LONDON, England, March 30 – Arsenal striker Gervinho claims the foundations are in place for the club to win trophies in coming seasons as they attempt to pile on the misery for struggling Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.
Arsenal have gone on a winning streak of seven games, which has seen them overtake Tottenham and move into third spot in the Premier League.
While there is no prospect of ending their seven-year wait for a trophy this year — they are 15 points behind leaders Manchester United with eight games to play — their hopes of a Champions League spot are firmly in their own hands.
The buoyant mood at the Emirates Stadium is in stark contrast to that at QPR, who are fighting to avoid immediate relegation from the Premier League.
Ahead of Saturday’s trip across London, Gervinho pointed to the youthful nature of the Arsenal squad and tipped them to blossom in the near future.
“We can still win lots of trophies and we can do great things in the future,” the Ivory Coast international said. “We have a bright future because this is a good club.
“We are all still young, we have got some good players here, a good group. We have been through a lot of difficult times this season, lots of people have wavered in their belief of us.
“They have said this and they have said that, but we have returned to form and now we are going to try to finish the season well.”
Gervinho pointed to the form of striker Robin van Persie for Arsenal’s resurgence after a shaky start to the Premier League campaign.
Van Persie has scored 33 goals this season, including 25 in the Premier League and Gervinho added: “The standout player for me this year has been Robin.
“You can see his class with his finishing, how he leads the group, and with his experience.
“He is a player who has grown in to the role of captain and is the sort of player you need during the hard times.”
Meanwhile at Loftus Road, things are looking bleak. QPR are a point shy of safety with an extremely difficult run-in to come.
And star striker Djibril Cisse is banned for the next four games following his sending-off last Saturday at Sunderland – his second dismissal since signing for the club in January.
QPR chief executive Philip Beard made an embarrassing slip of the tongue while speaking at the Soccerex European Forum in Manchester on Thursday by stating “when we go down” before hastily correcting himself to say “if”.
But with games against Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City to come as well as a trip to Swansea, where Arsenal and City both lost, Beard’s mistake was understandable.
And Joey Barton, the QPR captain, spelled their plight out in no uncertain terms when he claimed the players are playing for their livelihoods.
“We’re as desperate for the points as they are – for totally different reasons obviously,” Barton said.
“But there are livelihoods on the line here. People’s careers are on the line. I’m not sure that’s the case at Arsenal, to be honest.
“They’ll want to win the game because they’re professionals and they’ll want to finish in the Champions League places, which is a minimum requirement for them.
“But there are lads here whose careers are on the line – and we have to realise that. This is more than a game of football now. The next eight games govern our futures.
“All the lads need to realise that. If we don’t, we’ll be punished for it.”