Lewis Gibson out until New Year

Sunday, 20 December, 2020 14comments  |  Jump to last

Lewis Gibson is out for at least a month after picking up a quadriceps injury while playing on loan at Reading during their 2-1 midweek defeat by Norwich City at the Madejski Stadium.

It was just his second start for the Royals since completing his loan move from the Blues at the beginning of the season and he is not expected back for at least a month.


Reader Comments (14)

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Robert Tressell
1 Posted 20/12/2020 at 17:06:11
Not been a good loan. Barely any game time before the injury. Now unlikely we'll be able to get him a better loan for the remainder of the season. Not really expecting him to ever feature in first team reckoning. Shame for the lad. Would probably have been better off staying at Newcastle.
Will Mabon
2 Posted 20/12/2020 at 17:26:40
Some players just suffer a really trying time, whatever their ability. Unlucky.
Stephen Vincent
3 Posted 21/12/2020 at 18:44:59
Yet another disasterous and pointless loan. We should just give them up as a bad job, little benefit has ever come from them. I don't think it even gets all the wages off the books.
Michael Kenrick
4 Posted 21/12/2020 at 23:06:05
It's funny how a lot of folks seem to have a rosey view of loans for developing our academy players. They will quote Osman, Coleman and Barkley as prime examples.

Well, that's 3 success stories (let's be generous and call them that) in ~15 years... The Rest of the Story (a nod there to our American listeners of Paul Harvey) is not so rosey. In fact, Stephen @3 sums it up with painful accuracy. The vast majority simply don't make it.

I'm not saying that loans are bad. On balance, I question whether they really make that much difference? Perhaps the loan experience can make or break some players? But the ones it makes seem to be few and far between.

Kieran Kinsella
5 Posted 21/12/2020 at 23:29:18
Michael @4,

I think the problem is money. In the days of old, someone like Dario Gradi had a job for life at Crewe, a decent second- or third-tier team with no real aspirations to hit the big time. So he could bring in kids without worrying about getting sacked after three bad results. Likewise Holloway at Blackpool was at a club punching above their weight, he was safe, he was comfortable rolling the dice on Seamus.

Now every year, the majority of Championship clubs are playing Russian roulette with a "(a) we win if we're promoted; (b) we risk bankruptcy if we're not" strategy.

They all change managers every six months too. So when they do take Premier League kids on loan, generally they use them as squad fillers for emergencies as they don't want to risk dropping them in the deep end. Kids who go to the third- and fourth-tier clubs don't get the right environment to hone their skills so they get fitter and stronger but their skills don't develop. If we keep them in the U23s, they stagnate due to lack of competition.

So what do we do? It seems to be a problem facing a lot of clubs. You get the odd 17-year-old who is seen as first-team ready but all the sort of "maybe he will, maybe he won't make it" types have an increasing failure rate as there is no suitable venue for them to develop.

Don Alexander
6 Posted 22/12/2020 at 01:04:20
If our Dazza (Hind to the uninitiated) is correct in saying that Davide Ancelotti has very recently taken the lead from Kenwright's plethora of Everton old-boy "coaches" (who Dazza paradoxically continues to adore) in instructing our first team on the basic skill of "body position" it augers well for future loanees.

Who knows, if Davide continues as he's started our cast-offs, like Liverpool's, will sell for £millions, not peanuts.

What's not to like?

Michael Kenrick
7 Posted 22/12/2020 at 08:27:36
I hope you're right, Don. The underlying premise is that loans to lower-league clubs are beneficial to developing players – because (for example) they get 'professional' competition, a better environment to get fitter and stronger – this is taken as standard football wisdom but I remain unconvinced that it has any grounding in fact.

I've got to ask a simple question: why can't they do that with the U23s? Finch Farm is touted as one of the best football training venues, and (until recently) our U18 and U23 teams were being encouraged to be as competitive as possible in their respective competitions. Personally, I think that is the way forward. I would end these loans as being counter-productive.

