When The Going Gets Tough, Jonas Gets Going
The first season for Newcastle United’s Argentine duo was a mad one even by United’s standards; Keegan, Wise, Hughton, JFK, Shearer and relegation.
Only twelve months after arriving, Argentinian internationals Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez were lining up to play Scunthorpe and Plymouth in the Championship, not quite the dream that was sold to them.
Look at this season from Jonas’ perspective though; a ridiculous lack of investment in the squad last summer after Newcastle had catapulted into fifth, the Demba Ba circus and our creative inspiration of Ben Arfa and Cabaye missing for much of the time.
On top of that his best mate Colo declares that he wants to jump ship in January and no doubt this had been going on for some time and almost undoubtedly Jonas would have been one of his confidantes.
The club seemingly on the verge of falling apart again and his best mate desperate to be away, not the best of scenarios.
On the playing side, Gutierrez appeared to lose his sparkle and a yard of pace. However, I think that with his style of play he will work all day but if he doesn’t have the more creative players to link with then he can end up running around in circles, which describes much of our pre-February season.
With Cabaye back in the team and players such as Moussa Sissoko added, suddenly we not only had quality added to the side but players such as Jonas were clearly reinvigorated by the injection of pace and ability.
I don’t think the vice captaincy/temporary captaincy did him any favours either, with Cabaye taking on that mantle it means the totally unorthodox player that is Jonas Gutierrez, is back to his very best.
The home match against Anzhi saw United going nowhere fast and it was Jonas taking the field for Yohan Cabaye that coincided with a lift in Newcastle’s game.
As I said, unorthodox sums him up and I don’t know if he really has a natural position, all I do know is that wherever he plays he gives his all.
No more so than on Sunday when he was absolutely outstanding, moved to left-back after Santon’s injury he covered the whole of that left flank and showed guts, composure and ingenuity.
No wonder Jonas received 40% of the votes in our man of the match poll v Fulham, with Marveaux in second (25%) and Cisse third (14%).
In the past Newcastle United have allegedly bought players on the back of watching video compilations, with Jonas Gutierrez that would never happen.
It isn’t a criticism, he just isn’t the type of player where you can cobble together a handful of special moments that will gloss over what is usually an average player, at best.
Jonas is a workaholic and fantastic team player, you may not be able to turn that into a marketing video but I sure wish I could bottle it.
The derby special issue of our magazine is out on Saturday, to start a subscription with this one – go to Subscriptions in our online shop and click next issue when asked which one you’d like to start with.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]