Wednesday, 12 June 2013

How Gibbs Performed Compared to Other Left-backs

Kieran Gibbs had a relatively successful campaign . Injuries kept him out for some parts of the season but good form at the end ensured he was first-choice going into the off-season. He has great potential, and showed some of his abilities this season.
Let's see how he compared to more experienced players. Statistics definitely don't tell the whole story, but it gives a good idea of where he is in relation to the top left-backs in the premier league. I will be comparing him to Evra, Clichy, Cole and Baines. I did not choose a Tottenham representative becaue they didn't have the same person play left-back for more than 20 games. All statistics are from performances in the Premier League and taken from

Unfortunately Gibbs has played the least amount of games because of a few injuries and a few games when Monreal played instead. To be a really good player normally requires a footballer to play a lot of games. Gibbs injuries have been getting less and less over the past couple of years, hopefully this continues. Baines is physically phenomenal, he has played more than 30 league games, in 9 out of the last 10 seasons.

The most important thing about being a defender is one's defensive abilities, all values are the average per game:
The first three, especially the first two, are the most important; they show tangible defensive work, in this regard the ex-Arsenal and current Arsenal left-backs are the best. Blocked shots are also important, but all the players are relatively close. At first glance, clearances might seem important, but they could actually be something negative: the players that clear the ball the least, are passing the ball out the most; although goal-line clearances and headering crossses away are obviously good.
The last thing to look at is attacking ability. Full-backs are used more and more in setting up goals, especially in the teams that these players belong to. Actual numbers of goals and assists are in brackets. Leighton Baines actually had 2.8 successful crosses per game, and was fouled 1.5 tmes per game. But with those values included it was almost impossible to differentiate beween the other players (the colours are already quite similar).
According to the statistics Ashley Cole had a terrible season, but this is not really a true eflection of how he performed. Gibbs held his own throughout and is at a similar level to other players in his position. I was especially pleased at his defensive statistics, Podolski sometimes leaves him to defend by himself, but the Englishman has not let the team down. Hopefully he can continue to grow and develop as a player.

1 comment:

  1. Gibbs is coming on nicely, he just needs to stay injury free.