By Walter Broeckx
I know in Belgium they make a lot of fuss about the fact that Vermaelen isn’t able to get in to the Arsenal team this season. And they say it might ruin his chances for the Belgium national team.
Now to be honest I don’t give a fuck about that national team. And the people from that same national team easily forget that it was them who played him when he already had a problem with his back at the end of last season and resulting in Vermaelen being out all preseason, missing the start of the season and now sitting on the bench because of the chemistry of the combination Per-Kos.
Maybe in Spain they will make the same noises about Monreal. He is sitting on the bench most of the time at Arsenal for the moment. So it might be bad for his chances to get his place in the Spanish team for the world cup. But the season is still long and as we could see yesterday Gibbs who has played an awful number of games already can and should get some rest from time to time.
It was for me a bit of a surprise to see Monreal start and not Gibbs. I think so far this season Gibbs has been in excellent form. Most of the time the keeping of clean sheets is attributed to the combination Per-Kos but it would be not acceptable to not mention Sagna and Gibbs and give them the credit they deserve. And Szczesny of course.
Gibbs played an important part and as an attacking left back has not only helped in keeping the other teams away from scoring but also joins in attack and helps scoring goals. The biggest victim of Gibbs being outstanding is Monreal. And I kind of feel for him.
Because whenever he has played he has only showed that he too is really a high class left back. Each time when he came on he was right in the action. And on a few occasions he came on as a sub to kill of games and played in front of Gibbs as a left midfielder. I remember the Crystal Palace match when we were down to 10 men and he came on and he shielded the defence on the left flank but was instrumental in us going forward when we got the chance.
He hasn’t put a foot wrong whenever he played this season. And maybe he played not enough. Because yesterday when given the chance to start he showed exceptional quality once again.
His most important moment was of course his goal line clearance. On a rare occasion that Andy Townsend, the “neutral pundit who loves English teams as long as they are not called Arsenal” could have shouted get in, it was Monreal that made sure that our 2 goal lead stayed intact. And that at the end of the day we could register another clean sheet.
Now if we only go back some 12 months we all remember that when Gibbs couldn’t play because of an injury or fatigue we had to play Santos at left back. When things didn’t work out for Santos as hoped and part of the crowd got on his back it was clear that something had to be done about the left back situation. And when Gibbs was injured in January we brought in Monreal.
Watch Arsenal Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv
I have heard that he was a summer target but because of the situation we took him in January. And he really has settled in nicely in the team. In fact I cannot remember that after a match I felt that he had a bad game.
Yesterday once again he showed that he can be as good as Gibbs without any problem. Going up and down his flank and I think on a few occasions his team mates should have used him more when he made a great run forward but wasn’t picked for the pass. I remember Rosicky having a bad shot when Monreal could have only the keeper to beat if Rosicky would have passed the ball to him.
So when we look at the left back position it is clear to see that we have two great left backs. And both of them can also play in a more advanced role when needed according to the match situations. But usually only one left back can start a game. And I think because of his great performance Monreal is giving Wenger a headache in who to pick for the next game.
In the past Gibbs has been a bit injury prone (also because of some injuries from bad kicks) and we should be careful not to overload him. So I don’t have any problem with Monreal starting a few more games in the place of Gibbs.
I think we have 2 great left backs at out disposal for the moment and whoever we play I feel sure they will do their best and will help the team out defensively and in attack.
What a turnaround compared to 12 months ago. And what a problem for Wenger to keep both of them happy. But better for him to have such problems than as we had a few seasons ago looking at the supporters in the stands thinking: who can be the next left back.
And once again one of the players involved was a player that most of us never really heard of before we bought him. Like I said before, I feel a bit sorry for Monreal and his game time this season. He deserves more, but then again…Gibbs has also been exceptional this season. Just rotate them Arsène, just rotate them and keep them both fit and sharp.
- Could AVB make it 14 at Tottenham?
- Arsenal – Marseille 2-0 : Pulling up the handbrake after 32 seconds
- Marseille playing at squad rotation, for Arsenal a win takes us almost there.
- The Champions League group of death, possible scenarios, all the outcomes.
- Qatar, the Emirates, Disneyworld, football, religion, heat
- A round up of the weekend; the joy, the utter disgrace
- 60 Things We Learnt From Spurs Loss to ManC
- Man C 6 Tottenham 0; Man U 8 Arsenal 2. Which was worse?