Gibbs – England’s Next Left-Back
When the season started we expected the likes of Randall and Merida to make an impact in the first team. Neither however succeeded on that front, in fact the player who took his chance and has leapfrogged these players is Kieran Gibbs.
With Armand Traore on loan, most people expected Silvestre to understudy Clichy, but injuries to Silvestre opened the door for Gibbs.
Gibbs started his life at Arsenal as a winger, though Wenger has turned him into a left-back. Gibbs is not like our normal left-backs, from Sammy Nelson through to Gael Clichy, they have all been short, he is tall and strong, and he will not lose out on many physical battles. Having been a winger, he is comfortable going forward and his crosses are perfect. I doubt either Clichy or Sagna would have been able to deliver the cross that enabled Walcott to score against Chelsea.
Gibbs made one costly error, a slip against Manchester United, other than that, he has played well and has not be overawed by the situation he has found himself in. Gibbs has improved so much that he is Stuart Pearce’s first choice for left-back in the under-21 team.
Gibbs will push Clichy next season and within two seasons he will pose Wenger a dilemma, does he give Gibbs the left-back slot or does he sell England’s next left-back. There are even some commentators who are saying that Kieran could be a surprise choice by Capello for next years World Cup squad.
One thing is for sure, Gibbs will become a great left-back and he will be the first of many talents to come through our academy system.