Is it better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all?  Speaking to a Gateshead fan recently, yes – yes it is.

We have loved David Ginola, we have loved Laurent Robert – if we try to only remember the good stuff, some of us even remember a faint tingle of affection for Charles N’Zogbia.  But today, all of that is lost – and what do we have now in its place?  When Kevin Keegan described Jonas Gutierrez as a ‘defensive’ winger, he wasn’t joking.

JonasGutierrez4There was a study done by American scientists in which they installed various items of playground equipment on a patch of waste ground and then sat back to watch what happened.  They fitted all the usual stuff; swings, a slide, one of those ‘horses on a spring’ thingies; but right in the centre they placed a kind of 2001 : a space odyssey obelisk; an eight foot high wooden obelisk with no redeeming features.

Soon the kids began to arrive, swinging, sliding and climbing until they noticed the unspectacular lump of wood jutting from the centre of the playground.  They were fascinated.  ‘How do we play with this?’, you could see them thinking.  They leaned on it, tried in vain to climb it, threw tennis balls off it and even did hand-stands against it despite the fact there was a brick wall not five metres away which was far better suited for the purpose.  At the end of the day, the study showed that the kids spent 64% of their entire time in the playground playing with the pointless obelisk.  Without meaning to sound personal, Jonas Gutierrez is Newcastle United’s obelisk.

A succession of managers have placed him on the left wing and stared at him, wondering what he’s there for, as if he might do something interesting if they stare long enough.  Manager after manager has fallen into the same mesmerised, almost catatonic fascination with the battling and highly passionate workhorse who seems unable to strike a ball cleanly, let alone send it in a coherent direction. These are not great qualities for a winger; someone you hope will beat a man and then belt a cross into the box that is so supreme, all the centre forward need do is get a head on it and it’s in.

What manager after manager has done however is to essentially start every game with two left backs.  Games in which the actual left back (Enrique, Santon et al.) has provided more forward impetus and creativity than the one in front of him.

Jonas has his qualities; let’s face it, he’s not Billy Askew – but if Newcastle really are to take a step forward next season, we really must only play Jonas against teams we’ve no hope of outplaying and sign someone with trickery and a sweet left foot for those we should be getting three points against at home.

Please Mr. Ashley, Mr. Pardew or whoever is making the decisions these days, sign us someone who can cross a ball and make us all love again.

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  • Aggaz

    BEST he’s best at nothing get rid of him

  • Munich Mag

    he is a defensive winger. It’s just that unfortunately his attacking input has became pretty much non-existent in recent seasons.

  • JabbaTheToon

    The problem is he’s no longer good enough to be a left winger and he’s not defensive enough to be a defender. So where does that leave him? Somewhere near left-central midfield has been the position of choice over the last season by Pardew but I think there are also better players in Newcastle that can do some of the required midfield defensive work and can pass a ball and even score – Anita for one. Bigirmana for another. I think Jonas has been an excellent servant to the club and in many ways I don’t blame him for this, I blame Pardew for picking him. Jonas is doing his best, sadly his best just isn’t Premier league anymore.

  • Alreet

    He has given some good times and some good goals. A workhorse but hes just about done. Either a squad player or keep him as a coach. Get in mertens to replace or push santon forward and haidara at left back. Santon loves to get up and can whip a good cross in. Build ferguson up a bit and he looks like a nippy winger.

  • gerard mulgrew

    The problem is his legs have gone and needs to be used sparingly after having been overplayed to a ridiculous amount .
    Last season he looked of the pace but before that he was one of our best players for a few years . His dribbling intelligence and determination caused most teams all sorts of problems , with most teams doubling up on him , some of his goals and assits while few were really of top top quality . I think its sad to see everyone forgetting the great things he did , truly shows that putting the team before yourself gets you nowhere

  • Steve Hanley

    Whenever I saw Jonas last season the one thing I couldn’t accuse him of was hiding. No matter how badly things were going’ he always made himself available to receive the ball. That’s a player worth hanging on to IMO

  • NUFCDavid

    Lots of aimless running doesn’t make up for a lack of technical ability. He should be nowhere near our first team but, like Steven Taylor, Pardew refuses to drop him.

    • Alreet

      Cant really put tayls in that catagory. He really shored up the defence late in the season and bar the pool tonking we might have let in a few more.

      • NUFCDavid

        I think that’s wrong to be honest. I think Taylor gets a lot of credit for not being Mike Williamson and that masks the fact that he’s extremely error prone and has lapses in concentration every game. He’s a local lad and that’s great but mouthing off to the Chronicle at every opportunity doesn’t make up for the fact that he hasn’t improved in 5 years.