Arsene Wenger could have taken advantage of his relationship with Ivory Coast’s manager Francois Zahoui who he trained when he was the manager of French side Nancy, but didn’t want to keep Gervinho away from his national squad from respect to the young manager.
“I had him as a player at Nancy when he was young, and he was here two weeks ago, but I do not want to go to war with him,” the Arsenal manager said.
“He would be in a difficult position. He does that with Yaya Toure and Kolo Toure. I do not want to take advantage.
“If I keep Gervinho for Monday and Yaya Toure and Kolo Toure have to go on Sunday, it would be unfair.”
Wenger said: “With Ivory Coast we have always the same problem.
“I remember once we had an FA cup game, which was 14 days ahead of the competition. At night they had to report in Paris.
“If I played Kolo Toure and [Emmanuel] Eboue they could not be at the airport at 6pm.
“In the morning of the game we still had negotiations to get them to play. In the end, they refused us to let them play.”
Arsenal could have used the services of Gervinho for an extra match, but Wenger should think better about this and perhaps attempt to transfer a new striker because with Henry soon ending his loan Arsenal needs a lengthy addition to the squad.