Arsenal forward Gervinho says the team will do anything to win the Champions League title and feels that this could be their year given the imperfect form of other major teams across Europe.
While the Gunners no longer hold control of finishing top of their group, Spanish champions Real Madrid – one of the strong favorites to win the competition – have had similar struggles in both Europe and La Liga.
Barcelona’s recent defeat to Celtic shows that they are yet to master the art of overcoming teams that are quick on the counter-attack while defending champions Chelsea are poised to exit the competition by the end of tomorrow night.
Manchester United, who sealed early progress to the Round of 16, have also looked unconvincing lately and Gervinho feels no team is head and shoulders above the rest in the race to Wembley 2013.
“There have been teams who won it and no one expected it. Every year, we fight hard in every competition to win it,” Gervinho told Arsenal’s website in an attempt to ease tensions among frustrated Gunners supporters at the moment.
The Ivory Coast forward added: “In 2004, Arsenal didn’t lose a single game and won the league and it was totally unexpected. And no other team has done it since.
“We are a big club with great players. One of the objectives is to win the Champions League. We will do anything we can to do it.
“I don’t think Barcelona and Real Madrid have been at their best this season, Chelsea are not through yet and Manchester United have had to work hard to win their games too, so it shows that this season there is no big favorite.”
One team that has managed to consistently impress Gervinho and others who closely follow European football is Malaga. La Liga’s high spending outfit from last season underwent financial restructuring over the summer and had to sell star player Santi Cazorla to Arsenal.
Cazorla’s sensational displays were key to their Champions League qualification a season ago but even after his departure, they have continued impress.
“I think the club who is surprising everybody at the moment is Malaga. It’s the first time they have played in the Champions League and they managed to finish top of their group ahead of AC Milan with some great performances and some good football. They have really impressed me this season,” Gervinho concluded.
The Gunners square off against Olympiakos in Greece this evening with very little chance of topping Group B, particularly given that a number of key players will be rested by manager Arsene Wenger.