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Time to Wake Up: We Need a New Winger

Newcastle United v Fulham - Crossing Accuracy

While watching the Newcastle United match last night, I couldn't help but feel anger towards one of the most loyal Newcastle United players on the pitch: Jonas Gutierrez.

In a match where near-on every Newcastle United player failed to impress, Jonas Gutierrez was, in my opinion, the worst of the lot. I don’t like to single out players in this manner, but I feel his performance raised several questions which must be tackled. 

Newcastle only managed to make 7 of their 34 crosses yesterday evening, and the majority of these wayward passes came from Gutierrez. Every time he had the ball, he became more and more predictable: he would dribble down the touchline, pull the ball back and knock the a cross in a long way short of his supposed target. When he has the ball, it seems as though he crosses merely for the sake of it without actually considering where the other players are. 

It is very clear that, despite being brought to the club with attacking premises in mind, Gutiérrez has very much flattered to deceive on the goal-scoring and assist front – just 5 goals and 10 assists in 99 Premier League since his arrival from Spain!

In terms of creating chances, Jonas has been somewhat inconsistent, and a chance created every 86 mins of a game on average is hardly worth shouting about, which explains the low number of assists in his game.

Jonas’ cross production and accuracy has been inconsistent also, but what can be seen to have deteriorated is his production of successful dribbles per game – starting at over two per game in his first season to less than one per game on average this season.

I know that Gutierrez is perhaps one of the most loyal Newcastle players having staying at the club during the relegation period. But I have gradually become more and more skeptical of him over the years. I quite honestly feel that if we really want to challenge the best in the league and the best in Europe, we need to be putting out a balanced team that can beat the opposing defender, and make the make the most of out two towering strikers. At the moment the final ball is lacking and it is seriously harming us.

A lot of talk has been given towards a supposed new striker or central defender in January. But quite frankly we should be concentrating on strengthening out wide instead. The 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 formations demand width from the two outside men, relying on the creation of space in the middle. But when we can’t make the link-up between the winger and the two strikers up top, not enough chances are going to be created. 

I hate to be the guy who raises this concern about such a well-loved player, but I feel that if we really do wan’t to make progress in this league, and build upon the strong foundations that we provided last year, we have to be practical. Gutierrez is a squad player and nothing more.

Unless he can prove his worth in the games running up to Christmas, I feel we should be concentrating on bringing in a new winger. 

What do you think? Should he be in the starting XI? If not, who could fill his position?

About Harry Savill (Editor) (418 Articles)
I am the Editor of 'The Spectator's View'. I set up the website so that I could combine my two passions: Newcastle United and writing, and I hope for it to be a platform where fans can express their views on the club. History Graduate from Durham University. Junior Account Executive at M&C Saatchi.

7 Comments on Time to Wake Up: We Need a New Winger

  1. I only read this because I knew someone was going to say what I have been for a few games now. Totally agree and Williamson must go. He just smashes the ball long regardless of the situation.

  2. I’m not sure about this…I saw things differently last night. The team on a whole had 30 minutes where they played ‘okay’, and jonas was at the heart of most of it. In the last five minutes alone he put in two brilliant crosses, the 3 strikers on the pitch didn’t get close enough to them despite them landing around 6 yards out and BEGGING to be slotted home.

    How many crosses did Danny Simpson successfully put in last night? I’m guessing zero or maybe 1. How many times did Williamson mess up? I don’t mean the deflected goal, I mean in general. Those 2 are appalling and costing us games. Jonas might not be a massive influence at the moment but the team is playing appallingly. Cisse looks rubbish because he never gets the ball, because the team is playing appallingly! When you’re playing this badly, you need your defence to stand up and be counted, but they aren’t. If we want to pick scapegoats then look no further than the flimsy right hand side of our defence. Pass jonas the ball and he’ll do something, whether it be win a free kick or put in some sort of a cross – at least he’s creating chances – something the team isn’t doing enough of on the whole. While he is at least trying and contributing in some way, I won’t call him. At least he cares and isn’t costing us games like Simpson and Williamson who to be honest, don’t deserve to play for Newcastle and never have done.

    • To be honest, I agree with you on a number of those points. However, we have already recognized the deficiencies in those areas – CD and RB. We’re ‘planning’ to buy a new center back in January as quite frankly everyone agrees that Wiliamson just isn’t good enough to be starting in these big PL games. With Simpson, we’ve yet to offer him a new contract so we can safely assume that the management aren’t wholeheartedly happy with that either.

      But with Jonas, there are a lot of people who still think he deserves to be in the team week in week out, and haven’t fully realized how many opportunities he wastes. At the moment, we don’t have anyone who is better than Jonas on the right hand side (marveaux is debatable), wheras we have saylor at center-back and two srikers who can be lethal when in form. And yet, we are focusing on strengthening areas which are already pretty much covered. If we could bring in a pace, skilled winger who can put in an accurate cross, we could be so much more prolific.

    • Erm what chances have you seen Jonas create this season? I must be watching a different game.

  3. Himanshu Dhingra // December 11, 2012 at 4:55 pm // Reply

    Jonas is not a Winger anymore end of, can’t cross for love nor money

  4. Been saying the same for a long time but its become even more apparent this season. I cant believe he has even been given the captains armband a few times this season? He must have some dirt on Pardew? But we even have Marv who should have started ahead of Jonas. He might be ok coming on in a game we are winning to run clock down and frustrate but in summer when we could have improved he should have been replaced. Add to the list sakho/mbiwa, remy, sissoko and debuchy. If they were signed it would take our team to another level.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Five Wingers that Newcastle Should Consider « The Spectator's View
  2. ‘One in’ in January- Why are we holding back? « The Spectator's View

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