Gervinho likens national side the Ivory Coast to Arsenal

The Elephants star has compared his national team to his club side, as the Gunners are also experiencing a trophy drought, but the forward is targeting silverware this season

With the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations merely a day away, Ivory Coast international Gervinho has highlighted the similarities between his club, Arsenal, and his national team.

Connections between the Gunners and the west African nation date back to 1993 with Jean-Marc Guillou’s founding of Abidjan’s illustrious football academy, but the prime example of their similarities that Gervinho cited has to do with a lack of trophies for both club and country.

"The Ivory Coast are like Arsenal. The Ivory Coast have not won a trophy since 1992. We’ve got good players and every time we approach a tournament, we say we are going to win it and then we miss out,” he told the Daily Mail.

“This year I would really like to win with both Arsenal and Ivory Coast. I am going to win a trophy this year.”

While the wait hasn’t been quite as long for the north Londoners, who lifted their last silverware in 2005, the 24-year-old’s determination to win a title this season is abundantly clear.

Gervinho added that the Arsenal and Cote d’Ivoire link doesn’t stop there, as it was the Abidjan academy founder who gave his current manager, Arsene Wenger, his assistant coaching start at Cannes in 1983.

He added: “When I went to the academy, we watched Arsenal because of Guillou’s connection with Arsene. He knows Arsene well and his academy had the same philosophy as Arsenal.

"Arsenal have always been a dream of mine and I always thought one day I would go there.".

With African giants Egypt out of the competition and plenty of other traditional powerhouse teams absent, the skilful winger and his Elephants have an excellent opportunity to make Ivorian dreams come true at the 2012 Afcon.

Many have called this the moment of truth for the Ivory Coast’s golden generation.