The African Cup of Nations may prove a good distraction for Arsenal star Gervinho as he joins up with favourites Ivory Coast.
Gervinho may have got his preparation for the tournament off to the best possible start by scoring twice in a 4-2 victory over Egypt but his form in that game has been a far cry from the difficult season he has had so far with the Gunners.
Arsenal find themselves sixth on the Premier League table and outside Champions League qualification while Gervinho has only started in 14 matches, scoring five goals.
However, the 25-year-old is optimistic of a turnaround for both himself and the team.
“I feel fine. There are a lot of positive aspects for me being in Arsenal,” he said.
“There are also a few negative points but I focus on what’s good.
“I adapted well. I feel good. We’ve been through some tough periods in the league but every time, we have managed to come back stronger and give our best.”
It’s also been a difficult season for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, with some fans believing it is time for him to step down.
However the forward feels Arsenal still have the best man for the job.
“No. I think I’m very lucky to have a great coach like him who is going to teach me a lot,” said Gervinho.
“I play in my dream club. I’m going to learn a lot from him whether it’s on or off the pitch.
“It’s sad for him when that happens, when fans ask for him to leave the club.
“We know everything he has brought to the club, he did a lot of good to the club and unfortunately in football you tend to forget very quickly everything that has been done in the past.
“When things go wrong, people quickly forget the rest.”
If 2012 was a little disappointing, Gervinho has set his sights high for 2013, starting with the African Cup of Nations where Ivory Coast were the beaten finalists last year.
“My year is going to start with Ivory Coast,” he said.
“(My aim is) a good AFCON with hopefully the trophy in the end, a good season with Arsenal, with maybe a trophy as well and a good year for myself like I had with Lille.
“I’ve lived some good moments and I want more of those.
“I hope 2013 will be good to me with Arsenal and with Ivory Coast.”
Ivory Coast will be hoping to get their 2013 African Cup of Nations campaign off to a strong start when they face Togo on Tuesday 22nd January.