If truth be told, then it would be fair to say that Jonas Gutierrez’s performances as a winger or as part of an attacking triumvirate behind a lone striker have not been good enough.
So far this season Jonas has only contributed only 1 goal to the Newcastle cause and has no assists to his name in the 33 games that he has played in all competitions. On the flip side, in a season which has been marred by long term injuries to key players, Jonas has been one of the key players too.
With his versatility, he has been able to slot in multiple positions and has done an admirable job. He has played at full back, center midfield, as well as a winger the aforementioned three-pronged midfield.
If you look at the stats for the player, you will see that there is very little tangible output that is being delivered.
Jonas is now in his fifth season with the magpies and so far he has contributed 11 goals and 21 assists in his 185 appearances for the club. The numbers are further diluted when you take into account of the fact that 4 of his goals and 10 of the assists came in the 2009-10 season when Newcastle were in the championship.
So that leaves 7 goals and 11 goals in 144 games in the top tier of English football, in Europe and in domestic cups. These are the hardly the numbers that any winger would be proud of.
Having said that, he has been the perfect utility man for Newcastle, and some of his best performances have come in central midfield and as a full back. Jonas played as a left full back against Manchester City and against Fulham and has played center midfield on many occasions giving sterling displays. He has also played as a right back for his native Argentina in some crucial matches including a crunch 2010 WC qualifier against Uruguay.
Given the fact that he has been more than comfortable in these roles and adding to the fact that the club has signed better players in the attacking roles, I would not be too surprised to see if Jonas does not play as a winger anymore or very rarely. Even the player himself has recognised the potential to play in this central midfield role.
This is what he told a local newspaper back in September 2012:
“I have never played in the centre of midfield before, or maybe I did a long time ago, but not recently,”
“It is something all players may have to do this season with the extra games.
“My attitude is that I try to play at least 7/10. I try to do the job the manager wants me to do. Maybe I won’t be spectacular in that role, but I know that I will do a good job.
“I try to improve, when I have been given this role I try to watch other players who have played this position.
“It is the most important thing in football – you need to understand where you need to be at certain moments in the game.
“When I play left-back, central midfield, in the No 10 role, I always try to find the best position to be in.
“The biggest thing is that you need to know exactly where you should be because when you are in your normal position you do it naturally.
“So I watch the best players in the world who play in central midfield and look to them.
“I watch a lot of left-backs and central midfielders to learn about them.”
Jonas has real passion for Newcastle and whenever he has dawned the Black & White, he has always given his best for the club. A manager and fan’s favorite, he only last year signed a new 4 year deal with the club.
I would not be too surprised to see Jonas play more frequently now in the centre of the park, in an attempt to more successfully integrate his positive traits.
What do you think?