Jonas Gutierrez – Newcastle’s new marmite?

“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.

And, it’s fair to say, the Argentine hasn’t disappointed. 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.

Having said all of that, Gutierrez has become somewhat of a love/hate player at NUFC of late. Some claim the winger is too defensive minded, thus hindering his attacking threat – the player himself, the players behind him and the manager’s tactics all suspect for reasoning.

Furthermore, there are those that say even when the Argentine is given the freedom to play high and forward, he lacks contribution and his end product is poor.

A look at Jonas’ attacking and defending numbers for this Premier League season should shine some light on the wide man’s ability and performances.


PL Current Top Ten - Left Sided Players Attacking Stats

Compared to the left sided players of the current top ten Premier League clubs, Jonas Gutierrez fares average at absolute best. While none of his values are the lowest, he is way off the highest numbers for every value. Only Downing & Pienaar have scored less goals than the Argentine so far and only those two plus James McLean have assisted less goals.

From a creativity point of view, the weakness in NUFC in general has been highlighted recently, but in Jonas, Newcastle have a top ten left sided player that creates more per game than only James McLean at rivals Sunderland.

In terms of dribbling, Jonas does as well as most, but his crossing data is way down the pecking order again.


PL Current Top Ten - Left Sided Players Defending Stats

A more clear picture of Jonas Gutierrez is painting after glancing over the defensive figures. It is only James McLean, again, that makes more tackles per game than Jonas, which tells you about the way Sunderland are employing the Irish wideman. Also, Guti makes the joint most interceptions per game on average alongside Steven Pienaar, but by far the most ‘dribble stops’, doubling the stats of next best McLean.

Only Samir Nasri makes more clearances on average per game and it is the Sunderland and Everton men again that are the only ones to do better than Jonas in terms of blocking shots per game.

Where he gets it

Jonas Gutierrez receiving - last 8 PL games

The majority of the black and white faithful would say that they would prefer to see Jonas with the ball as opposed to chasing it, but in his ‘defending-prioritised’ position there have been many games where Newcastle simply cant get him on the ball in the right areas.

The graphic above shows where Guti has received the ball in the last 8 Premier League games.

While it’s quite pleasing to see him not gaining possession in his defensive third as much as it may have been perceived, his lack of receivals in the final third, particularly beyond the opposition’s 18 yard line, is a concern and it can certainly be seen why his figures such as crossing are deficient.

The majority of where Gutierrez is given the ball, whether his or the passers fault, is the middle third and with the attributes the Argentine has, Newcastle must find ways to get him on the ball higher up the pitch.

It comes as no surprise, when looking at this, that Jonas Gutierrez is the most fouled player in the top division currently – teams can afford to foul him in that middle area.

No one doubts that Jonas Gutierrez is now an integral part of Newcastle United’s team. He works as hard as any player in world football and has the ability to produce the sublime at any time in a football match.

However, the tactics currently adopted by the team have thwarted what was already a questionable attacking output. For a left winger in the top flight, Jonas is not producing the goods needed for a European fight.

However, if it was down to his ability alone, question marks would arise regarding his first team place. But, that’s not the case – Jonas is being employed to protect his full back as much as possible and when the chance arises to join in attacks, he does his upmost to do so.

Should this be the case? How many other teams are asking their left sided players to do the same job? Should AP not have full confidence in his defensive backline and holding midfield player, allowing Gutierrez to do more damage in the final third? Particularly at home, should NUFC not implement a more attacking ethos, to the point of even starting a different player than Gutierrez?

Let us know your thoughts.


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85 thoughts on “Jonas Gutierrez – Newcastle’s new marmite?

  1. @wolfie

    No it’s not that I’m right and everyone is wrong. So far I’ve only seen you and Trumpet who are wrong. 😉


  2. Based on his abilities I would describe Jonas as a wingback if i didn’t know we keep playing him as a winger.
    I think we should try playing him at left or right fullback with the opposite side covered by either Santon or Simpson.

    —————————–Ben Arfa——————————

    Something like that, I suppose.


  3. @Pootle

    He’s been here 4 years now and he’s 30 years old nearing the twilight of his career. It’s took all those years of playing on the wing to realise he’s a wing back.



  4. Yes, what I was alluding to is the fact we keep playing him as a winger despite the fact he appears to have all the characteristics which suggest he isn’t one. Or at least not a very good one.

    It does seem to be taking a v-e-r-y long time for anyone at the club to notice though. .


  5. I wonder how many years Ben Arfa will be here before they try him in a role behind the strikers then ❓ 😕


  6. Someone has been on the Go-Go juice again. Incredibly hard working and any lack of attacking threat is more than made up for with defensive work. He is very consistent and reliable. And fit.


  7. So just imagine how well he might do if he was played as a wingback or fullback, where his skills actually lie.
    🙄 😆


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