Has Jonas earned the respect of Toon fans?

Posted on November 17th, 2011 | 28 Comments |

Has Jonas Gutierrez earned the respect of Newcastle United fans?
Respected player?
Since joining Newcastle United from Mallorca, Jonas Gutierrez has been an almost permanent fixture in the side. But has he finally earned the respect of that fans?

Jonas started his career with Argentina’s Vélez Sársfield as a youth in 1999 and he moved into first team in 2001. He stayed with Vélez for 99 games, winning the title with them in 2005 before moving to Mallorca for just over £3m after the title-winning season. Jonas bought himself out of his contract with Mallorca to join us in July 2008 and there was something of a furore after that with Mallorca demanding £13.2m off us in ‘compensation’. The dispute went to a FIFA hearing in the end and Mallorca settled for an undisclosed – but much lower – fee thought to be somewhere between £2.5m and £5m.

He slotted fairly quickly into our left midfield position and he’s more or less been there ever since. He did play a couple of matches at left-back for us and for his country he has often played at right-back, particularly under Maradona who one described his team selection policy as “Mascherano, Messi, Jonas and eight more“.

He wasn’t received universally well by Newcastle fans at first with many suggesting that he ‘flattered to deceive’ and had no ‘end product’, although I think few doubted his work-rate and his ability – particularly when partnered with Jose Enrique – to make ground up the left wing. One of the main criticisms was that Jonas’s crosses didn’t pass muster and, looking back at the stats, 14% of his crosses were accurate in his first season for us, which has increased to 17% this season. Those figures alone don’t say much without something to compare them to so, to put it in perspective, last season Nani’s crossing accuracy for Man Utd was 26%; this season Ashley Young’s is 17% and Gareth Bale’s is 38%. Maybe, then, there is room for improvement there.

But once we add defensive work into the picture, Jonas begins to shine with a 83% successful tackle rate as compared to 61% for both Bale and Young this season and 67% for Nani last season. I think this was epitomised by his performance at Stoke; his forward runs were often cut off by two or three Stoke players, limiting what he could do in that respect, but his defensive work was exemplary and he was, for me, our man of the match.

Stats don’t tell it all of course and sometimes you just have to look at the game a player plays as whole. But I’ve always liked Jonas, maybe because work-rate is something I really appreciate in a player, and I think he’s improved each season he has been with us. When he signed a new 4-year contract back in September, Pardew said of him:

Jonas can turn a game in an instant. He has marvellous ball skills, a terrific work rate and, in my time here, has hardly missed a game.

That’s the sort of consistency, fitness and performance wise, that a manager looks for in a player.

Which sums him up nicely I think.

Given that Alan Pardew doesn’t see Hatem Ben Arfa as a winger, I suppose the player who’s the greatest threat to Jonas’s place is Sylvian Marveaux, but I think Jonas would have to have a really bad run of form or suffer an injury before Pardew – who seems to like to keep things the same if possible – displaces Jonas. And whilst another player might be able to make more crosses count, they’d have to be pretty good defensively to take Jonas’s place in that respect.

So what do you think?

Has Jonas earned your respect? And is there any current Toon player you’d rather Pardew used instead of him?

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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28 Responses

  1. A few weeks ago, if spiderman had carked it his headstone would have read

    “Here lies Jonas Gutierrez, prolific throw-in winner for Newcastle United.”

    I was pretty sick of him messing about and playing in to dead-ends all the time.
    He shone in his debut, then that was about it until recently.

    Now, I think I would be fairly sad if he was to go.

  2. ^^^^^ you must be jokin man!

    works tirelessly for the TEAM

    he doesnt need to be too flash. i thought his time might have come when Jose went – but he’s proved me wrong.

    top value signing for me :-))

  3. I have always liked him since that Man united game debut. He tore them apart and he still does that to teams. His work Efficiency and love for this club is huge. Newcastle legend already in my eyes.

  4. I’m not doubting his midfield/defensive work-rate and you can call me old-fashioned if you like, but I like to see wingers taking men on and than sprinting towards the corner to get a cross fired in.

