It's been over a month since my last blog, mainly due to the fact that little has happened surrounding our ongoing potential in's and outs saga. We do however find our side minus a left back, since Gael Clichy departed for Manchester City. Now transfer speculation may lead you believe we are going to sign Jose Enrique but given our inability to identify areas of urgent improvement I think we may well find ourselves replacing from.
Before I ramble about Gibbs, just remember that when Clichy replaced Ashley Cole, he had only started 35 games before taking over the role as the Arsenal left back. Gibbs has started 42 games. My point? Well everyone at the time was glad to see Cole leave (for none footballing reasons) because we had a potential replacement in the form of Clichy. Gael at the time was also a regular on the treatment table and he could only manage a maximum of 14 starts in any one season. Gibbs has had to endure an injury ravaged start to his career but he will have an excellent opportunity with pre-season ahead as he stakes his claim for the position. If Gibbs can't remain healthy then I think reluctantly, we'll open the cheque book for Enrique but Gibbs has until 31st August to prove himself.
Gibbs is a talented player, without any doubt. He is raw but then you don't see many mature 21 year old defenders (unless your name is Tony Adams) but he is very much in the mold of Cole. His forte is definitely attacgoing down the flanks, which is something we need to add to our side. Clichy contributed little in the way of goals and assists but I'm confident Gibbs will surpass that ratio pretty quickly. Gibbs has the ability to whip in quality crosses, he can beat a man, shoot from distance and on occasions get in the box. All things that you might believe Clichy had in his locker but ultimately the stats don't lie (although how GC22 kept that 'strike' at Stoke I'll never know). Gibbs will relish this role and he will also be helped from the feeling of being the Arsenal Left Back. I don't think he quite believes he has earned the respect of his team mates and he has at times played within himself but you don't gain 2 England caps without having some form of ability.
Wenger has prided himself on not killing off the talent we have at the club and with just under 2 months before the transfer window closes, it would be silly to attempt to sign a player when the answer could be solved in house. Ultimately though this is down to Gibbs, if we wants to remain an Arsenal player his time is now. No excuses!