What to do with Kieran Gibbs?

Will this be the year for Kieran Gibbs to shine?

I felt more than a bit gutted for Kieran Gibbs this summer. Hodgson had decided to leave the experienced Cole behind for the World Cup in Brazil, leaving him with two spaces for the LB position. He decided to take with him Baines and Shaw, who both had good seasons in the PL; and he left out our fine full back Gibbs, who also had more than a decent season.

I fully understand why Hodgson opted for Baines. He had already played over twenty times for England and had been one of Everton’s best players. But to opt for Shaw instead of Gibbo seemed to me to be a populist choice. And so is the crazy money the Mancs have paid for his services to the Saints this summer, but that is another matter.

No doubt Shaw can become a great player, but KG03 is well ahead of him. He will be 25 next month and he has 25 ‘CL caps’ under his belt. Kieran now plays with a maturity and control that gives both stability to the defence and impetus to the attack. In case Baines would have been injured or suspended, Gibbs would have been a far better option than the inexperienced and at times over zealous Shaw.

But it is fair to say Gibbo is not fully there yet. He keeps threatening to break through but has not been too lucky on the injury front during his career. But finally he is getting more games under his belt with now having played in about 75% of all PL games over the last two seasons. In fact, last season he played for the first time over 40 competitive games (28 PL, 5 FA, and 8 CL games) and he even scored his first goal for the club.

Where Kieran now needs to break through is in the attacking part of his position: one goal and one assist are not much of a return in one season.

We can see he desperately wants to break through: he occasionally looks exasperated when fellow attackers do not read his pass or fail to find him when he makes a fine, covert run into the box. The way Arsenal play, and in fact most top teams now do, the FBs need to be dynamic, good readers of the game, and be as good at defending as at going forward, and support the attack more or less constantly. They also need to be demanding and confident, and I am hoping that the somewhat introvert Gibbo will make himself heard more this season – not so much at the back where he has been mostly solid, but definitely when supporting the attack.

We all have high hopes for Ox and Jack, but I am now equally hopeful that Kieran will finally get it all together and become that force he has been threatening to be for a long time.

I hope for him he will get a steady partner on the left wing, who will help him as much in defence as he will help his partner in attack. He looked good for a while when he was linked up with Pod, but the German is unlikely to become a regular starter next season.

IF indeed Sanchez ends up on the left wing eventually (after Theo returns), The Chilean maestro and Gibbs could become a strong tandem on that side of the team, with good support – in attack and defence – from the fantastic Ramsey as well. If both can stay fit for a long time and work on their partnership, we should see strong performances by KG03 every week. I, for one, will keep supporting him in every game and let’s all hope that our fine full back will finally come good in 2014-2015.

At 25, and after a frustrating WC summer behind the TV, this is his moment.

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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35 Responses to What to do with Kieran Gibbs?

  1. allezkev says:

    Interesting post Total…

    Personally, and maybe a tad selfishly, I was glad that Gibbs wasn’t pick by Hodgeson.
    I want him fresh and ready to go for Arsenal.

    Noticed the promising comments by Dan Crowley, regarding the early influence of Jonker on the Academy…

    Apparently Crowley said how much harder the U21’s are training and that there is more emphasis on defensive work…


  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Allezkev.

    I know what you mean re not getting injured, but a top sporter also needs to know he is seen as the best, and I reckon it would have done KG a world of good had he been at the WC.

  3. steve says:

    Excellent post TA, one of the very first names on the team sheet for me and now with his injuries out of the way i am sure this will be a big season for him.
    btw i would still pick gibbs over baines any day of the week but maybe slightly biased lol

  4. Karlinski says:

    Baines is overrated i feel he only gets in the England team at left back because of his “set piece Abilities” his defensive abilities are average, he was completely to blame for the Balotteli goal against Italy as the cross should have been closed down. I was absolutely livid that Baines & Shaw got the nod ahead of Gibbs as i felt he has had a very solid season with us prior to the world cup.

    Anyway at least he’ll fresh for the new season ahead.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Let’s hope so Steve. It’s now or never for him.

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed Karlinski,and welcome to BK.