    As soon as a defender approaches, Jonas tends to slow it right down with some ineffective trickery giving time for another man to mark up and then if lucky maybe win a throw-in.

    If throw-ins were goals I would love him.

  5. Agree Tattyheed and is probably the player who gets fouled the most some of which must be because defenders have no other choice but to stop him that way.

    He probably gets us more free kicks than any of the other players by deliberatly getting himself fouled. And nearly always picks himself up, dusts himself down and carries on. No histrionics or dying swan displays.

    Great Pro.

  6. Don’t forget his partnership with his fullback – Jose & now raylor – this makes him a very good team player rather than those fancydan wingers we had in the past who were as good as him (some better) going forward but usualy useless for anything else.

  7. Although you may react strongly to actions which go against your personal moral code, you probably do not often have concerns about the consequences of interacting with moral ‘wrongdoers’

    That’s me according to the BBC’s morality test.

    It explains why I hang out here anyway.

  8. Barring injury, can’t see Pardew replacing Jonas until we have a solid LB who doesn’t need ‘extra help’ from the winger. Raylor is doing fine, but needs Jonas in order to be doing so. Santorini will probably be fine too and may not need Jonas as much, once he settles, …but until then, I think Pardew will want Jonas on the park to support him anyway, and as back up (if a winger can be ‘back up’ to a LB). So Pardew, who likes stability, continuity and not making changes that aren’t forced upon him, will continue to play Jonas on the left wing and others will have to be patient. Pardew has focused on building the team from the defence and so appears prepared to sacrifice extra creativity and polish in the final ball from his wingers, particularly on the left. Given the success so far, can’t see him changing tack now – nor would any of us want him to.

  9. Hugh de Payen says:

    November 17, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    “Although you may react strongly to actions which go against your personal moral code, you probably do not often have concerns about the consequences of interacting with moral ‘wrongdoers’”

    That’s me according to the BBC’s morality test.”

    I would definitely fall into that category too Hugh, in the extreme.

  10. Never been Jonas biggest fan end product still seems lacking but gets stuck in and works hard.
    If he had an end product then he would be very good indeed.

  11. Newcastle have handed a new long-term contract to Sammy Ameobi in a deal that will keep the forward at the Sports Direct Arena until 2015.

    Oh Dear.

  12. a member of the Mike Ashley Out campaign, Graeme Cansdale, has reclaimed the heritage brick (bought for his father 11 years ago) in protest at the name change from St James’ Park to Sports Direct Stadium (as named by BBC- not Arena !). “I bought what was called a heritage stone that was sold by Newcastle United to be part of the fabric of St James’ Park”.

    Newcastle United declined to comment.

    Well done Graeme!

  13. Supermac says:

    November 17, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Peter – I would love to see Santorini erupt on the left wing.

    It would take a bit of shifting to bring it all the way over from the Greek islands Supermac.

  14. Supermac says:

    November 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    “a member of the Mike Ashley Out campaign, Graeme Cansdale”

    “Mike Ashley out campaign” doesn’t really seem strong enough anymore Supermac. They should change it to “Mike Ashley should be hanged, drawn and quartered along with Derek Llambias campaign” or something like that.

  15. I’ve always been a fan of Jonas. His crossing may not be there 100% or the time but when he gets it right it’s beautiful and you have to admire his work rate and love of the game.

  16. worky – “Mike Ashley should be hanged, drawn and quartered along with Derek Llambias campaign” or something like that = MASH DAQAWDL
    – not very catchy I’m afraid, but if you’d settle for “Mike Ashley should be hanged” –
    I’d nominate you as chairman of M*A*S*H !

  17. So Northern Rock is no more – RIP. That explains a few things – end of NR sponsorship & probabaly (I quess) the timeing of the SJP name change – these millionaires just do what they like!

    But, come saturday we will I presume play in shirts with the Rock name? A bank that no longer exists!
    Anybody heard anything? What about the rest of the season? No logo? Sports Direct? Or do we just wait to see what they run out in!

