Monday, March 21, 2011
The Curious Case Of Darron Gibson
This was supposed to be Gibson’s year. The year that Gibson starts to challenge regularly for a United shirt. The year he becomes a hero. In the past he’s only been known for his memorable long-range efforts. This season he wanted to prove his doubters wrong and deliver a message that would immediately signal Sir Alex’s attention and get him to insert the Irishman into the first team. But that plan has failed and as a result he finds himself wandering aimlessly in the reserve side, constantly waiting for a call-up to the first team which is usually for a game of a ‘dead rubber’ standard. He was given the green light by Ferguson to reassert his presence in the first team when United played Crawley Town in the FA Cup, a team which has beaten the likes of Derby and Torquay on their way to a memorable draw against the Premier League leaders.
Gibson only ever plays dead rubbers/non important matches now for United as I've previously stated. Don’t you deny it. When he plays there’s a constant need to give the ball away on his behalf. It’s what gets him thrown back to the reserve side. However, on this occasion, Gibson seemed to have matured as a footballer and was one of the better United players on the pitch on Saturday, but let’s keep in mind, it was Crawley Town United were up against, a non-league side for pete’s sake.
Gibson had been picked up by United when he was just 14 years of age. He gracefully advanced through the United setup with considerable ease and was playing regularly in the reserve side at 19. Spells at Royal Antwerp and Wolverhampton Wanderers aided his first team aspirations and by the age of 21 he was given his debut by Sir Alex in a Premier League match vs Stoke City. Gibson continued his progress on his way into the United squad and made several more appearances over the next couple of seasons, making a total of 14 apps in 2008/09, 23 in 2009/10 and 13 so far in the current campaign.
He’s undoubtedly made his mark with the finesse in which he scores his goals. Usually long efforts, Sir Alex has praised Gibson in the past claiming that Gibson could be the new Paul Scholes and also stated that “Who is to say if Gibson had been playing all the time where he would be in terms of goals?” Sir Alex seems confident in the young star and let’s remember, he’s only 23 so there’s still plenty of time to improve and its fair to say he’s come on leaps and bounds since his introduction to the squad of Manchester United.
This season Gibson has been involved in quite a few games for the Red Devils and although he doesn’t always start, there’s a sense of when he shoots, he’ll probably score. But then there’s the problem that he’s “no Paul Scholes” as the Guardian’s Daniel Taylor stated earlier this week after his lacklustre performance against Marseille. Gibson was shockingly chosen ahead of Paul Scholes to start the Marseille encounter but his lack of creativity once again brought up questions of why he continues to play. There’s no doubt Gibson can pass the ball but he lacks inventiveness – the kind that Xavi possesses. The only quality United fans have ever seen is his shooting range. Never, has he impressed the United faithful with his ‘passing’ or ‘overall commitment’.
We can’t forget Gibson’s Irish dilemma. Gibson is keen to play for Ireland as we all know but on several occasions Giovanni Trappatoni has expressed a desire for the young lad to gain football with a move away stating that “He can do more. He has a big potential. If I was Gibson I would go to another group where I always play.” Gibson, having reacted to a similar comment from his elder back in November, was reluctant to speak out this time.
For me personally, Gibson is a player to keep an eye on. I’d always thought that Gibson would become an indispensable player of the squad sooner or later and although you may all deny it, I’m backing Gibbo all the way to the end.