  7. Gerry says:

    TA – You had me worried with the title 😀

    I have used the phrase ‘over-worked’ with Gibbs before, and what your saying in this post, is not so much about Gibbs himself, but having the right players around him?
    Gibbs is someone who has worked hard on his fitness to overcome countless injuries, invariably different ones. In fact it is the metatarsal one very early on that I can recall being the only one inflicted upon him? Others have been strains and stress related. So is he is going to get consistent support down the left it? Which should mean his 90th minute 30 yard dash to cut out a cross will not result in missing future games?

    It is also true that if more keep up with his speed out of defence then his assist record will get better? Of all his recent partners on the left, I think Cazorla is the least symbiotic. Not only does he not have the pace for a sustained burst of speed, he invariably, when in a one-two with Gibbs, turns inside and never looks back again to even think of slipping the ball down the left channel. At least with Podolski he would stay left side.
    When you compare the same support that Walcott received you can see the imbalance? Even in the recent friendly, Bellerin had the benefit from balls played in to the space he had in front of him? It is has developed because we have lacked an outright pacy, left wing attacker. Instead, have used that area to nominally house the extra midfielder, and left it to Gibbs to provide width … and of course defend. Which of course is when he is criticised for being out of position??

    Will this change this season? Well so far we only have Alexis, and that might be enough in some games. My ‘wish list’ pair have already been crossed off (Di Maria, top end and staying put; Tello, the cheaper option, has move on), and somehow don’t see us competing with Bayern for Reus. This season at least? So for those other games where Alexis may been used elsewhere, or rested ,it may be more of the same?
    One tactical option that has been raised, more often since the WC, is the thought of playing 3CB’s and pushing the wing-backs further forwards? I think that will largely depend on who they sign to replace TV5, as we will have no cover for Gibbs if Monreal goes too? No way is he a 4th CB either, as we may find out this Sunday?

    On that note I will just like to say how much Steve has similar thoughts as myself, re the last few posts, but I would be grateful if you do not respond to the above, as my ‘wish list’ CB has previously gone unmentioned (keep it that way Steve, and it might happen 😀 ).
    Mind, the split decision yesterday was interesting. I could have taken Dave’s standpoint seriously until he suggested Cazorla as an option for centre forward 😆

  8. Tester says:

    Gibbs is very good & solid defensively. And he also has great recovery speed. But his priority, as with Wilshere & the OX, is to remain fit for the greater part of the season. If those three do this,then they will all have a very good season. I hope so anyway!

    Btw, Monreal is a really decent backup to Gibbs. Solid defender who always gets ripped ‘coz the left winger can’t be arsed defending. I hope he stays as he won’t get into the Spanish squad anymore.

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Great comment, Gerry, with plenty of good angles. Yes the partnership is important for Gibbo, and he has not been lucky in recent years with Arshavin, Pod, and Cazorla. Maybe Ox should be Santi’s stand in?

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Tester, he needs to stay fit throughout, only missing the occasional games. Also agreed on keeping Nacho. He is lacking a bit of confidence but is working hard to restore it. I would even try him as our DM.

  11. steve says:

    Gerry when you say;
    “It is also true that if more keep up with his speed out of defence then his assist record will get better?”
    Not only that mate (which I agree with 100%) but also frequently I see the midfield loose it after failing to take advance of his run out of defence and then have to listen to commentators moronically note that he has poor positional ability as he is running back frantically to try and stop a cross which is now coming in from the turn-over in midfield.

    Lol and don’t get me started on the three at the back mate lol
    When we got thrashed in those high profile games last season on the counter attack with nearly our entire team in the penalty area save poor old BFG and Kos I just couldn’t stop thinking that would never happen if we played three at the back with a more full on strict holding midfielder.
    That type of system would always give us an almost permanent back four in place constantly waiting and ready for any counter. Obviously not needed in most games but against teams that have the pace and numbers up front to really punish on the counter I think that tactical switch would really suit Arsenal.
    It was impossible last season because of the lack of depth and diversity in defence which is exactly why I have been so adamant about buying new defenders this transfer window, Chambers is an excellent addition but where’s the rest.

    And I can’t believe you’re holding yours cards so close to your chest on this one lol, sneaky and very intriguing – so I’ll call, here’s my wish list:

    (RB) Debuchy – Bellerin
    (RCB) BFG – Fabian Schar
    (Jenkinson further cover for either right sided positions) – yes I still have faith in the lad
    (LCB) Kos – Doria
    (LB) Gibbs – Jetro Willems
    (Samuel Umtiti further cover for either left sided positions)

    Holding midfield player:
    Carvalho – Chambers – Hayden
    (I know he was bought for CB but for some reason my brain see’s Chambers as an absolute must for a defensive midfield position, can’t explain why)

    It would be easy to pick a strong, pacey and competent passing back three out of that lot with a strict, regimented holding midfield player in front of them.

