Jonas Gutierrez: Spiderman Is The Catalyst Behind Newcastle's Unbeaten Start

Diego Maradona's unstinting faith in Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez perplexed many, not least the Geordie public. Now however they are beginning to see what Armando the Great saw in him.
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Diego Maradona's unstinting faith in Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez perplexed many, not least the Geordie public. Now however they are beginning to see what Armando the Great saw in him.

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The Magpies are singing, Alan Pardew is smiling and Mike Ashley is grinning like a Cheshire cat as he downs his tenth pint and scoffs the bar dry of snacks. The Mighty Toon remain unbeaten so far this season with one unexpected player being the inspirational figurehead for Newcastle United.

The Spiderman, otherwise known as Jonas Gutierrez has been an inspiration with his flowing hair dancing in the wind as he surges past full backs and dribbles his way into the box in a stylish manner only a drugged-up Diego Maradona could previously see.

Now I admit he may not look the part, I expect him to see him every night in a subway somewhere asking me for some change to go and get a Carlsberg Special Brew or maybe I’ll see him on Halloween with his broom flying past me as I look over the London skyline.

However, he’s been a class act for the Barcodes this season, not just in attack as you would expect for a winger, but in defence as well. So far Ryan Taylor has been featuring out of position at left back in every league game, and although he has done a good job, the Spiderman deserves his share of the credit for that.

Last term Jose Enrique was superb down the left flank but in his absence the calmed persona of Jonas should not be under-estimated with his lung busting runs and exceptional cover of left back. Newcastle’s unbeaten start has seen them concede only four goals in seven games with the best defensive record in the Premier League.

Yet, in the summer when close friend Jose Enrique left to go and join Liverpool, and Joey Barton wanted to see a few more art galleries and decided London was for him, as well as Andy Carroll’s bodyguard Kevin Nolan leaving it looked like the scruffy Argentine’s days were numbered too. The cynics decided Jonas was off.

He celebrated signing a new four year contract with a stunning goal that even Lionel Messi would have been proud of. All that was lacking was the Spiderman mask.

Mercifully just prior to the international break, when Jonas tormented Mackem Mick’s defence at Wolverhampton nearly a fortnight ago, he celebrated signing a new four year contract with a stunning goal that even Lionel Messi would have been proud of. All that was lacking was the Spiderman mask. He weaved in and out of four Wolverhampton Wanderers defenders before smashing the ball past a helpless Wayne Hennessy to send Newcastle well on the way to victory.

One criticism of him in the past has been his final ball, which in all fairness was largely poor but this seems to have been rectified and he has been as influential as anyone in Alan Pardew’s new quick passing style of play.

The new messiah Pardew has reinvented the side since he became manager, seeing a mass upheaval of influential players. However, unlike Mrs Doubtfire down the road at the Stadium of Plight, it has largely been a success. With Gabriel Obertan and his searing pace on the right wing, Cheik Tiote the defensive midfield shield protecting the rejuvenated Coloccini and Taylor and the artful probing of Yohann Cabaye, fans are witnessing some very good stuff at present.

No longer is the Geordie lingo drowned out by Scouse; now it’s French that prevails although Pards has banned players from speaking any other language than his mother tongue. If you’re spotted or heard not speaking English, you get an automatic fine.

Reading this you might think I like to have a Tommy Tank over Jonas and I need to take my black and white glasses off. However, I’ve not always been a fan and it’s taken the last 18 months to convince me that he’s the man to slot in on the left wing. In fact when Argentina qualified for the World Cup in 2010 and Maradona said after having a biffta cigar that Jonas was one of three guaranteed players to go to the World Cup I spurted my coffee all over my desk in astonishment before collapsing with a seizure of laughter.

As Jonas trudged off to South Africa with his stray dog and begging for change I was hoping he would have the World Cup of his life so we could get a decent offer in and get shot of the player who was largely ineffective when delivering a cross or shooting. But credit to the player he has proven me wrong, for once, and when Hatem Ben Arfa is fit and raring to go, I hope it’s not Jonas that is sacrificed to join Sunbed Steve Harper on the bench.

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