Posts Tagged ‘Kieran Gibbs’

Football

Arsenal update: Wenger names squad for Swansea – more injuries

By Stefano on March 14th, 2013

Arsene Wenger has just given Arsenal.com the scoop on who is in the squad for the game against Swansea this weekend, and it isn’t great news.

Firstly none of the players already out are going to be back for the crucial tie.

Wenger said

‘Sagna and Podolski will not be back. And Wilshere, as we know, is out as well. So the only one who will come back is Monreal because he was not qualified for the Champions League.’

Monreal’s return is of course a massive relief because guess who is injured again? After playing very well for much of the game against Bayern, Kieran Gibbs is going to get the weekend off

Wenger said

‘I think he will be out on Saturday. He had a little reaction on his thigh. He is not injured but we have to be cautious with it. He might be out.’

On everyone else Wenger said

‘Apart from that everyone who played [at Bayern] should be OK. There are bumps and bruises after a game of that intensity but that should be it.’

The game against Swansea could define the season for Arsenal. Dropping any points at all could see them start to drift behind Chelsea and Spurs in the race for Champions League places. Arsenal last played at Swansea in the FA Cup earlier this year where they managed to secure a draw. The season before The Swans won 3-2 in a very memorable game.

Interestingly Swansea also have a game against Spurs coming soon.

 



Football

Arsenal update: Where does the Monreal signing leave Kieran Gibbs?

By Stefano on February 4th, 2013

There’s no denying that Arsenal are looking a much stronger side than they did a few months ago. And while part on this is down to the scintillating form of Waclott, the ever growing confidence of Wilshere and the attacking flair of Giroud the defence has also played its part.

And in particular Arsenal’s key defender this season has arguably been Kieran Gibbs. At the start of the Liverpool, game Gibbs’ Arsenal future looked assured. Not only was he playing well and had signed a new long term contract, but after a series of disastrous performances no one believed that Andre Santos posed any real thereat to his position.

Then disaster – yet another injury- this time to the thigh – and Gibbs is out for over a month and Arsene Wenger – in old school parlance – got his cheque book out.

Nacho Monreal then looks like a superb signing. Against Stoke, a baptism of fire if there ever was one, he looked assured, always in control,  tough in the tackle and imaginative going forwards. Pretty much everything you’d want from a  left back. And it was clearly  no fluke. Take a peek at these these stats here. Monreal has been Malaga’s Mr Consistent. No wonder that Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini said that he was very sad to see him go.

The big question then is what happen when Gibbs returns to full fitness? Will he be straight back into the team? Sadly the answer is probably no. As accomplished a player as Gibbs is he has never managed a run of more than half a season without an injury and I think that pushed Wenger to move for a number one left back.

There were rumours that Wenger had decided he was going to sign Monreal in the summer anyhow and just pushed the deal forward. This might be true, but had Gibbs been injury-free for the season and Meade started to emerge as a potential replacement then I am not so sure that a left back would have been high of Wenger’s targets.

Wenger has gone on record as saying that he sees Monreal as one of the five best left backs in the world. I am not sure he would rate Gibbs quite as highly.

So I fear for the Arsenal future of Kieran Gibbs. For me he is a superb left back and way too good to be anyone’ s understudy. Who knows what the next six months will bring and maybe Wenger will give Gibbs the nod when he is fully fit.

But I think like Carl Jenkinson, this young Englishman is destined for a season or two not playing anything like as much football as he hoped.

More Arsenal

Who has the best squad Arsenal or Spurs?

Who else did Arsenal try and sign in the transfer window?

 



Football

Arsenal update: is Bong the team’s new left back?

By Stefano on January 31st, 2013

Arsene Wenger stated last night that he would be looking for a left back today, yet other than the obvious – Baines, Shaw etc – very few targets have emerged.

Now the Mail has revealed that Wenger might be looking to his traditional French territory for a replacement in the guise of Valenciennes’ Gaetan Bong.

The Cameroon international Bong, who is familiar face to several of the Arsenal team having played alongside Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud in France’s Ligue 2 three years ago, is a 24 year old who previously played for FC Metz. He gets the odd goal too having scored three times in his stint with Valenciennes.

There’s no source for The Mail story, but it seems pretty plausible and Bong could be picked up cheaply.

Kieran Gibbs is apparently going to be out for three weeks with a thigh injury.

Incidentally  Squawka has some interesting stats on Bong. Their conclusion is that he is just not good enouigh for the Premier League.



Football

Is Arsene Wenger right to build his team round young British players?

By Stefano on December 20th, 2012

Yesterday Arsene Wenger confirmed what was a pretty badly kept secret that five of his young British charges including Jack Wilshere, had signed long term contracts at the club. The move surprised very few people. Were Wilshere to follow his ex-colleagues on the road to The Etihad or the Camp Nou, then any talk of Arsenal being among Europe’s elite would surely be over for good.

Of the other four, Jenkinson, Oxlade Chamberlain and Gibbs clearly have big futures at the club while Wenger seems to believe more in the potential of Aaron Ramsey than many of the fans.

Wenger has also gone on record as saying how important a British base is to his team

He said

“I believe that we have a good core of young English players. We couldn’t keep the good core of young foreign players but I hope we will be capable of building the team around these English players and for them to achieve something together.

