Arsenal Debate – Is Monreal now pushing Gibbs for starting XI?

Monreal has improved over the summer by KJ

Nacho Monreal has received a lot of criticism for his performances last season (including me). He was especially poor against the bigger teams and was specifically targeted because he lacked the protection and pace to offset it.
This season however, he has been far better and that is down to a few factors:

Firstly, he isn’t always rushed back after an injury and is therefore thrown in the thick of it.
His form has clearly improved over the summer and that probably comes from a good pre-season and tactical analysis of his performances over the summer with Wenger coaching him through his mistakes.

I also think it comes from the fact that the team is more balanced with Debuchy and Monreal over Sagna and Monreal. That’s mainly because he is a more defensive player and the offensiveness of Debuchy forces teams to not press us so much whilst with Sagna, teams didn’t mind pressing us as we couldn’t offensively hurt them.

His performance against Everton epitomised his improvement. Last time round, he was absolutely destroyed by Lukaku and Everton got all their joy down the right hand side. Now I expect people to bring up the fact that both goals for Everton this time round were scored from their right side but let’s take a better look at it. The first goal was a ball from the left that should’ve been prevented by the likes of Debuchy/Chamberlain and even then it was Özil who allowed Coleman to score that goal, not Monreal. The second goal had a clear foul on us and a clear offside as well. That goal shouldn’t have counted at all and rather than it being a measure of Monreal’s performance, it is a measure of how poor the officiating has become in England.

I criticised Nacho a lot last season and I’m glad that the Spaniard has seemingly turned it around. Now we just have to hope he keeps up this form as Gibbs hasn’t showed any signs of not being built out of a few twigs and some string. So is there now a real battle between the two Arsenal left backs?

Tags Gibbs Wenger


  1. since alexis arrived monreal an him have become gd friends. nacho looks more content, is playing more consistently…
    man love is a beautiful thing (no homo)

    1. I don’t think the arrival of sanchez has much to do with naco performing. It’s just that fact that ha has adapted to the style of play in England and has learned from his mistakes and is turning into a quality LB. He looks a lot more comfortable this season and I hope he continues this way. He even looked good at CB vs shitty (not saying we should use him at cb).

  2. I dont think keiran gibbs will have a problem retaining his place! No disrespect to nacho though, but gibbs pace is a factor also!

    1. Gibbs is a good left back and probably better than Monreal. he problem is his injury record. For me Monreal has to be the first choice now, with Gibbs as back up. Monreal is a good LB too. A lot of criticism against him can also be attributed to the fact that the guys put on our left wing offer very little defensively It also can’t help knowing that Gibbs is automatically chosen as soon as he is fit, rather than having to fight for his place. When he gets into his grove Monreal is very capable as a full back. He just needs a good run at the position with the support of Wenger and he will get his full mojo back. That’s my view anyway.

    2. It’s all about game time Monreal is now the player to beat and he gets better each game where as Gibbs hasn’t improved as prone to injuries,hope fully as he gets older his body will adapt as it is very hard to get back just like Diarby has had problems Pleased for Monreal C B

  3. You really need to stop this bull, every time a member of the team shows some improvement you just can’t be happy for him. No,No, No… we’ve got to look for another team mate to rip apart

    If man-city fans start bashing aguero every time he’s injured and jovetic is stepping up I don’t think thier team would have such high spirits.

    Ramsey shines Wilshire is shit, Sanogo scores four goals ,just sell Giroud ,Sanchez has a bad ,he wasn’t want we needed

    Shut up and support the team if someone has a good day it doesn’t mean it’s open season on another. God!!!.

  4. hes not good enough..

    even the Spanish National team realise that…

    we need a proper quality LB to challenge Gibbs…

    1. Hafiz rahman, why are you so negative? is it cuz your national team (Malaysia) sukks so much in football? Has that left you with a dark feeling regarding football? why dont you try another sport, like hockey on grass

        1. we are ok on the left and right side of defense. There is no need for anyone in that department. You can’t have to world class LB players in a team. It wont happen.