    Oh well a man can dream lol

  12. xavier says:

    Good post. And i agree on gibbs. I also thought he should have been called to the england squad although like Allezkev I was Lowkey happy he didnt go. x_x Anyways this looks a good season for him to build up on last seasons fitness and form.
    Also agree about Nacho being a good backup. A lotta people want him gone but i think what he really has is a confidence issue. And sometimes as fans we should be the ones trying to lift that confidence back up instead of slagging him at every occasion. He had some horrible games last season, Especially against top teams but he also put in some solid cameos. I think he may even have gotten more assists than gibbs..or at least equal. Yeah, he puts in a mean cross when attacking (Something i think gibbo may need to work on).
    Anyways, top post TA. Waiting for the Highlights of the AFC members game to come up on youtube. Sanogo scored again. Hahahaha.

    Wheres 007 by the way? He working onthe Carvalho deal or Sum’n??

  13. AFC says:

    Wenger has ruled out moving for Khedira.

    ” I don’t know who has put him on the market,” the Gunners boss said. “It is it his agent, or somebody else I don’t know.“We were never close to signing him, because Jack Wilshere has come back fit and in midfield we have offensive midfielders, we have box-to-box players, we have quite a few.”

    I would rather have Wanyama than Carvalho in that case. Wanyama has EPL experience and a good amount of CL experience.

    So this means that Wenger is going for someone more defensive, more destroyer rather than box to box?

  14. AFC says:

    Great article TA. 🙂

    I was so disappointed when Gibbs wasn’t in the England squad, he is England’s future LB in my opinion. Not much to add as everyone has pretty much said it. Right now I wouldn’t trade Gibbs for any other LB in the BPL. If he doesn’t get the support from the LM/LW/LAM playing in front of him (as Gerry says) then he can get caught out of position through no fault of his own. I would say in the next couple of years he will hit his peak and there is still room for improvement as there is with every player.

  15. Gerry says:

    Steve – Next time I have not got a lot of to time to write on here, I shall simply leave this:

    ‘Whatever Steve says’

    😆 😆 😆

  16. Gerry says:

    Although Crowley caught the main headline in the Under 21 friendly; 4-6 to the good guys, Hayden also was given a very favourable write up in his midfield guise.

    Only three players were kept out of that game to continue working with the 1st team, but I hope Hayden gets a chance sooner or later, either alongside Per at CB, or alongside our DM(new signing that is). Versatility is what will make him useful on the bench?

    Miquel will get the nod on Sunday though.

  17. AFC says:

    So Wenger has said he sees Chambers playing DM and he is our DM signing. That makes us extremely light in defence. We now only have one RB and two CBs. Of course Chambers can play in those positions but he can’t do the jobs of three squad players in three different positions throughout the entire season?

    Johan has officially left Arsenal.

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Not sure I can follow your adding up, AFC. 🙂

    CB: Koz, BFG, TV(not gone yet and will be replaced), Chambers, Miquel

    DM: Flamini, Arteta, Chambers, Diaby, le Coq

    RB: Debuchy, Spanish wonder kid, Chambers

    chambers is not first choice yet, but can fill in in three places… And he will make one of them his sooner or later. Key is to replace TV properly…. But I’d still want a beast of a DM as well. 🙂

  19. AFC says:

    That’s the problem TA. If he becomes first choice DM which Wenger is hinting he will then that leaves us light in defence unless Bellerin gets some games with the senior side. Wenger might choose to loan him out again. Hayden could also come in but will he be loaned out.

    It all depends on whether Wenger thinks Hayden and Bellerin can step up.

    RB: Debuchy
    CB: Mert, Kos, new CB

    Those are the only full time senior options we will have for those positions. We should have two players for every position excluding those that play in other positions and can fill in, although we could get away with 7 full time defenders.

    Coquelin and Miquel are done at Arsenal in my opinion and we should think about selling them.

