Over the past 18 months or so I feel like I’ve been a member of a small select club, whose members can be counted in the hundreds and who are often chastised by our fellow man.
I’m not talking about any cults or secret cross dressing society I’m involved with- at least not on this site- rather about being one of the few United fans who seems to rate Darron Gibson.
I know to many people this may seem like a rather alien idea, after all Gibson is the sole reason for all of United’s failings, if it wasn’t for him then we would have won at Wembley against both City and Barca.
If it wasn’t for Darron Gibson and his penchant for shooting then David Hasselhoff would not be on our television screens each night sharing his thoughts on geriatric plate spinners. The problems in the Middle East? Look no further than United’s number 28 for the reason that particular crisis hasn’t been solved.
If for one minute you’re not buying the idea that this fatal strain of E-coli isn’t somehow connected to Gibson’s lack of assists you must be a mentalist.
I’m all for raising certain criticisms of United players- in a none foaming at the mouth fashion- I feel its part and parcel of being a fan and contributing to a website.
However I’m also just as keen to stick up for players that I feel do have a contribution to make to the team-regardless of how unpopular that point of view may be with the vast majority of fans.
I’m fully aware of Gibson’s shortcomings- he shoots a little too often, he’s not the quickest or most skilful of players, he’s not the first person you’d ask to man-mark a tricky midfielder, yet believe it or not he still has his good points.
I’m not about to make any suggestions that Gibson is the man to step into Paul Scholes’s shoes or that Sir Alex Ferguson should reconsider that bid for Luka Modric or Wesley Sneijder or whoever.
What I will say is this, despite what many claim, in a squad based game like we have today more than ever, Gibson more than plays his part.
In the past three season Gibson has made 57 appearances in total, many of them against lower opposition in the league or in the early stages of cup competitions.
People will point to a mere ten goals in the past three seasons as scant reward for a player that’s known for his shooting –even if he is often mocked for it. Ten goals is far from disastrous and as I’ve argue many a time before, had his superb strike against Bayern Munich in 2010 helped United to go through to the Champions League semi finals then he may have received a lot more plaudits than he does now.
Gibson is a very useful squad player who has shown his worth time and again yet suffers from the fact that if he plays well it’s considered “only because he’s against poor opposition” or if he’s not having the best of games is labeled “not as effective as Paul Scholes” which is a bit like telling a scientist he’s not quite as on the ball as Einstein was.
It seems its almost become fashionable to despise Gibson, to mock him with chants of “shoot” no matter how far from goal he is. The whole twitter debacle was a case in point, telling a United player he’s “sh*t” “not fit to wear the shirt” “a disgrace who should f*ck off” is beyond a joke. Why some so-called ‘Reds’ think this is acceptable I’ve absolutely no idea. Okay he’s not the best player on the pitch I’ll admit that, but he’s a lad who came through the youth system who tries his best –even if that may not always be the same standard as others and who has never shirked his responsibilities even in the face of a ridiculous amount of denigration.
The news is that Gibson may well be on his way to Sunderland and I’ll bet that many United fans will lose about as much sleep over that loss as they would if the Glazers house caught fire.
I for one will be sad to see him leave should he depart and if you’re wondering who that bald headed lad giving him a standing ovation is next time Sunderland visit Old Trafford is, well that’ll be me.
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