Posts Tagged ‘Kieran Gibbs’

Optimism: hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something. Now, please do not mistake this for ‘delusions of grandeur’, which, when ‘defined’ into Google, reads ‘Liverpool Football Club’.

Being an optimistic fan is often counter attacked by a sarcastic comment (or simply “#deluded”) and since the signings of Lukas Podolski, Olivier ‘everyone’s man-crush’ Giroud and Santi CaTHorla (I doubt Paul Merson will ever pronounce our diminutive playmaker’s name right), I, Daniel Tregoning Blazer have become something of an optimist.

It has been a while since I can honestly say I have been an optimistic Arsenal fan, rather than deluded, bordering on neurotic, one. Every fan has suffered from this grandeur and every season since Patrick Vieira smashed home that penalty against Manchester United to win the FA Cup in 2005 I have, without hesitation, stood by my opinion/delusion that this year will be Arsenal’s…so what’s changed?

Well, this isn’t ‘Arsenal’s year’. BUT next season IS.

Robin van Persie HAS been replaced (sorry to burst the Sun’s ‘Arsenal will cease to exist’ bubble). No, I know we haven’t signed Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente or Napoli’s Edinson Cavani or re-re-signed Jeremie Aliadiere (we haven’t have we?!) but Arsene has shared the workload. Lukas Podolski, Oliver Giroud and Theo Walcott are capable of 12-15 goals each; Santi Cazorla, Gervinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere and the rest of the midfield will easily score 6-10 goals each; according to my Mathematics that makes…a hell of a lot more than 30. So front-line, goals- SORTED.

The midfield (with Nuri Sahin finally signing) is complete. Many sections of the Emirates would argue we need that Claude Makelele defensive midfielder and I definitely wouldn’t say no to a Yann M’Vila or Etienne Capoue signing but it is a luxury a self sustaining business model like AFC doesn’t need right now; I would even argue Mikel ‘future Brylcreem ambassador’ Arteta is our DM? The wealth of options in the midfield is something that even Manchester ‘lets buy every flavour of the month’ City don’t have.

Now, to two words that usually send shudders down even the most positive of Gunners, ‘Arsenal’s defence’. This is an area that definitely is a weakness but not in the proportions that pundits would care for you to believe.

Laurent Koscielny was the 2nd best Premier League defender last season (behind Vincent Kompany) although I’m still waiting for the upper echelons of the media to realise this?!

Now for my optimism to become reality in the Premier League season of 2013/14, Le Profeseur needs to shift Thomas Vermaelen out to left back (*goes into hibernation through fear of backlash at this suggestion*) and here is why; ignoring the fact that the newest resident of Cell Block H, Andre Santos can’t defend and Kieran Gibbs is probably overrated and from the same gene pool as Amaury Bischoff, TV5’s understanding of when to ‘stay’ and when to ‘go’ is, frankly, criminal; for every heroic winner against Newcastle United, there are three or four occasions when our new captain misjudges situations and gets caught out of position but Koscielny ‘mops up’.

So, with Verm out on the left and obviously Bacary Sagna at right back, who to partner Koscielny at the heart of the defence? Phillipe Mexes? Sakho? Why not Per Mertesacker? Okay, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks (or pace) but he is an option I love AFC being able to have. So for me, CB is an issue and the final piece of the jigsaw that will see us back in amongst the trophies.

Arsene Wenger nearly didn’t make it, had to drag several thousand of us ‘kicking and screaming’ to the new era of Arsenal Football Club and admittedly come the end of the current campaign it will have taken seven seasons to get ‘there’ but, boy will it be worth it. You can quote me on that!

Think I’m deluded? Or just want to tell me what your perfect Sunday would be? Then find me on Twitter @DanielTBlazer

Arsenal have had a pretty good recent track record with left backs, with Ashley Cole going on to become arguably the best left back in the world at the moment and Gael Clichy (perhaps excluding this season) has been one of the best Premier League players in his position over recent seasons. Throughout this period, Arsenal fans have been promised an up-and-coming England starlet who will go on to make the Arsenal left back position his own, for years to come, just like Nigel Winterburn; as of yet the Gunners faithful are still waiting for Kieran Gibbs to really make that permanent break through into the starting eleven though, but why?

Gibbs has suffered more injuries than most for someone so young; in the 2009-10 season he broke his metatarsal against Standard Liege, sidelining him for the season. The injury couldn’t have been timed worst for the young Gunner, just as Clichy was out for a several weeks and Gibbs had begun to make the left back spot his own.

The young Englishman has made forty starting appearances for Arsenal since 2007 and has shown throughout this period that he has the pace, intelligence, anticipation and technique to become a great footballer; surely now, with injuries behind him and Clichy’s form and commitment being criticised on a regular basis, it is time for Wenger to do what he does so well, and give the ‘Young Guns’ a chance. Which begs the question as to why Le Professeur hasn’t used the Englishman frequently, as of yet?

Perhaps it is because, on a couple of occasions over the seasons, Kieran Gibbs has lacked certain elements of an experienced professional. I’m referring to Gibbs’ costly slip-up against Manchester United in the Champions League in 2009; admittedly errors are still part of even the most experienced pro’s game, but it is their ability to not let such things effect their whole game which separates them from the rest. Yet a clearly distraught Gibbs was substituted at half time, showing an inability to cope which may cross Wenger’s mind whenever playing Gibbs, however, surely it is playing the Englishman that boosts confidence and allows for the player’s development in such scenarios?

At the age of 21, Gibbs will soon be approaching his prime as a footballer, and with the continual transfer circus surrounding the last Invincible, Clichy, Gibbs will no doubt be thrust into the limelight should his team mate move onto pastures new, and this time I’m sure he will swim.