When you try and rate Darron Gibson as a footballer, you immediately get images of the very best of all time. Zidane, Scholes, Keane, Davids, Xavi and Iniesta are just a few from the last few decades that fans must bring to their mind when deciding just how good of a footballer Gibbo is. Because if you're not as good as those players, if you don't have the potential to be one of the very best then why even bother? This is the ridiculous idea that modern day fans ascribe to. A standard set so high that only the true elite can reach it. So does Darron Gibson fall into that category?


Of course not. The fact is Darron Gibson is not one of the best ever. He's not one of the best of the modern times. He's not even one of the best in the Premiership, a league lacking an abundance of great midfield talent. But that doesn't mean he's a terrible footballer. When any new youngster is discovered the comparisons come out with haste. If he's light in frame, but nippy and strong, he's the next Messi. If he's French he's the next Zidane or Platini and if he plays for Manchester United in midfield he falls in to one or two categories, is he a Roy Keane or a Paul Scholes. But it’s not right to ask these players to live up to such unattainable standards. I crave another Keano or Scholesy as much as the next fan but it was clear from early on that Gibson would not reach that level.


But Gibson is not a bad footballer. He is Premiership level, which is a huge compliment. There are hundreds of thousands wannabe footballers out there but Gibson has made it to the top league and has played over one hundred times for the best English football team of the last two decades. He just isn't good enough to play at the very highest level. He's a mark below the best and that’s nothing to be ashamed of, something which shouldn't be ignored or forgotten.


I've always had an affinity with the less glamorous players at Manchester United. When I was able to attain the resources to regularly buy the jersey and put a name on the back I immediately chose Park Ji Sung. Gibson and O'Shea are another two I've always admired, with a big factor being their nationality. So when I saw the abuse that Gibson regularly got from people that were supposed to be fans, it really disappointed me. This isn't just a Manchester United thing. Ireland, not blessed with huge talent in any position, struggle to put two good midfielders on the pitch all the time. But when Gibson plays if he doesn't light up the world with a thunderbolt goal or some beautiful passing he's lambasted as little more than a reserve. But Gibson is a Premier league winner, he has scored beautiful goals including a screamer against Bayern Munich (which I believe would be remembered much more fondly had the result been different). Sadly, too many people will rejoice at the news that Darron Gibson is leaving Manchester United. These same people will swoon and croon over the next potential Paul Scholes no matter how little of a care he seems to have for Manchester United.


If it sounds like I'm talking about a player at the end of his career I apologise, Gibson's career is only just starting. His one fault if anything is holding onto the Manchester United dream for a bit too long. A transfer to Everton would be a great move for him. Moyes is a top manager and he will help Gibson to reach the next level, playing consistently good football at a well obtained level. He may never get back to the top table, winning another league or scoring in Champions League quarter finals but that doesn't make him any less of a good player who deserves the opportunities he'll get. I wish Darron the very best of luck at the Toffees. I’ll be watching out for him every week on Match of Day.


In the future I do hope United fans, scratch that, football fans in general can be more reasonable in their expectations. Not every player will be Messi or Zidane, some will just be Darron Gibson, and there's nothing wrong with that.


Tags: Darron, Everton, Gibson, Manchester, Messi, Paul, Scholes, United, Xavi, Zidane

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May I add to your own eloquent sentiments in wishing Gibson luck if he is to move on to another club.

I have never been his biggest fan but believe he can become a mainstay in the midfield of a PL side, just not one of the elite clubs. I actually think that a move to Sunderland in the last window would have been more beneficial to him as he'll face incredibly stiff competition at Everton in what is arguably their strongest position. Nevertheless, I hope he gets regular football and I'm sure we'll see what a talented lad he is when given the chance to play week in and out.

I actually think that I'd rather see him in the team than Scholes right now.

I don't think he would ever get the real chances at United that he would need to become a world beater, there's not the time nor the patience any more. However I do think he's a player who, given time to grow within a first team, could become fantastic. No merely good but seriously good. The fundamentals are there, he has great vision, he puts himself about, he works hard and he can strike the ball with a rare quality. He puts his abilities together and he's going to be a brilliant player, no doubt. He does so many things right that supposedly better players simply don't do.

I think at Everton he could really become something special, it's a very honest, blue collar club. No money to speak of. Really up against it. But they've got more talent and heart than many of the teams down at the bottom, even if they do have to live with life as a selling club. Into that mix a scrapper like Gibson could really do a job of work.

I wish him every success at Everton because he deserves plenty, but I do lament losing him from United and I fully expect that, when his potential is realised, he'll prove his doubters wrong.

BOOM. Accurate prediction is accurate.

haha, a bit early to tell that he's going to be "brilliant" after one match! Or are you saying that he has already "had time to grow" in Everton's first team?

This is a great piece Dave, i applaud everything you stand for in this and back you 100%. Its time for players to be judged on themselves not their predecessor or most alike player. Well done.

I'll be honest I don't get why we sold him... We're short on central midfielders and he's a decent player with at least a certain level of potential. It's not like we made lots of money from him either.

To be honest I watched some of the Everton game yesterday and,frankly,he looked completely lost.

Even now this move seems to be a total eye opener for Gibson.

Being fair, he's not a car. He can't go zero to sixty in six seconds. He needs time, time to find his feet in the league, a big step up from reserve football and in a new team. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't settle well this season. But you can't judge on one game

He may need time to settle at Everton but he is not an uncapped youngster.

Gibson is 24 and, according to wiki, has played 31 matches for United and 52 matches for Wolves/Antwerp.

I have always felt Gibson could do well in the prem but he is nowhere near the level of quality we need and, at 24, how much potential could he have?

I think he will become a solid PL player but nothing more

I didn't mean he was uncapped. But he's been playing reserve football now for how long? He had two appearances for United this season so it'll take him a few games to find his feet at least.


I think he'll be solid, a 7/10 player if you will. Will probably never play in the champions league again but he'll have a good career

Fair enough - I thought you meant 'in general' rather than this season specifically. Same with Scholes really.



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