Jesus Gamez was one of Rafa Benitez’ first signings as Newcastle boss.
it bore all the hallmarks of a deal that ad happened due to the new NUFC manager’s connection with, and experience of, La Liga.
A versatile defender (can play both full-back positions and centre-back) with loads of experience of playing in La Liga and the Champions League.
Now 31 and no doubt on very decent wages at Newcastle after being a free agent following his release from Atletico Madrid.
His experience though would surely be a massive help to Rafa, helping first to get Newcastle out of the Championship and then all being well, the transition back into the Premier League as well.
Twenty four months later and Jesus Gamez left Newcastle, having only started three league matches, two in the Championship and one in the Premier League.
This was a player who had played 31 times for Atletico Madrid in the season before he came to Tyneside.
So where did it all go wrong?
Well, three months after leaving Newcastle the player is still without a club, Jesus Gamez says he had offers from Turkey and La Liga this summer but was holding out for a return to Malaga who are currently top of the Spanish second tier.
Interviewed by Malaga Hoy, Jesus Gamez claims that everything was all but agreed with Malaga but then the goalposts kept moving, despite him agreeing to three different wage cuts, he says the club have left him in the cold and haven’t been 100% truthful.
In the interview they also ask about his ‘complicated’ two years at Newcastle United.
Gamez admits he had injury/fitness problems early on and then things took a further turn for the worse when breaking his collarbone.
However, he slates Rafa Benitez for not showing enough ‘understanding’, reading between the lines it appears that the Newcastle manager didn’t think the player was that desperate to get fully fit and play.
Gamez says he and his family loved living on Tyneside and he describes the fans and rest of the Newcastle squad as ‘sensational’ in his time at the club.
The interviewer plays up to him by putting a loaded question saying isn’t it curious that not many players ‘speak well of Benitez’, which is strange because most when interviewed do speak highly of Benitez, those that don’t tend to be the ones who might not have got a lot of playing time under him…
Jesus Gamez says ‘You cannot talk or argue with him (Rafa Benitez) because he always wants to be right’ – well he is the manager and he person in charge.
It did always seem a strange one when Jesus Gamez didn’t get a game even when fit, he was on the bench 18 times in the Championship and yet was only used for 56 minutes as a sub in the second tier. A time when you thought his experience would be invaluable in seeing out games.
In the Premier League it was even more extreme, only given 7 minutes off the bench as well as his solitary PL start at Swansea.
Bit of a shame Jesus Gamez has come out with this now when nothing really to be gained, just another player who is bitter he didn’t get more games under a particular manager.
Jesus Gamez talking to Malaga Hoy:
‘The two years in Newcastle were complicated?’
“Yes, it got complicated at the beginning with an injury, then I broke my collarbone.
“At the family level, the experience was very good (living in Newcastle).
“At sporting level, the fans and the teammates…sensational.
“But the coach did not understand the situations that happened and also the deal was not the ideal one.
“Rafa Benitez…He is a person that I do not like talking about because he did not contribute anything to me in these two years and I have nothing to say about him.”
‘It is curious, there are not many soccer players who speak well of Benítez?’
“When someone is so selfish …They do not know how to read situations and understand that things are not always the same.
“You can not distrust everyone. I showed him my professionalism. Time proved me right.
“I had an injury, I was not fooling anyone at all. The physios and the medical services of Newcastle knew how to understand the situation.
“You cannot talk or argue with him (Rafa Benitez) because he always wants to be right.
“It is normal that you (players) do not speak well of him. I have nothing more to say.”