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End of Season Report Kieran Gibbs

May 20, 2012

Kieran Gibbs

Name Kieran Gibbs

  • Born September 26, 1989 Lambeth, London
  • Position Defender
  • Squad Number 28
  • Previous Club(s) Norwich City (loan) Wimbledon
  • Joined Arsenal September 10, 2007
  • 2011-12 Prem 15 (1 sub) (1 Goal) Europe 4 (1 sub) League Cup 1 (1 goal)

Gibbs began his career at the Wimbledon academy and moved to Arsenal when Wimbledon disbanded in 2004. He started at Arsenal as a winger and now plays at left back. Arsène Wenger moved Kieran into the back four after he returned from a loan spell with Norwich in 2008. Gibbs has bags of pace and a natural attacking instinct make him a good outlet when Arsenal go forward. Gibbs has been an able deputy for Gael Clichy since he left for money bags Manchester City.

Gibbs started the first game of the season at Newcastle but picked up hamstring injury and did not play against Udinese. He was in the first team as Arsenal lost only once during September and he grabbed his first goal in the 3-1 win over Shrewsbury.

“In pre-season I scored a few and then when the season comes I always come close and never score,” he said. “But my luck has changed.”

Having started in matches against both Tottenham and Sunderland, Gibbs picked up another injury that sidelined him for the rest of September. Gibbs continued to pick up injuries, Groin as well and was out for almost four months and finally returned for the nightmare match against Milan away in the Champions League and then started in the 5-2 win over Spuds.

 “At one point we had so many players out, and it just hurt to see the team effectively cut in half,” he said. “It was so frustrating, and when you can’t help the team you almost blame yourself in some ways. You wonder why it’s happening, and just want to get back as soon as possible.”

Gibbs continued his good form to play a part in Arsenal’s seven-match winning streak in the league. He grabbed his first Premier League goal in the 3-0 win over Villa and featured in every one of Arsenal’s six matches in March. No coincidence that now having two fulls back Gibbs and Sagna we look more comfortable

“He slowly became himself again and you see that most of the time for a full back with the initiative it takes going forward,” said Arsene Wenger. “Defensively in the challenges he is stronger. I still feel there is more to come from him and from game to game there are improvements there. He was transformed into a full back but the natural [ability] always comes out. It is good because we have a game that is based on that.”

Gibbs featured three times in April , helping Arsenal keep clean sheets against Manchester City and Chelsea.

“We have to finish the season strongly,” he said. “The way we see it is that if we win our games then we secure our position in third. We shouldn’t lose focus now.”

Gibbs started the 3-3 draw against Norwich and then came on in the last game of the season and made a vital tackle denying Jones from maybe scoring with a last-ditch challenge in injury time. What some fans have called the £35m tackle.

“The boss has always says, ‘you have to be ready when you come off the bench’ and Gibbsy made probably made the most important tackle of his career so far,” said team-mate Theo Walcott.

I think Gibbsy has what it takes to be a very good left back. fast, can tackle well, gets forward and can put in a good cross. Still work to do though and this could be helped with fewer injuries to his stop-start career so far. Hopefully he can push on next season and make the position his own.

Trivia

  • He came through the Arsenal Academy as a midfielder
  • As a youngster his heroes included Dennis Bergkamp and Ian Wright
  • He made his England debut on the same night as Jack Wilshere
  • His favourite hobby outside of football is table tennis
  • He would choose Denzil Washington to play him in a film of his life

Marks out of 10 – (6)

@harlowgooner.

Next up getting away from football for a day Johan Djourou

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