Tag Archives: cohen

Kieran Gibbs – Unfair to Judge?

Originally posted on Goonersphere

Certain players are judged a little more than others. This comes as a result of a heavier expectation, which in turn is created by the pedigree of the player and more often than not, a hefty pricetag.

The parameters with which these stars are gauged differ though. With strikers, the inevitable number we all look at is goals. 


Assists and shot efficiency are all valuable to us, but it is the frequency they hit the onion bag that is at the crux of things. 


Midfielders have perhaps the toughest of requirements to make the grade. Passing, tackling, successful take-ons, passing percentage. Pretty much all facets of the game we scrutinise each day are categories a midfielder is expected to shine in.


What does happen though, regardless of the player and the position, is that some of these men who wear the shirt are given certain allowances. There are players such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mohamed Elneny, on occasion Aaron Ramsey, that receive less lambasting as they rarely enjoy long runs in the team. A player who is not allowed the staple of accruing some rhythm and sharpness should warrant a less invasive lens hovered over their every move.


Then, there are players like Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs. Both players have not really enjoyed a long stint in the team for a while. Whether this be through injury or poor form is not the point. What really should be looked at is why they are both unfairly judged even though they have both suffered the same fate as The Ox, Elneny and others. The majority of fans, if asked, would say – Gibbs especially – that they have not been good enough.


Theo has stepped up to the plate this season, and his goal rate in terms of minutes speaks for itself. Never the most productive over ninety minutes, the England attacker does pop up with goals even if he has not had the best of times during the game. What of Gibbs though?














The constant presence of Nacho Monreal has stunted Gibbs’ Arsenal career. The first season the Spaniard arrived, Gibbs held his place as Nacho acclimatised, but since then, Monreal has well and truly won the battle between the two left footed defenders. It has meant that Gibbs has needed to improve, to show his worth.


The last two seasons for Gibbs has been sporadic at best. Drafted in and used as a remedy for ills on the pitch, he has not been granted the chance to gain rhythm. Instead, he has been put into the side here and there, feeding from titbits.


Gibbs has shown incredible levels of patience as the understudy to Nacho. The last two campaigns has seen him grow as a player, perhaps learning the finer nuances of his role from the player who has kept him out of the side. Is he first team material though?


Bearing in mind the above paragraphs, Gibbs has been pretty reliable in his rare outings. Solid in attack and keeping it simple in defence, the former England man has done all this without the sharpness afforded to others. This leaves a dilemma of sorts.


Nacho Monreal looks ever likely to leave the club, with Athletic Bilbao sniffing around in pursuit. Does Arsenal stay with Gibbs and perhaps elevate Cohen Bramall into the backup position? Or does new boy Sead Kolasinac instantly take the shirt? 


If we continually replace then the youth at the club will never flourish. More importantly, the players who do trust in the values of patience will think that particular trait is foolish. We need to reward those who have stuck with us and reward those who have improved when necessary.


Gibbs is one of these players. The last time he was a guaranteed start, Gibbs just failed to make the grade. Now, he is at the level where he can produce the level needed even without a run in the side.


A lot will hinge on pre-season and if he can continue to maintain fitness. If he does, then the number 3 shirt should be open for a battle between Gibbs and Kolasinac. 

Cohen Bramall Signs for Arsenal and Lives the Dream

The transfer window has opened and Arsenal have acted early and signed a player! Will wonders never cease?

Before you start frothing and frantically searching for this hotshot who will revitalise our season, the new recruit is not exactly bound to make strides in the first team – at least not yet.

The new signing is aimed at strengthening a position that may be under scrutiny in a couple of years, but this left-back has much to prove before we see him rampage down the flank.

Cohen Bramall was announced officially by Arsenal and the peculiar amount of fanfare for this kid from non-league Hednesford Town was strange to say the least.

Starved as we are as Gooners of transfer activity, the club must have thought the photoshoot and interview of Bramall would fill the gap and sate the hunger for any news on the signings – or even contract extension – front. 

Also, with the reach that the club has and how every piece of news, important or not, is quickly digested by millions, the club cannot be wholly blamed for using this underwhelming signing as a means to show that Arsenal are active and preparing for the future. Or at least showing fans that we have eyes on talent everywhere.

Regardless of what the club thought when parading Bramall, the bottom line for every new signing is whether they are actually any good? Can they benefit the side now or in the near future?

Young Cohen isn’t going to blaze a scorching trail across our immediate fixtures, nor will he make any impact on the first team this season – injuries permitting. Bramall is set firmly in the future category. Any player that isn’t ready yet always carries a risk when purchased, as thir skillset isn’t honed nor are unfisnished articles capable of offering a guarantee to what they will be able to give when they do come out of the figurative oven. Potential is a beautiful, yet dangerous trait. Potential does not win you matches.

We do know that Arsene Wenger values pace above many assets. In this regard, it is quite clear why Bramall is now resplendent in Arsenal colours. According to his former coach at Hednesford Town in an interview with the Birmingham Mail, it is claimed he can run the 100m in 10 seconds. The national qualifiying standard for 100m is 10.18seconds. There are other reports that claim different times over the same distance, but what the universal theme is on Cohen Bramall is that he is fast. Lightning fast.

If speed was the only skill we required, then Usain Bolt would be our Number9. We also need many other things to have a decent prospect on our hands. With our extensive coaching system at London Colney, if Bramall has the basic building blocks, then we can be confident that the club will coax out a decent player in Bramall.

Let us all take a minute to bask in what is a sepia-toned Disney family movie moment though. Separate yourself from gritty reality just for a moment and remember the hazy dreams you used to have as a kid. Bramall lived his.

Sacked from an industrial type job, he then gets snapped up by a huge football club to live his fantasy. It truly is movie-script worthy. Can’t we all get on board with this rose-tinted transfer and keep a close eye on this kid who above all odds, might just make it? Do we have to bemoan this £40k transfer simply because we want that superstar instead?

This transfer is at the heart of football. That money will boost a non-league team. The kid represents the dreams of many. He also could go on and aid our team at the highest level. We just don’t know at this point in time.

I’m just happy to see how happy Bramall is, and trying to envision how he felt the first time he walked into training. Talk about an eye opener when he sees Alexis Sanchez lacing up his boots for a kickabout with him.

Good luck Cohen. Welcome to the Gunners and keep that dream alive. Not only for you but for every kid who loves football.