        2. Yeah right, Hafiz is the one genuinely wanting the best for Arsenal. Is there something cerebral or virtuous in wanting the best, most faddish, most expensive players in the world replacing everyone in our squad? At some point in the discussion the real world comes knocking at the door. You need substance to be genuine.

  5. Is it a coincidence that he looks much better defensively and offensively? Sanchez has been the difference in Monreals development this season. Sanchez is a work horse, he is always up and down on that left hand hustling defenders and helping out his left back when in any danger..

    1. Sanchez has played on the left once…
      I just think we were too quick to judge monreal and maybe he needed a full season to adapt like kos and per did.

  6. It’s all about team work, if all the players can work together as a team, work on partnerships then we will see them improve even better..

    Midfielders hunting for that ball in packs, who ever is playing as a winger to help out his fullback, strikers holding up the ball, running in behind and occupying the opposing defenders..

    If we can do this then we will be up their come the end of the season…

    TEAM WORK, HARD WORK is the key… Sluggish players and slow play is the problem..

  7. f Gibbs cannot get over his injury problems, Nacho will keep getting starts and if he keeps playing well like he has been (even with little help from players in front of him), I dont see why i cant get a regular spot. His crosses are also better than Gibbs, though his one-on-one defending could use a lot of work. I never rated Monreal poorly and always said he was a good LB and now he is showing it. And because of that, I’ll also get over my anti Welbeck craze and give him a chance. COYG

  8. Competition is always good.

    I hope the competition between welbeck, Giroud and Campbell makes them all better.

    Monreal is capped for Spain so he can’t be bad.

    I also hope Jenkinson gives Debuchy competition when he comes back.

  9. No, Monreal will not push Gibbs out of the starting spot. But it is great to realize he is playing well enough that people might consider the idea. Can only be good for the club.

  10. The weekend is so fcuking boring. It doesn’t even appear the season has got underway.

    I am tired of reading international match reports.

  11. I still think Gibbs is better overall, but obviously his injuries are stopping him from progressing further. On the other hand, Monreal has been fantastic this season, and arguably our best player so far, along with Chambers and Sanchez. I got so frustrated during the Everton game because Monreal was making some fantastic runs down the left, and was constantly ignored with everyone cutting inside into about 8 Everton players!

    It’s a shame that every time we lose game, the first names people automatically attack are always Giroud, Arteta, Szczcesny, and Monreal…even if they’ve played well.

  12. Nacho is playing well at the moment because he has had a decent run of games and will only get better if he continues, gibbs may have better pace , but monreal wins in other departments, the only reason why GIBBS get more games than monreal is because wenger is intent on selecting his english core, to the detriment of the team at times.

    I have seen WILSHERE , OX AND GIBBS played , when there were other alternatives available and not fully recovered from injuries, therefore they continue to pick up some injuries that stop their progress.

    Would love to see sanchez play on the left side a lot more, so he and monreal develop a better understanding

  13. Monreal knows his weaknesses, i noticed in his game that he is playing way more smarter. He knows that he cant bully his player off the ball, so he is playing smart by tracking him and waiting for the oponnents to make a mistake. Alaways.

    As for the previous topics and some coments i read before, i must say that this site has surely some of the biggest retards i have ever seen.

  14. Dream on! Be real any team that want to put in a challenge for for any of the silverware that on offer to us will not win it if monreal, arteta or giroud are our first choice players. Now I’m not slagging them off because they give 100 per cent in the games that they play, fact is they are just not good enough and that is down to the manager to address. As I read some of the comments I realize that some here are content with just being in the champs league and some are content with 4th place. I for one believe that with a few more squid invested in the team we could beat anyone in the world but with the team we have it’s not gonna happen.
    We all know the areas that needs strengthening dm, cb and striker. What would it have took 30-40 million for those areas and we probably would have got that back through a higher league finish, going further in the champs league, more shirt sale and more sponsor wanting to get on board with a successful team. Not to mention our stock price are you listening kroenke!