“I believe as well that when a club gives a chance to young players the players must say ‘let’s do it together’ because if you educate players at some stage their fate is in their own hands.”

This of course is a tad ironic from the first manager to ever field a whole team of foreigners in the Premiership in February 2005.

Also if Wenger believes that English players are more loyal to the club than those mercenary foreigners he would do well to remember that the among the first players who were at their peak who left the club was Ashley Cole in 2006.

Both of those dates are actually very interesting. Arsenal haven’t won a trophy since 2005 and I think one of the reasons (money is obviously the main one) Cole left in 2006 was because he felt more of an affinity with the English players who he had met on international duties at Chelsea than he did with all the foreigners at Arsenal.

British football has changed irrevocably since Wenger first took the reins at Arsenal in the late nineties. Then, his team of scouts who delivered some of the best players in France and beyond, were almost unique in the Premiership. These days everyone has teams all over the world searching for the stars of the future.

There does however seem a logic to building a team round British players. I guess Wenger wants to re-create the tightness and loyalty of the famous five defenders from the Graham era and hark back to the consistency of the pre-2005 days where the bed rock of the team was home grown.

The big question though is – are those players good enough to provide the foundations of the future for Arsenal?

Well here’s a quick verdict on all five

Jack Wilshere – For the first two or three games after his return every time Jack went near a challenge you could hear all The Emirates cringe. It does however appear that he is as robust as he can be at this stage and he just gets better in each game. Surely Wenger will make him captain soon. He is not only the most talented footballer that Arsenal’s youth team has bequeathed Wenger but he is articulate, smart and, for most of the time, level headed. I think he is the future of Arsenal.

Aaron Ramsey – I think most Arsenal fans would agree that Aaron simply hasn’t been the same since that tackle. Sure there have been flashes of brilliance but until his altercation with Ryan Shawcross he not only had confidence, he had swagger. These days he tends to disappear from games at times. And his goal scoring record isn’t what it ought to be for an attack minded midfielder. However, there have been moments this year (against City and Olympiakos) when the old Ramsey shone through. Also Wenger has played him out of position on the wing which hasn’t really been a success. He might not be the player that Wenger builds the team around, but he is a good long term bet for the future.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Another player who has had a rather mixed season. Again there have been flashes of genius, and the moments when he takes on defenders raises the temperature at The Emirates. Then there have been the games where he has failed to make any impact at all. It’ll be fascinating to see how pivotal he becomes to the team if Walcott does leave, even more so if Zaha is his replacement.

Carl Jenkinson – What a difference a year makes! The young defender, who looked like a rabbit in the headlights a year or so ago, has matured to the point where some Gunners are imagining a day where he takes over at right back from Bacary Sagna. Apart from some obvious mistakes (coughs Swansea) he has been very reliable this year and his crossing and attack player is constantly improving. I think the England right back berth is his for the taking.

Kieran Gibbs – If only he could shake off those injuries Gibbs would be one of the best left backs in England. With Baines unlikely to venture south and Wenger’s last experiment in finding a left back delivering a slightly bonkers Brazilian Gibbs really ought to be a feature in the Arsenal team for a very long time.

I think most Arsenal fans would answer the question about whether Arsene was right to tie up the players with a stroke of the chin. There is clearly a huge amount of potential there, but then there was with Denillson, Bendtner and Vela too. At the moment it seems as if Wenger has made a fairly safe bet. But only time will tell.



Football

Premiership preview – Is it time for Arsenal to drop their captain Thomas Vermaelen?

By Stefano on November 30th, 2012

It has been a difficult start to life as Arsenal captain for Thomas Vermaelen. The Belgian has been a popular figure at the club since his signing in 2009 and was handed the armband in the summer after the departure of Robin van Persie, but has performed disappointingly so far this season, making a couple of high-profile errors.

In stark contrast, Per Mertesacker has started the campaign very well, defending reliably and scoring his first goal in English football, the crucial equaliser at home to Tottenham. Meanwhile, Laurent Koscielny is probably the best partner for both players: Mertesacker needs a quick player alongside him, while Vermaelen appreciates the Frenchman sweeping up if he loses challenges.

This presents Arsene Wenger with a selection dilemma: Mertesacker is the first centre-back on the teamsheet at the moment, and Koscielny is his natural partner. That wasn’t an issue when Kieran Gibbs was injured, because Vermaelen could move out to left-back. But now Gibbs is available again, and offers a more reliable attacking threat from full-back. At home to Swansea, Arsenal will need someone who can stretch the play, and also a quick player against Swansea’s wing threat.

Vermaelen was omitted from the side that drew at Villa Park last weekend, but with Arsenal facing three league fixtures in eight days, that could be explained by squad rotation. Wenger leaving out his captain for a second consecutive weekend would be significant development; but on form, it’s Mertesacker, Koscielny and Gibbs who deserve to be in the side alongside Bacary Sagna.

This post courtesy of Pick Our Team. PickOurTeam is a new type of football community giving fans an opportunity to have a meaningful say on the formation and selection of their team. PickOurTeam is the voice of the fans – collecting views on who should play where and ratings on how the players, manager, and referee perform each week. Every match the findings are compiled and presented back to the fans.




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