Stats: Kieran Gibbs v Luke Shaw: Is Arsenal man unfairly overlooked?

Kieran Gibbs

Kieran Gibbs was overlooked for the England squad once again, with Roy Hodgson calling up Southampton teenager Luke Shaw instead.

Steven Gerrard is reported to have said after Liverpool's win at Southampton that opposing full-back Luke Shaw has the ability to be England's first choice left-back for 10 years.

With Ashley Cole in his 30s  and Leighton Baines nearing them, Hodgson looking to youth in Shaw is a move which should be commended.

But is there a man in between, 24-year-old Kieran Gibbs of Arsenal, who should feel aggrieved to miss out?

Gibbs is a player who has despite previous injury problems, more than 100 domestic first team games for Arsenal under his belt, and 22 Champions League games.

At Arsenal he even keeps out Spanish international left-back Nacho Monreal, which is how highly Arsene Wenger rates him.

Indeed for Gibbs, when he was left out, it was a call of many Arsenal fan that he was unfairly left out. Is that the case?

Here is a look at how he compares to Luke Shaw statistically:

Assists and Key Passes

PlayerTeamGoalsGoal AssistTotal Att AssistApps
Kieran Gibbs Arsenal 0 0 9 23
Luke Shaw Southampton 0 1 22 25

Crossing

NameTeamTotal CrossAccurate CrossCrossing Accuracy %Apps
Luke Shaw Southampton 98 19 19.39 25
Kieran Gibbs Arsenal 61 10 16.39 23

Interceptions

NameTeamInterception WonInterceptions In BoxApps
Kieran Gibbs Arsenal 42 2 23
Luke Shaw Southampton 22 1 25

Tackling

NameTeamTotal TackleWon TackleTackle Success %Last Man TackleApps
Kieran Gibbs Arsenal 55 35 63.64 1 23
Luke Shaw Southampton 46 38 82.61 0 25

Clearances, shots blocked, and aerial duels won

NameTeamEffective ClearanceOutfielder BlockAerial WonApps
Kieran Gibbs Arsenal 100 3 38 23
Luke Shaw Southampton 90 3 45 25

Passing

NameTeamTouches / appsAccurate Pass / appsPass Success %Successful Final Third Passes / appsApps
Luke Shaw Southampton 70.48 31.16 76.90 7.88 25
Kieran Gibbs Arsenal 61.87 31.00 79.75 7.83 23

Sadly for Gibbs, the statistics appear to back up Roy Hodgson's call that Luke Shaw is the better option based on this season's performances.

Not only does Shaw create more goalscoring opportunities, he has a better crossing accuracy, tackle success rate, and wins more aerial duels.

While Gibbs makes more interceptions, and has a more accurate pass success rate, Shaw actually makes more accurate passes per game, and narrowly more in the final third - touching the ball more too, such is his willingness to get involved and impose himself on a game.

Gibbs, for the reasons outlined at the start, is a very credible contender for England, and was even called up earlier in the season before pulling out with injury. It may be too late for the World Cup, but there is a fair argument that with Ashley Cole not playing for Chelsea, he should not go at all. 

If Hodgson decides the same, then who better to replace him than Kieran Gibbs?

image: © Ronnie Macdonal

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