KIERAN GIBBS: ARSENAL LEFT BACK
With the new season underway, SPASHION talks to Arsenal’s left back, Kieran Gibbs about the highs and lows of his career to date and how he made his journey to the Emirates stadium.
What got you into playing football?
My family were football fans especially my dad, he was probably the biggest influence on me playing football when i was growing up. My mum also really supported me by taking me to all my training sessions.
How did you turn it into a professional career?
I was scouted for Wimbledon aged 11 playing for my local borough, Croydon, when they moved to Milton Keynes I left for Arsenal aged 14. I managed to get a scholarship playing full time at 16 and signed my first professional contract one year later.
When you moved to Arsenal in 2004, what was the main difference you noticed playing for a Premier League Club?
The biggest thing for me was the facilities both at the training ground and at games, everything was top quality, the pitches, the kit, the gym etc.
As the new season begins, how are you feeling?
Feeling good after a good break in the summer, excited to get back into playing and continuing on from last year.
What’s the most memorable moment of your career and why?
I think there are two moments that stand out, the first one was my England debut, I think any player would say its the proudest moment of their career. The other was my debut for Arsenal against Sheffield United.
Was there ever a low point you recall?
I would say when I broke my foot when I was 19 during the Champions League game against Standard Liege. It put me out for 10 months which was extremely frustrating especially as I was really enjoying playing at the time. It took me awhile to recover from it but now I feel its behind me and last season was encouraging to play the amount I did and hopefully i can play even more this season.
When you get a knock back, how do you stay motivated?
I think if you try to remember the goals that you set yourself and what you want to achieve it always helps
What’s an average training day for you?
We normally meet at the training ground between 9 and 9:30am, we always have an intensive session which lasts up to 2 hours. Then depending if there is a midweek game or not we will do a gym session with the conditioning coach in the afternoon.
What does your regular diet consist of during the season?
We eat a lot of good carbohydrates and protein to recover from the amount of games we play. The Chef’s even given me a couple of lessons so I can eat the right things at home.
Arsenal’s game is based on close control and quick passing – how important is it to trust your footwear?
Comfort and feel is extremely important, my Nike boots give me real confidence.
When you started at Arsenal who did you look up to?
I have always been a huge fan of Dennis Bergkamp…He was a hero of mine growing up.
Who has been your strongest opponent?
I would say Ronaldo (the Portuguese one)
What is the best advice you have been given by another player?
Thomas Rosicky told me to look after my body as best you can, as it will be the most important thing I need throughout my career!
What advice would you give to inspiring footballers?
To enjoy your football and stay focused on your goals.
With Arsenal’s strong history, does that increase the pressure for you and the other players to perform?
Of course there is pressure, Arsenal is a huge club when you play for a big club there is always pressure.. The main object is to win and its up to us to produce for the club.
Which one of your team-mates is the most fashion conscious?
Alex Chamberlain, he only gets changed 4 times before we go out for dinner!!
What’s your favourite stadium you’ve played at?
Borussia Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion
Who are your favourite designers on and off the pitch?
Nike on the pitch and for casual wear, when i’ve got to dress up I’d say Paul Smith
Where is your favourite city?
How do you relax?
Spending time with family and friends
Is there any other sport you would say your particularly good or bad at?
Im not too shabby at table tennis and definitely not a golfer!
Finish these sentences:
To you sport is… a passion.
Fashion is… what you make of it