Who should be Arsenal's first choice left back - Gibbs or Monreal?

By Avenell Dave

There's nothing nicer than watching an easy 4-0 win at the Arsenal.

With the exception of one scare when Jack Wilshere went down in a heap and walking back in a downpour, it was about as enjoyable as it gets being an Arsenal fan.

We looked pretty competent in all areas, Lukas Podolski got the chance to dust off some cobwebs and Niklas Bendtner showed with a couple of well-timed air shots that he is certainly not good enough for Arsenal's first team.

The guys that sit around me are all as positive and supportive of the team as you would expect any Arsenal fan should be (but sadly we've all encountered moaners sitting somewhere near us at one point or another).

But we had a discussion during the Coventry game which highlighted a problem which I suspect Arsene Wenger has realised as well.

There is an argument that we didn't need to get out of second gear so we took our foot off the gas, then put Coventry completely out of sight when they tired towards the end.

So in some ways, letting shape or positioning slip from time to time would be expected in such a game.

But this sin;t the first time Kieran Gibbs has caused problems and it's probably the reason why Nacho Monreal has started more of the big games recently.

Gibbs has an attacking flair and he's fast - he set up one of our goals, after all - but far far too often, he gets caught up the pitch.

If you think of the best full backs of the Wenger years - Lauren and Cole - they could bomb forward and create chances, supporting the wide players.

But they also had terrific engines and were the first to be racing back when the opposition broke forward.

Gibbs isn't there yet, and it could cost us dear against the better sides.

Watching on Friday, there were a number of times the opposition broke on the left and there was Laurent Koscielny having to sweep up where Gibbs was supposed to be.

It cannot always be up to the Frenchman to cover and there will be times where opponents will break in numbers and it won't be enough.

It's all very well claiming that Gibbs offers us something going forward - although I would still suggest that this season the better crosses have come from our right rather than left - but the priority for a defender should be keeping his shape, helping his team and making sure crosses don't get through.

We could look at the fact that since the Chelsea Cup game in October, we've only conceded one goal at home - but we still have United and City to visit us and maintaining that sort of form won;t continue if Gibbs keeps expecting to cover for his failures to be in position.

Defence has been our strength this season and Monreal has been superb with the exception of City away. He is just as capable of going forward but he is also well aware of his defensive duties.

And with wide players who do not always get back to cover as well, that's essential if we're to continue to lead the table until the end of the season.