I guess I have a kind of kinship with Cory Gibbs because he's American and he's about the only Charlton player you can read about in the media here. Gibbs was an Ivy League graduate
, which is no mean feat and let me tell you no mean cost. After college he decided against playing in the MLS and went to Germany, such was his reputation.
He joined the crazy FC St Pauli
in Hamburg, with it's extreme left supporters and had two good seasons there, although that's if you can call successive relegations successful? At that point St Pauli were struggling financially in the third regionalised tier of German football and after failing to find another European club, Gibbs moved back to the USA to Dallas Burn, now FC Dallas
He made a good impression in Dallas because Feyenoord
came calling in January 2005. Gibbs had a good second half of the season in the Eredivisie, but after that his injuries started, first of all at a game I was at in Chicago
when England beat the USA in May 2005. It was his right knee that kept him out for 7 months and after his recovery he was sent on loan by Feyenoord to ADO Den Haag, but he only played 5 games from January until Curbishley signed him on a pre-agreement contract in May 2006, days before the US national team's friendly against Morocco.
In that game a recurrence of the knee injury forced him out of the game and sadly the Germany world cup. In 18 months he has played only 50-odd minutes for us in a friendly at Welling plus a couple of reserve matches.
Consistent knee problems and then in another comeback game Monday
, an unknown team mate stamping accidentially on his foot in the reserves breaking three metatarsals. Gibbs career at Charlton has been nothing short of a disaster and his foot injury means he looks set to miss the rest of the season. How's your luck?
Contrary to some quarters Gibbs has struggled with injuries all of his career missing long spells at Brown University (left) and at St Pauli and only has 6 International caps to his name plus 100 professional appearances and for someone who will be 28 in January this is hardly prolific. We can blame the previous medical team at The Valley for signing him in the first place, their record on signing duds is second to none but Gibbs is one of ours and I for one would love to see him adorn a red jersey. His contract expires in May 2009.
Not only is he an American playing, well not playing but being payed by my beloved team, from what I have read he seems a genuinely nice bloke and not every professional sportsman is in it just to get paid, when you dedicate your life to something, then surely you want to excel at that particular thing, not sit around on your arse.
Pards: "He’s a really top guy who is so disheartened after suffering this latest injury. It was an impact injury, not one that just happened. I know the rest of the squad will rally round him because football clubs are very supportive like that."
Let's think of Gibbs too.