Gervinho: We learnt from poor start

Arsenal winger Gervinho believes that his team's troubled start to the season has helped them learn invaluable lessons that will bear them in good stead for the future.

Robin van Persie, Gervinho

In September, the Gunners were all the way down in 17th place with losses to Blackburn and Liverpool coupled with an 8-2 defeat to Manchester United making it seem as if the north London club would have a torrid time for the rest of the campaign. 

And the new year was equally difficult as they failed to win any of their matches in the Premier League in January. 

But since then, they have rebounded superbly and they won seven of their last nine matches to surge up the table and reach third place. With just four games remaining, Gervinho's side look assured to achieve Champions League qualification for the 15th consecutive season. 

The Ivorian believes that the season has taught his team-mates some valuable lessons in how to prepare for matches and enhanced their collective self-belief.

"We learnt a lot from the negative start we had," Gervinho told Arsenal Player. 

"It has made us stronger today - we have learnt from our mistakes. We learnt a lot during that struggle.

"In life you will always be criticised. We had to prove to the people who didn't believe in us that we were able to come back by playing well on the pitch.

"The result is here today. Our progression during the season speaks for itself on the pitch."

And the winger remains optimistic that next season will be better for the club. It has been nearly seven years since they last won any silverware and their 2005 FA Cup victory over Manchester United seems more like a distant memory. 

"It is true that I am disappointed to see another year without a trophy," he commented. 

"I am used to getting trophies, but we tried and we went through a lot this year.

"We are happy to have reached that level. I hope next year we will do even better."

Arsenal face Chelsea on Saturday in what is a crucial encounter for both clubs. Chelsea are outside the top four and have been doing particularly well under interim manager Roberto di Matteo and their confidence is sky-high after they beat defending European champions Barcelona in their semi-final first leg on Wednesday. 

The club then have an easier run-in as they will face sides such as Stoke, Norwich and West Brom. They face competition from Newcastle and Tottenham as well and need to secure maximum points in order to ensure that they qualify for Europe's premier tournament next season.

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