Kieran Gibbs Proves Why He Should Be Starting for Arsenal Over Nacho Monreal


Given the competition and the opponent, Arsene Wenger was allowed to experiment with his starting XI a little to get some players much needed playing time.

Kieran Gibbs was one such case. Usually confined to bench duties for reasons unknown, Gibbs started in place of his usurper, Nacho Monreal.

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And what I saw confirmed what I already knew.

Gibbs should be starting.

The left back was a more impressive striker than Welbeck as well as being the best defender on the team. His footwork was deft in attack, he weaved through defenders like Alexis Sanchez and he even contributed an assist on a perfect pass to Olivier Giroud for his first goal of the match.

It was just an established fact that the left side of the pitch – the entire left side, from corner to corner – was Gibbs’s domain and anyone else that dared venture into that territory was a guest in his house, and could be removed whenever he saw fit.

But what makes this performance so noteworthy is that this is literally what Gibbs does every time on the pitch. He had a bit of a stinker against Southampton on New Years, but so did every single member of the starting XI that day. Why Gibbs has had to be the scapegoat is beyond me.

Kieran Gibbs has earned several Pain in the Arsenal man of the match awards this year and very rarely has his rating been anything less than a 7.5. Even when he hasn’t been man of the match, he’s often times been our best defender during times when our defense just wasn’t that good.

Injuries have been Gibbs’s problem throughout his career, but now that he’s healthy he needs to be playing. Gibbs has been one Gunner who has lived up to his potential as long as he’s been able to stay healthy and he deserves a cemented spot on that back line just like Per Mertesacker and Laurent Kocielny do.

It takes a lot to impress Arsene Wenger and it takes even more to change his mind, but Gibbs is the best left back on this team, he constantly performs as the best defender on the team and yet he’s second choice.

According to, Gibbs was the third best player in the match against Middlesbrough, and I’d have to agree. Only Olivier Giroud, who netted a brace, and Mesut Ozil, who is looking like an absolute magician, scored higher than our prolific left back.

I think it’s about time he gets his rightful place back.

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