“He’s an exciting player and I’m sure our fans will enjoy watching him!”- That was the verdict of Kevin Keegan on signing Jonas Gutierrez for Newcastle from Real Mallorca back in July 2008.
This season, Jonas Gutierrez has been a revelation and has been labelled one of the most improved players at the club – an impressive feat at a club which has seen positive changes in so many different ways.
His commitment this season has been second to none and this has been largely down to his new role, playing in a more central position compared to the attacking left-wing role he ad previously been deployed in.
In previous seasons, he was recognized more so as a player making up the numbers- to provide satisfactory deliveries to a two pronged attack force of Andy Carroll and Shola Ameobi.
However, this season’s change of formation to a more attacking 4-3-3, has allowed him to be more creative and has given him more space to play off the two central players of Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote.
The club’s fortunes on and off the pitch have rocketed this season, and with this, Gutierrez’s confidence has also improved dramatically. The role of Captaincy was given to him in the 2-0 win over Liverpool and he seems to have finally come into his own. He’s at last showing the quality which had attracted the attention of many top European clubs in 2008, and he has managed to surprise the Toon faithful with some cracking strikes this term; something which had rarely been seen from the Argentinian.
He possesses amazing skill and has that drive and flair to evade even the toughest of full backs. He also has an excellent understanding of defending principles and matched with his hard work and endeavour, Jonas would be a key player for many sides.
From a creativity point of view, the weakness in general has been highlighted recently, but in Jonas, Newcastle have a top ten left sided player that creates more chances per game than only James McLean at rivals Sunderland.
Gutierrez received man of the match in the victory against Stoke City on 31 October as fellow team mate Demba Ba bagged a hat-trick to propel Newcastle up the table to where they lie 5th currently today.
Gutierrez has been instrumental in Newcastle’s fantastic season and the winger celebrated by donning the famous red “Spiderman Mask” in an FA Cup match against Blackburn where he scored a 95th minute to win the tie. He went on to score his 3rd goal of the season in the home tie against Wolves with a fantastic 30 yard strike in front of the Sir John Hall Stand at St James’ Park, this goal made it 3 goals in his last 3 appearances against Wolves.
And as the campaign is drawing to a close, the Argentinian International has expressed his views that his manger Alan Pardew should be crowned manager of the season and further expressed his goal of welcoming Champions League football back to St. James’ Park.