  20. proudgooner says:

    You are totally right in fact if i was Roy i would have taken Gibbs and Cole over the 2 he took.
    Gibbs is a fantastic athlete he works his socks of and lloks like like he could go on for another hour.
    LB is his position for now , though Monreal should get a good few games this season so not to burn KG out and keep him and Monreal in good shape imo.
    What was the point in taking Shaw he did not even use him did he? I don’t know if he did in the last group game because it was all over by then and i had fun watching Suarez biting the Itailan guy instead. lol 🙂
    He pick Shaw because of the bringing the young English players though but Gibbs is also still young and deserved that place imo. Still there lose is our gain . 🙂

  21. The Cockie Monster says:

    Evening Bastards !.
    7eventeen, Hamez Bond, Fozzie and myself have been missing in action !. We know Hamez has his hands full, not sure why Squatchie is missing and can hazard a guess Fozzie has been locked up under the mental health act !.
    I myself had a torturous few hours between Tuesday and Wednesday two week ago !. First on a Tuesday night I found out my Brother had passed away, then about 10am the next day my wife had a massive internal bleed and was rushed to hospital !, it was a very scary day and she`s (according to the consultant ) lucky to still be here !.
    Sorry not to let you fcukers know earlier, but I spent a lot of time at the hospital and Arsenal was not on my mind at all !.
    I will pop in and out when possible to doom over what I class as so far a disappointing TW ( apart from Sanchez ! ).
    Wenger (get the chequebook) Out !.

  22. AFC says:

    Cockie, sorry to hear that mate, my thoughts are with you and your family. Hope everything goes fine with your wife. 🙂

  23. AFC says:

    Agree with you on the TW Cockie. I have become a doomer as well. Any possibility that I can become your apprentice? 😀

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks for letting us know Cockie Bastardo. So sorry to hear about the loss of your brother and major health scare of mrs Cockie. Keep strong buddy – we are thinking of you.

  25. VCC says:

    Thinking of you Cockie. Terrible news about your Brother. Hope your Wife makes a speedy recovery.

    Your Arsenal family are hear if we are needed.

    Take care Amigo…..God bless.

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi guys 🙂

    On holiday for a week from today, so few, if any, posts for a while.

    Keep rocking an COYG on Sunday!

    Be kind to yourself. 🙂

  27. Cockie man… sorry to hear about your news. Stay positive my friend.


    Cornwall, sorry to hear that mate. If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know.

  29. VCC says:

    Besiktas……that’s going to be tricky.

  30. AFC says:

    Seems like Vermaelen is off to Barca for around £15 million. At least we are not selling him to United.

    I would really like for us to go and get Howedes from Schalke or even Hummels from Dortmund.

    Howedes can play anywhere in the back four (CB, LB and RB) which would be really good for us. He is 26 and would cost around £15-20 million.

    Hummels is 25 and would cost a lot more, probably around £30-35 million. He can’t play LB and RB like Howedes but can play DM. I would personally try and convert him into a DM and use him as additional CB cover. We could then switch to a 4-1-2-3 or a 4-1-4-1 formation and have Hummels as a sole DM with Chambers learning of him. I can’t see it happening though.

    Howedes would be more likely although we will receive £15 million from the Verm deal so just minus that away from any potential transfer fee.

    Hummels= £15-20 million
    Howedes= £0-5 million

    Get is done Arsene. 😀

  31. H Bo says:

    I’m late it’s all been said 😦 but here’s my 2 pence anyway agree with most he needs a winger to play left side not a CM/CAM playing wide they just drift in but with the wingers available it should not be a problem. Although it’s all about the new physio’s performance this season if he keeps us all fit as the squads stand only Chelsea and man shity have squads to compare although a DM would make us top 2 for sure Arteta is not one and his legs are gone

  32. James Bond says:

    so sorry to hear about your loss and the extremely testing and difficult last few weeks you’ve had to endure @ Glics

    please accept my condolences for your brother and prayers for Mrs.Glics – she is a fighter, she will recover and be better than ever before – both my prayers and thoughts with the Monster family .

    if you need anything during these testing times, then please don’t hesitate at all .

    we are here for you .

  33. allezkev says:

    I don’t know if this is some kind of wind-up, but I’ve just read that Diaby has picked up a side strain and has been ruled out of Sundays game…

    Have a good holiday Total.

    Finally, terrible news Glic, so sorry to hear all that stuff…

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post!

    Just a short one to keep momentum going.

    Keep rocking!

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