'Gibbs' Him a Chance!: Could Fabio Capello Take Kieran To South Africa?

Thomas HoweCorrespondent IFebruary 26, 2010

GRONINGEN, NETHERLANDS - AUGUST 11:  Kieran Gibbs of England U21 in action during the International Friendly between Netherlands U21 and England U21 on August 11, 2009 at the Euroborg stadium in Groningen, Netherlands.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Wayne Bridge yesterday announced his England future is over.

“It has always been an honour to play for England. However, after careful thought I believe my position in the squad is now untenable and potentially divisive.”

Bridge's comments leave England manager, Fabio Capello, wondering what on earth has happened to his England squad over the past month.

However, lets spare a thought for Arsenal left back Kieran Gibbs.

After Gibbs’ metatarsal break against Standard Liege back in November, the youngster’s rehabilitation has been somewhat slow.

Initially the Gunners were hoping to have Gibbs back after the New Year and challenge Frenchman Gael Clichy for the left back position.

However, things didn’t go as planned.

Gibbs suffered a major setback last month, receiving news that he would be in need of a second operation on his foot. This resulted in the sad news that he would be done for the 2009/10 EPL campaign.

This was huge blow for the youngster, who with a good second half of the season, could well have been knocking on the door for an England call up to South Africa.

Gibbs’ performances for Arsenal last year and at the beginning of this year’s campaign certainly turned heads, most notably Fabio Capello.

Capello was understood to have discussed starting Gibbs against Brazil last November, just before the injury: “He's a really good player, really interesting for the future of the England team.”

If Gibbs was cursing his luck then, he would be doing that even more so now.             

With Ashley Cole breaking his leg and Wayne Bridges return in doubt, the left back spot for England has never been so wide open.

The friendly against Egypt on Mar. 3 is a great opportunity for left backs, Stephen Warnock and Leighton Baines to impress Capello and book that plane ticket to South Africa.

Even if Gibbs had returned and played for Arsenal, this friendly would have been too soon.

Although it may seem all doom and gloom for the Londoner, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger suggested yesterday that Gibbs may well be fit for the summer.

In addition, Wenger did mention that it would be “premature” for Gunners fans to get excited and that making the squad would be a “long shot.”

For Gibbs, there is light at the end of what must seem an awfully long tunnel.

With a season that promised so much and a World Cup beckoning, Gibbs must have thought this was his chance to go to his first World Cup.

Who knows what the summer will hold for Gibbs.

One thing Wenger knows is, “He will play one day for the national team, I am convinced of that.”