's scudetto challenge, and acknowledged the presence of Rudi Garcia at the Stadio Olimpico was a major factor behind his renaissance.

"He knows me completely and knows how to give me confidence," said Gervinho, who first played under Garcia at Le Mans before joining him at Lille. "He's a person who gives me a lot both on and off the pitch. If I could play my whole career with him, that would suit me. I feel at ease, calm and liberated by his side."

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