Kieran Gibbs has thanked Arsène Wenger after leaving for West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday.
Kieran progressed from the youth teams at Arsenal, to make 230 senior appearances for the Gunners in 13 years with the club. He clearly believes therefore that a lot of the credit for his career so far needs to go to the Gunners boss.
In quotes reported by the Daily Star, Gibbs said: “I would like to thank Arsene for giving me the chance to start my career and fulfil a dream. It has been an amazing journey to play for my childhood club since I was 14.
“Thank you to all the fans, the Arsenal staff and especially my team-mates who have been there during the special moments and have helped me through some tough times.
“Now it’s time for the next chapter and I can’t wait to get started with the boys. Tony Pulis is different to what I’ve had before and I feel he can develop me in certain areas I maybe need to work on. I feel he can help me progress.”
So whilst acknowledging that a new manager could help him to go even further as a player, Kieran had no bad words to say about Wenger. Some may find this surprising given that in recent years Gibbs has seen his opportunities with Arsenal slowly shrink.
In 2013-14, the full-back made 41 appearances for the Gunners. The following season he made 33, then 28, then 22, and he hadn’t appeared in any of Arsenal’s matches so far this campaign. In the league, Kieran only started eight matches last campaign, so it wouldn’t be too unfair if he had some bad feelings towards Wenger.
However Gibbs was ever the model professional throughout his time in North London, and clearly nothing has changed now that he’s moved on. Hopefully he now gets the opportunities he needs to make a push to get back into the England team, as the national side prepares for a potential World Cup campaign in 2018.