Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Wenger backs Gibbs to challenge Monreal

Arsene Wenger believes Kieran Gibbs is more than capable of regaining his status as Arsenal’s first choice left back having slipped behind Nacho Monreal in the pecking order.

The England international, who has made 183 competitive appearances since his Gunners’ debut in 2007, is expected to make a second start of the season against Sp*rs this evening having racked up just 105 minutes on the pitch in three other appearances.

Backing the 25-year-old to bounce back from the disappointment of being a regular on the bench, the boss told Arsenal Player:

“For me Kieran is a great player with a fantastic potential and he was in front of Nacho for long periods, but now is a bit behind in the pecking order.

“He can make that up again because he has a huge amount of talent. He can get in front of him again. This is one of the opportunities that he has to show that.

“The players’ job is to be motivated,” noted Wenger on whether he finds it tough keeping his squad happy.

“I have a decision to make with who I pick and who I don’t pick. On the other hand, if I go into a season with only one left back everybody will say that it’s not responsible. To be in a big club today you have to cope with that.

“If you think that the club plays 60 games, everybody gets their fair share of games. The most important [thing] is that they are at the level and there’s a fair competition. I try to be fair.

“At the end of the day I can only play one, but the most important thing is that they are both at the level to play for Arsenal. Both are huge players and that is what we want.”

In other news, Alex Iwobi – who could also feature in the Capital One Cup at White Hart Lane – has been received his first senior call up from Nigeria after FIFA granted clearance for the winger to play for the country of his birth despite England appearances at youth level.

The winger impressed Super Eagles’ coach Sunday Oliseh with his pre-season appearances for Arsenal and will be part of his squad for upcoming friendly games with Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon. Both games will be played in Belgium in October.

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Bloody hell, everyone’s getting backed this week.

Let’s hope that includes backing Sp*rs into a corner tonight and debagging them in front of their home crowd.


Monreal is 30 next year whereas turns 26 in a few days. Gibbs has several years to ahead of him to be our key man, but he needs to make sure he doesn’t lose focus otherwise that won’t happen. There’s a big opportunity this summer for him too.


Gibbs turns 26*



I don’t. Gibbs is prone to brain farts, and has not improved in any area of defending that he was not strong in already. Or going forward for that matter.
Is our team the only one that seems to get so little heat internally for abysmal defensive errors? They just keep getting picked and not fixing it


Speaking of brain farts…. he’s not been getting picked. He’s been demoted and told to improve.

Dan Hunter

If he is not getting worse he hasn’t really improved either, especially considering he has been at Arsenal since his teens. He should have made the LB position his own years ago. Too many mistakes and inconsistencies shows he is not good enough for Arsenal.

Merty BFG

No idea why you’ve got those downvotes, I completely agree with you. Defensively he is the same as he was years back, going forward all he does is pass the ball back. Not like he’s good with his head either. Again, I don’t believe Wenger when he says that he will try to improve the squad if he thinks there is a better player. Not only did we need cover for DM but also for LB. Thank the lord Le Coq and Monreal aren’t injury prone!

Dan Hunter

‘If I go into a season with only one left back everybody will say that it’s not responsible’ – are you taking the piss Mr. Wenger? Past few seasons we have gone in exposed. Last season it was in CB. This season in DM. Every season since we sold the cunt, we have been short up front. Yes, you are irresponsible Mr. Wenger

Gandalf the Gooner

I don’t back him marking at front post


In fairness, he does get it right occassionally: See preventing us going 3-0 down in the 2014 FA Cup final against Villa.


Agree…it was an important clearance….and again, it was Hull… how could you forget that?

Clock-End Mike

And how does the fact that it was Hull (who had already scored 2 goals which weren’t even against the run of play) make it any less of a good, alert and important clearance?


’14, ’15, all those FA Cups and it’s hard to keep them straight.


Weren’t it Gibbs that put it over the bar when he could of made it 3-2 in regular time?

Merlin's Panini

Yep, but then he’s a left back so what do you expect?


I would expect Monreal-like composure when he was faced with de gea. Gibbs missed when it was easier to score. That’s the least of his follies though.
There is a lack of accountability in this team. I only ever saw Per bawling people out for messing up.


I hope Gibbs and other squad players who start the game tonight are up to it than the games against Zagreb.

Bring on the Tots


Admittedly,Gibbs has been prone to injury lay-offs over the last few seasons.However his ability to read the game and,therefore,to defend has not improved in any way.In fact he seems to be getting progressively worse.His performance in the Champions League was abysmal.Whilst Monreal has,at the same time, made a concerted effort to improve his game, Gibbs has gone backwards.The prospect of Gibbs,Debuchy,Arteta and the two CB “slow-coaches” doesn’t altogether fill me with confidence.

Jack Wheelchair

He’s too ‘nice’…we’ve lots of players who are too bloody nice!!

Man Manny

Arsene says he is “a bit behind Monreal” in the left back position but I think it is more than a bit. Monreal is an excellent defender who is even getting better and better. His positioning is superb and the timing of his overlapping is close to perfect. You will hardly see him stranded though the emergence of Coquelin has helped in that direction. Yes Gibbs can get there but I am struggling to see where he will have that extended period in the side needed for that level of improvement. His only hope is the ‘Bellerin Way’ – a… Read more »


My biggest gripe with Gibbs is his attacking, particularly his crossing.
His defensive frailties can be somewhat overlooked of he had great attacking flair, like Hector. But he seems to get to the byline and then….. passes it back. Or whips in those slow, pointless crosses that gives the opposing team’s defensive enough time to get back, have a game of back gammon, ponder and discuss the meaning of life, and then clear the ball.

Merlin's Panini

Is he playing a game of “guess how long the pole up your arse is” in the picture?

Yorkshire Gunner

Solid tonight and a cracking header off the line.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x