The Arsenal left back Kieran Gibbs has been rewarded for his club form for Arsenal today with a call-up to the England senior side by the manager Roy Hodgson. It is the latest step for Gibbs as he tries to finally make the progress in the game that his talent as a youngster suggested, but has been cruelly interrupted by a string of injuries.
The fact that the Arsenal defender, who turned 25 last week, has just three caps to his name despite getting his first call up by Fabio Capello tells you just how unlucky Gibbs has been. But I think he now has a great chance to start making that England left back spot his own, especially as the Man United youngster Luke Shaw has dropped down to the under 21s.
THe Gunner’s main competition is Everton’s Leighton Baines, who was unlucky himself to be kept out of the picture so long because of Ashley Cole. However, Baines has not really impressed since taking over and has not got anywhere near his club form with his country. Sometimes it happens that way and the fact that he turns 30 in a couple of months is not in his favour either.
So Hodgson may well be looking to the future and Gibbs at 25 is the stand out candidate. Two easy looking Euro qualifiers against Estonia and San Marino should give Gibbs at least one good chance to show what he can do and the two players’ club form so far this season has been similar, according to the stats on Squawka.com. There is just 0.01 difference in their overall score, while Gibbs does better on things like passing and possession with Baines edging it on chances created and the attacking side of things.
That is for Everton though and even on club form, Gibbs destroys him on the defensive side of things, which will become more important once England reach the finals of a tournament. So will Gibbs be the regular England starter at the Euro Championships in 2016?