So many of our loan players suffer limited game time (surely the single biggest issue of all?), as well as injuries, and come back without apparently making the promised progress. I fundamentally disagree with Kevin as I think this is increasing the failure rate – rather than being the suitable venue for them to develop. That place should be Finch Farm.

The real problem is the reluctance of our managers to give players like Nkounkou enough game-time when they've shown they're ready. I'd like to think having nine players on the subs bench would make this easier but the style of play from Carlo, the closeness of the score in games we're winning, and the use of subs mainly as strategic measures to break up the flow of the opposition in the final minutes of such games, mean that simply ain't gonna happen.

Hugh Jenkins
8 Posted 22/12/2020 at 13:43:25
These are all interesting points.

I don't profess to know the answer to how best we can develop young talent. However, as things currently stand, I don't think that will be part of Carlo Ancelotti's remit. He is being paid to manage the first team and to get results with the first team.

As DoF, Marcel Brands is charged with developing and adding to the talent pool. >For immediate first team players, he will no doubt liaise with Ancelotti and will also probably ask his opinion on any other additions to the next lower level (potential U23s).

I dare say that Ancelotti and the first team coaches will also have some input into the playing "system" that the DoF is charged with setting up and developing throughout the club.

But, whatever else happens, I don't think Carlo will countenance giving young players a "run" in the first team unless he truly thinks they are ready and he will almost certainly not use the first team as a proving ground for talent instead of them going out on loan.

His job, and his reputation, are dependant on the results achieved by the first team and he is unlikely to risk either by using players that have not proven, to his satisfaction, they are ready to operate at the desired level.

John Raftery
9 Posted 22/12/2020 at 17:22:16
I think the loan system nowadays is mainly designed to give players the opportunity to demonstrate their worth with a view to them being able to pick up a professional contract once their time is up at Finch Farm. If the player is one of the few exceptionally talented, he will not be going out on loan. He will be tested in the first team.

The writing was on the wall for Lewis Gibson after we signed Branthwaite in January. With the signing of Ben Godfrey, there are now five centre backs ahead of him in the pecking order for the first team.

Derek Knox
10 Posted 22/12/2020 at 19:46:47
'Funny Old Game'

I have always liked Lewis and watch out for him, and try to watch as many games, in the hope that he will eventually get a chance in the first team.

It was only last week I was reading that he was a bit unhappy at Reading because they had hit a purple patch, and through reluctance to change a winning side, he was confined to the bench. Ironically he gets a chance and gets injured.

'Funny Old Game' – a speedy recovery wished from me Lewis.

Fran Mitchell
11 Posted 22/12/2020 at 19:56:23
Second time Reading have failed with one of our players. Last year was Virginia, this year is Gibson. Hopefully we don't send any more young players to them.

Hopefully Gibson can get fit and get a move to a club that will treat him better.

John Raftery
12 Posted 22/12/2020 at 22:18:54
Derek (10), I was also impressed by Gibson in the Under-23 team the season before last. He also looked good in his nine appearances for Fleetwood at the tail end of last season.

Reading is a big step up. He has perhaps been unfortunate that they started the season quite well without him in the team. They were top of the league after 10 games. Any manager will be reluctant to change a successful team just to satisfy the development needs of an individual player.

Nicholas Ryan
13 Posted 23/12/2020 at 19:07:05
Loans don't do a player any good?

Harry Kane
Kevin de Bruyne
Seamus Coleman
James Rodriguez

might beg to differ!

Derek Knox
14 Posted 28/12/2020 at 01:42:58
Fran @ 11,

"Hopefully Gibson can get fit and get a move to a club that will treat him better." Yes, home with us, he is one I would be interested in introducing to the first team 'à la Branthwaite'.

He has the right attitude, the only thing that might go against him is his height, which is not small in real terms, but considered to be for a centre-back, unless they are outstanding – which I believe Lewis can be.

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