  15. Monreal IMO is better than gibbs this year, his crosses are far more lethal and he’s more dangerious to defense coming from the left than gibbs is. I think Last year gibbs looked like the better defender but i mean the boy is very injury prone and b/c of that hasn’t improved at all.

  16. we still need to spend big in Jan if we want to win the title….

    we are playing utd in april….beating utd and winning the title at old trafford, in front of Rvp will be epic….

    come on wenger ….spend the money

    1. If Wenger thinks that our 4th place will be in danger then we will. Some top class player, Kallstrom style or mayb. Its to bad that we didnt bought Draxler last year. He is expensive but our Lw poz is non existent.

    2. we only need two players… we all know those positions…. And we’ll have to start selling players at a point as well because we’ve been spending a lot recently actually. If Poldi doesnt get game time leading up to January, he’ll probably be out.

    3. AW spend big? And in January?? Keep dreaming boy…

      By January we will be out of the title so need to spend big as we will make the 4th place trophy. By Feb we will also be out of the CL.

  17. I wouldn’t put sick note Gibbs in for Monreal when he is fit Monreal is playing steady and well for me at the moment and that is ok for me considering Gibbs is average at left back anyway.
    We could do with a new left back as both are not of the required standard a premier league winning side needs.
    But over the years some sides have had relatively weak fullbacks and still won the league.

  18. I’m going to be the realist here and say that fourth would be a solid end to our season and here is why I say this.

    First of all if we are being perfectly honest with ourselves we simply do not have the squad to win the league at the moment, we do not have enough quality and the balance for the team is shaky at the moment. Between now and the January window Arsenal has 2 strikers to compete in competitions with 1 of which we do not have faith in, not much cover for the back four and we only have 1 plan of action in which to break down teams. I just don’t think that pound for pound in comparison to Chelsea and City we will be able to compete. Thus far Chelsea, City and Liverpool and Arsenal the teams to be tipped to competing for the title have played at least 1 top 6 team and we are the only ones that haven’t had a convincing performance against the other. Liverpool dominated Spurs and were unlucky in the City match, City was solid vs Liverpool despite losing to stoke. Chelsea went to the ground that we barely drew at and straight up powered through Everton at a ground not many people win at.

    I just don’t think over the course of the season we will be able to keep up with City and Chelsea.

    Now I think that we SHOULD be very careful with how we progress because small things could very well send us 5th, Man U are terrible at the moment, this is true but with a team of Falcao, Di Maria, RVP Rooney and Mata it is only a matter of time before things start clicking. If they do not get a CL spot by the time May comes that will be sad but it has to come at the expense of some other team. By no stretch of the imagination would I count Everton out of anything either.

    Wegner should have solidified more in this window.

    1. My realistic side of me couldn’t agree more with you…
      but then ALL OF A hopelessly optimistic side strikes and tries to
      win the opposing side by solid arguments,such as:

      a)If Ozil keeps underperforming(IMO) then he might start kissing off his impression of being one of world’s finest No 10 —> in order to re-set his career in a succesfull orbit he does his best,thrives-and through his thrive,Arsenall shall thrive too.
      b)Alexis Sanchez is just pure world class quality.Everywhere and anytime 🙂
      c)Danny,will break his leash and then..terror will be spread upon his enemies and justice will prevail (just following the pattern of the movie “Danny the dog”,hope i remember the story of that movie right 😛
      d)Got a new world class member in our medical staff that amongst other abilities and skills
      he specializes in healing just every kind of injury of a DEFENDER in just two working days (for other players’s positions he needs a bit more 🙂 )
      e)Chambers is of pure quality-nothing to brag a lot,yet.

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