Arsenal debate – Gibbs v Monreal – Who to start?

Arsenal fans have been crying out for a stronger Arsenal squad as well as more quality in the first team for years and this season, despite the fact that Arsene Wenger has still been forced to deal with a constant and lengthy injury list, the Gunners do seem to be in a batter situation.

In most of the positions in the team there is good competition for a place in the starting line-up and nowhere is that more true at the minute than at left back. While at the start of the season it was looking as if our academy product and England international Kieran Gibbs had pretty much nailed down his place, all that has changed recently.

It has been Gibbs that has had to cool his heels on the bench while Nacho Monreal put in performances of quality and consistency but after the way he played today, Gibbs will surely be hoping that he has changed the manager’s mind again.

It is great for Arsenal to have two top players fighting for the position but which is better? I think that in this case it can be something like the way Wenger was using Arteta and Flamini, with each more suited to certain games and certain opponents.

There is little doubt that Gibbs is the more attack minded of the two. His pace, crossing and link up play is a great asset for the Arsenal attack but he can be caught out of position and has not got the defensive discilpine that comes with age and experience.

Monreal has now proved himself to be ultra reliable and still gets forward himself, although not as much. So is there a case for Wenger to play each left back in the games most suited to their abilities? And which, if any, do you think has the edge?

Tags Wenger


  1. fred cowardly says:

    Use the eeney meeny miney mo method

    1. fred cowardly says:

      Seriously we seem to be sorted in defense (maybe back up LB). I feel we have good defense. Competition in LB and RB. Gabriel looked good today.

      Hopefully we can get more clean sheets.

  2. davidnz says:

    Just toss a coin .
    Draw straws
    Last whole foot.
    Consult their horror scopes
    A penalty shoot out first to miss.
    Closest to the pin on a par three perhaps ?

  3. Luko Bratzi says:

    The game looked like Middles borough were A Div 1 team. Gibbs did well but still not confident in passing forward. Monreal is more confident and that comes from experience.Bellerin and Monreal are first up with Gabreel looking to be the best to play in Champs lg,all in all a good win and Ozil, Gazola first class Walcot and Welbeck?????? not sure CB

  4. RSH says:

    Monreal had a bad game against Leicester, but he’s been excellent in about every other game. I still have to give the start to him, even though Gibbs did nothing wrong today. Monreal is also less of an injury risk as well. I’d rather just keep Monreal in the team than have another injury or something. Competition for places is tough and I like it. Hooray for selection headaches 🙂

  5. SaveArsenal says:

    Monreal (can’t believe I am saying this) is the better defender, as the OP said Gibbs gets caught too far forward.
    There were a number of times last night when we were playing with a back 2 and both L&RB were in the opposition half in normal play.
    We simply wouldn’t get away with that with most PL teams.

    OT like to see Akpom get some game time, 8 minutes at the end of a game isn’t gonna improve him.

    1. Sumo says:

      Akpom will get his chance. Just 19 with a new 3 years contract. He is in no rush. I think he would have come on earlier yesterday but for Girouds hattrick. Wenger had that wry smile when he bought off Giroud, almost like apologizing for not giving him the chance to complete his 3rd goal.

  6. Sumo says:

    We shouldn’t have lost to Sp*ds. We could have been 3rd.

  7. Dannosslar says:

    Let monreal continue

  8. JohnieB says:

    How is it we are so quick to forget about Gibbs? He was the most consistent and BEST player in the squad week in / week out before his injury, even when the rest of the squad was playing a bit shite (Anderlecht anyone?).

    Now Monreal has had an excellent run of games, but do we remember how crap he looked as Gomis headed easily past him to give Swansea a 2-1 victory?

    It is an excellent problem to have and I fully back both players, but come on. A fully fit Gibbs has to make into the first team.

    1. Luko Bratzi says:

      When he has confidence to pass the ball forward he will be very good.still not as good as Monreal for defending or going forward but by learning from Monreal,s game he has youth on his side.Would not give him first up in Champs Lge but certinaly coming on for a left midfielder with 15 to go CB

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