Gibbs or Clichy for Left-back

For the last three seasons Gael Clichy has been our number three with little competition for the left back position.  Clichy has not been a rock and there are many aspects of his game that need working on.

Clichy does not like crossing the half-way line.  Clichy is blessed with great speed, but does not put it to great effect going forward. There is no confidence once he is in the opposition’s half. He does not cut in, which makes him predictable, whilst his crossing is laughable.

Defensively, Clichy is a good tenacious defender.  He uses his speed to great effect, but has been known to have lapses in concentration. These lapses have started to become more and more common.  This does not help the other defenders, who need to be able to rely on the young Frenchman.

Over the last three years Clichy has not improved, but has either stayed the same and in some respects gone backwards.  It is no surprise that he is not considered to be worthy of a place in France squad.

There are question marks over whether or not Clichy can develop further or whether he has reached his limit.  If it is the latter, this season we have seen the introduction of a young English defender, who will become a great left back for Arsenal and England.

Kieran Gibbs has played 21 games for us this season as a left-back.  Apart from one slip against Manchester United the youngster has done us proud.  He has never shirked his responsibility, having come through against all sorts of opponents. He played very well in the FA Cup semi-final, creating our only goal.

Gibbs is a break from our normal left-backs in that he is a tall player. No longer do opposing teams single out the left back for a long ball.  Having started his career as a left-winger, he is blessed great speed, athleticism, and does not panic once he crosses the half-way line.  He is the best crosser of balls out of our four full-backs (Sagna, Eboue and Clichy).  He cuts in from the flanks causing defenders problems and will also make the overlapping run.

Gibbs has some aspects of his defensive game which he needs to work on, but he is only 19 years old and has learnt a lot this season.  The other plus point is that Gibbs is an academy graduate; the fans love to see “our” boys make the grade.

Gibbs  might be ready for a regular place for the whole season, but there is not much to choose between Gibbs and Clichy and Clichy is 25 years old in July.

Posted on May 29, 2009, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Experience will trump Gibbs. We all complain about too much youth and then pose the question of Gibbs or Clichy. While I agree Gibbs has done a superb job of filling in while Gael is injured he’s shown on occassion the inconsistency of youth. Gibbs has warranted a place in the team as being rotated for Clichy but he’s not ready to replace the more experienced Frenchman full time yet. We had no cover at left back until Gibbs since we send Traore on loan and now we have a bit more depth with Gibbs being able to operate the left side.

  2. Clichy is a world class Left Back young as well he plays similar to Roberto Carlos with the pass and power Gibbs should be his back up Gibbs is young aswell but in the upcoming years he should be a great LB

  3. Um, I really must question your valuation of Clichy. He is one of the most attacking full backs in the league, perhaps Europe, the other being Sagna of course. And I do think he’s a rock. He has had his moments of inconsistency and fragility, but what member of our defence hasn’t?

    Gibbs (who by the way, isn’t that tall, no more so than Clichy anyway), yes, is clearly a gem, maybe a little in the rough still, but a gem nonetheless. I really felt for him after his slip against United. Could’ve happened to anyone though. He was more or less outstanding, bar that match, for his brief stint at left back. But at the moment, it has to be Clichy. He can tackle, pretty good in the air, and always bombs forward. And just because he rarely tucks inside doesn’t make him less of a player, it actually always gives us a crossing outlet, even though he does need to work on crossing.

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