It was reported today that Leighton Baines has pulled out of the national team ahead of England’s games against Slovenia and Scotland. Luke Shaw has been rested so he’s not in the 23-man squad, meaning England’s first choice left back at the weekend will be Kieran Gibbs. Gibbs has played well for Arsenal so far this season, having had a good run of games without picking up an injury.
England’s left back position is one of the most open in the squad, with three players all in fierce competition with one and other to make it theirs. This weekend, Gibbs will have the chance step up and move ahead of both Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw as England’s first choice. In the game against Slovenia, Gibbs will be expected to performance well, so it is against Scotland where he will have a much sterner test.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the news:
Baines out, Shaw cut. Step up Kieran Gibbs. Long overdue.
— TJ Delaney (@TJ_Delaney92) November 14, 2014
Kieran Gibbs doesn't cross the ball as well as Baines, but is just as capable of getting forward in the England attack #EnglandvsSlovenia
— Adrian Melville (@AdrianMelville) November 14, 2014
It shouldn't take an injury to Baines for Gibbs to be England's first choice left back. #AFC
— Arsenal Mania (@arsenalmania) November 14, 2014
Kieran Gibbs will replace Baines at left back. That's a pretty good replacement.
— Football Fragmento (@footyfragmento) November 14, 2014
@KieranGibbs to play tomorrow with Leighton Baines withdrawing. Exactly how it should be too. Deserved his chance. Good luck Kieran.
— KBFB (@Kieran82Bryant) November 14, 2014
“@england: RH: Kieran Gibbs will come in to replace Leighton Baines who misses the game against Slovenia with being overrated”
— JB (@gunnerpunner) November 14, 2014
Actually happy that Baines is injured, can't stand seeing him play for England, he isn't an international left back, Gibbs can be #ENG
— Sam Hall (@Hally_07) November 14, 2014
— Will Nolde (@willnolde) November 14, 2014
@england I can think of at least 5 left backs I'd rather pick than Kieran Gibbs…
— Louis Ainley (@louis_495) November 14, 2014