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Wenger’s Selection Headache: Kieran Gibbs vs Monreal, Who Should Start Games For Arsenal?

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Kieran Gibbs vs Monreal

After a solid performance against Marseille on matchday 4 of the Champions League, the argument has come around again on why the former Osasuna man isn’t getting more game time in North London? The only person who knows the answer to that question is Arsene Wenger.

Kieran Gibbs
Kieran Gibbs

It seems hard to doubt the manager that made Arsenal what they are today, but with the return to form of Gervinho after leaving the Gunners, they will not want another case of losing a player who could have meant so much to them. The London native has spent all 6 of his professional career years owned by Arsenal, and has only spent 1 away, a loan spell with Norwich City in 2008, and that may give us some indication to why the French coach seems to favour him, but there is no place for favourites in a club aiming to win trophies, dead wood must be cast out and talent allowed to flourish.

Did Monreal did enough?
Is Monreal better than Gibbs?

Maybe he’s hoping for a similar turn around to that of Aaron Ramsey, often criticised in his earlier career, this season looks to be a defining one for the young Welshman. With 6 goals and 4 assists so far in the Premier League this season, Wenger’s faith has paid off, and although it was a long time coming, Arsenal have the midfielder they were craving since Gilberto Silva left for Greece in 2008, and at the age of 22, he could be a starter for the next decade.

As Gibbs is now 24, he should now be entering the prime of his career, but yet there is still no sign of that happening. The English man although goes forward more often than not, his end products have never been productive. Monreal, now 27, was one of the best wing-backs in Spain before his move to Arsenal, and surely that should be enough to grant him a starting berth, but seemingly, that isn’t enough for Wenger, which leaves us, yet again wondering why he isn’t the one roaming down the wings of the Emirates Stadium, but the unreliable England international is.

One great difference between Monreal and Gibbs according to me is, Monreal technically passes the ball very well when he comes close to the edge of the box. A touch of the Spanish class comes with the left-back, the passes he plays in the final third are better than what Gibbs does. And another important factor is that Monreal rarely gets caught out of positions which is a real downfall of Gibbs’ game. If he is given a decent run of games, we will see what he can do which doesn’t seem to be happening at the moment.

With everything taken into consideration, Monreal is still the better option, and with reported interest from La Liga Sides including Valencia. With the World Cup coming up, Monreal will want regular game-time, meaning Wenger must make the right decision before it’s too late.

Let’s compare some stats on Monreal’s game against Marseille and Gibbs’ match against Southampton.

Let’s first see their passing capabilities. While Gibbs has completed 28 out of the 39 attempted (72% accuracy), Monreal has completed an astonishing 55 out of the 59 passes he has attempted ( a pass accuracy of 93%) which gives us a major doubt in the Englishman’s credentials.

monreal

Gibbs

You can also check out their heat maps here.

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All the stats courtesy of squawka.com