LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 27: Darron Gibson of Everton celebrates at the end of the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Everton and Fulham at Goodison Park on January 27, 2012 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
In a bit of a new feature on RBM, I will be penning my thoughts on anything Everton related (or not as the cases arise) which sparks debate, offers insight and opinion and, most importantly, invites you to respond. No rights or wrongs, just my opinion weighed up against your own.
The topic of my first rant is January capture Darron Gibson.
When I first heard about us signing Gibson I couldn't honestly hide my disappointment. The first "proper" signing we have made for over two years is a Manchester United back up midfielder when we really needed a winger and a striker. At first a fee of £2million was being passed around. However, as I dug deeper I found that the we have only actually parted with £500k with the rest to be paid in the future depending on how well he does for himself and for Everton. This made the deal a great deal easier to stomach. I hadn't seen much of Gibson and the only things I had heard about him was that he has a cracking right foot when shooting from range - something which we didn't have - and that Manchester United fans had "bullied" him off Twitter following criticism of his performance and Gibson as a footballer. He was also due to join Sunderland in January in a triple salvo involving Wes Brown and John O'Shea. However, he was "left in limbo" as the Mackems reneged on a deal to sign the midfielder.
Darron Gibson is a 24 year old full Irish international midfielder who came through the hugely successful youth ranks at Manchester United. In 2007, Sir Alex Ferguson allowed Gibson to spend some time on loan at Wolves to gain playing experience following a similar spell at feeder club Royal Antwerp. He also helped United beat Spurs in the 2009 league cup final. One particular highlight for Gibson was bagging against Bayern Munich in the quarter final of the Champions League before following that a season later in the semi-final against Schalke.
However, in June of 2011 Gibson stated he was ready to leave Old Trafford to gain playing time. This was made the more imperative given the Irish Republic's successful play off series against Estonia earning them a seat on the plane to Poland and the Ukraine in the summer. Moyes saw an opportunity and grabbed it.
Against Aston Villa there was only Landon Donovan for me who had a better game than debutante Gibson. He settled in very nicely, looked calm and assured in possession, held his position well, covered when needed and made positive moves forward with and without the ball. He was unfortunate to be brought off with only six minutes of the ninety left; however seriously lacking in match fitness I understood the manager's decision.
His second game for Everton was an FA Cup game against Fulham. He went about his job in a quietly efficient manner before stealing the limelight against old foes Manchester City under the floodlights at Goodison. During this game Gibson came in for plenty of flack from supporters. "Sloppy," "Anonymous," "careless," "missing" were a few of the words thrown Gibson's way. The occasion seemed to get to him as he misplaced passes, wandered out of position and couldn't really get involved in the game. However, a lovely bit of composed play by fellow January arrival Landon Donovan put it on a plate for Gibson to let fly and bag the winner; albeit from a deflection. But, if you dont buy a ticket you wont win the raffle.
Against Wigan last weekend Gibson was frustrating. The ball was passed around him which sucked him in, probably out of frustration, causing him to ball chase and leave a hole for Fellaini to try and fill on his own. This in turn had Cahill being drawn in to help out and nullify out attacking options. However, he kept plugging away to his credit and he wasn't the only player who under performed at the DW.
However, on Saturday against Chelsea Gibson was largely unsung. His midfield partner Marouane Fellaini put in a contender for Man of the Match performance. He seemed to be everywhere. And it was up to Gibson to put in a disciplined shift. And he did. He didn't have much of the ball to do anything with, but when he did have it he kept it simple. If there was nothing on he cleared it. What he did to great effect, though, was break Chelsea's central play up. He was constantly in their faces, making tackles, even giving the odd free kick away to slow things down for the visitors. It was a complete contrast to his debut yet was a performance of an equal standard and more of the same level of effort will certainly win the doubters over.
So far this season, Gibson has played five games, starting them all. He has given away nine free kicks and has been booked twice. Gibson has made two key clearances. He has had six shots, three of which have been on target.
Something tells me that time is of the essence with Darron Gibson. Remember, the boy is 24.
What do you think? Discuss in the comments section below
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