Football FanCast columnist Billy Pearson wonders if the injury to Gael Clichy is perhaps a blessing in disguise.
There was a time that the prospect of losing Gael Clichy to injury appeared almost unthinkable, given what a massive player he was to this Arsenal team. That is no longer the case in my opinion, after months of poor form, and in many ways I believe that Clichy’s injury may in fact prove a possible blessing in disguise. The time had come to take him out of the side and give Gibbs his opportunity.
Wenger, as we know is extremely loyal and it takes a lot for him to take a player out of the firing line, but a change was needed, even if it did come at the expense of injury. In many ways there is a certain irony that it was the Spuds game that saw him injured, especially as it was the same fixture 12 months previous that started his downturn of form. I personally don’t think he has ever properly recovered from his mistakes that night and perhaps a lay off will help him rediscover his focus. There is no doubt in my mind that and inform Clichy is the best left back in the league, but we haven’t witnessed that from him for some time.
Clichy’s loss is certainly going to prove Kieran Gibbs’ gain and it will give us a chance to see this precocious talent get a run in the side. There is a lot of Cashley about Gibbs’ game and for me it would be good to see him get the run in the side he deserves and allow us to see if he will sink or swim in the Premier League. My view is that Gibbs doesn’t represent a risk at all and I have little fear that he’ll be able to continue to build on the impressive start he has already made with the Arsenal seniors, when he has been called upon before.
It is a great opportunity for him, especially given the shortage of English left backs to stake a claim for a place in the England squad, should he perform well for us and I am certain that I am not the only Arsenal fan who would take great pleasure in seeing knock Cole out of the team, hopefully in the not so distant future. Wenger has hinted that Capello is looking closely at Gibbs and is keen to see him playing regularly; it appears the Italian is now set to get his chance.