  18. As far as I can see the sequence was –
    -Virgin agree sale of Rock with Government
    -Rock notify NUFC of sponsorship ending
    -NUFC consider options & decide to go for joint sponsorship of shirts & stadium

    So I am no longer convinced that Ashley had a sneaky plan with a timetable – I think he has simply reacted to events
    yes, he had some ideas about sponsorship, but he had to react to events
    he is left with no shirt sponsor, so had had to do something fast and went for the possibly more lucricive double shirt & stadium option

    so, as I ask above – whose shirts to we play in on saturday? Are a set of SP kit being produced as we speak?

  19. Supermac says:
    November 17, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    “he is left with no shirt sponsor, so had had to do something fast and went for the possibly more lucricive double shirt & stadium option”

    Supermac, Do you realise that the kerfuffle over the naming rights will actually make it much harder to sell the far less controversial shirt rights, especially so if they were bundled together? Now, even the shirt rights have become toxic and unpredictable from a sponsor’s point of view. Even if a sponsor takes on the shirt rights on their own, the timing could possibly lead to some kind of “guilt by association”. Potential sponsors want all that about as much as fans want the name change itself.

  20. worky – yes. of course, but it was a cockup reaction – not a well planned conspiracy! Like buying the club in the first place – he acted without due care & attention!

  21. Supermac says:
    November 17, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    “worky – yes. of course, but it was a cockup reaction”

    Supermac, you seem to forget that this rename thing has been going on for two years so far, it isn’t snap decision. I’ve also heard that thay knew about Northern Rock pulling out for six months too. ;-)

  22. It’s a shame the new owner of NR AREN’T taking over the shirt sponsorship. Its been years since I’ve worn a shirt with virgin on the front.

    Imagine if the headlines if they took over the naming rights.
    “Mike ashley sacrifices sports direct for virgin.”
    ” not only has Richard branson flown millions of people around the world from inside his virgin he is allowing 50,000 geordie inside to, when asked about the controversial and provocative decision branson said ” I haven’t seen so many people enter one if my New virgins since I was waiting in a queue in Dallas.”
    Debbie wasn’t available to comment..
    “lambiarse getting used to life inside virgin”
    ” Newcastle accept £10 million from virgin”
    “toxic shock branding for virgin”
    “mike ashley striped of naming rights by virgin”
    “to celebrate the new stadium naming rights 50,000 geordie dress as Roman soldiers, when asked worky ticket of the “shoot down mike ashleys helicopter with him in it appeal” had those to say. “we thought we would celebrate by repeating true historic events, people haven’t seen 50,000 men inside a virgin since the Romans were in town” no virgins could be found to comment.

  23. worky says “I’ve also heard that thay knew about Northern Rock pulling out for six months”
    OK, I didn’t know that. None of this makes him less of a tw@t but I think we don’t know all the facts yet
    – you know Branson could have had the club as well for only 25% extra!

  24. As worky’s pointed out ^^^^^^^^^^,
    the renaming thing has been on the agenda for years now, we all knew it could/would happen sooner or later.
    Just as ashley has stated in the past that he wanted ‘partnerships’ with groups willing to ‘invest’.

  25. two weeks without a match! I just want to get back to the simple things in life, like pre-match nerves, the buzz of anticipation, elation and dispair – following the lads playing football!

    After SJP renaming, loss of sponsors & Lamearse’s drunken ejaculations (verbal not carnal thank god) – I have one last thought to offer, & its back to the point of a super league in 2014.

    Should we still be a PL team then we will play only 15 home games, with a loss of earnings from 4 home gates = ? say 50,000 x 4 =200,000 = £1m+

    There will be a new lower TV deal = ? possibly down at least £250,000
    There will be lower prize money per league place = possibly down £20,000 per place

    It does not look good for the 14 clubs who do not qualify for Europe!

  26. Interesting stats, he’s a better defender than most and a poorer passer of the ball in turn ?
    So what comes to mind ?
    Obviously the guy is not playing in the position he excels in.
    And we have seen him play the FB role, which resulted in a not that great a performance.
    Look the guy is one of the fittest players in the league and can run all day, which IMO qualifies him as a perfect fill in for Tiote, no ?
    He has the speed and engine, plus the tackling abilities,I don’t understand why no one has recognized this and penciled him in to play the DM role ?