Steve Harper Surprised To See Jonas Right Back For Argentina


Steve Harper has come out today and said he”s never ever seen Jonas Gutierrez play at right back before, but that’s where the Newcastle left-winger has played for the impressive Argentina in their first two games, and they’ve got a good 6 points already in the bag.

Jonas Gutierrez – right back for Argentina

And it’s been intriguing for Newcastle fans that with Danny Simpson out at the start of  next season Jonas may be a candidate for that right-back position, but there’s no way Chris Hughton will use him there –  he’s far too good on the left wing.

Steve Harper talked about his Argentine team-mate today:

“I’ve never seen him play at right-back before but if you’re Argentinian and Diego Maradona asks you to do something, you do it,”

“It’s a strange position for him because he is such a great outlet for us on the left wing, but I know he has played in that role before for his country so I’m sure he is happy enough doing it.”

Jonas has played at right back for Real Mallorca and has already played there against Peru during qualifying, and let’s face it – he’s one of Maradona’s favorite players because of his spirit and work rate – and he’ll do anything for his country.

The Argies have made such an impressive start in the finals after looking fairly hopeless during qualifications, and their players are not overcome by the occasion, as seems the case with our English players.

Steve continued:.

“Would I like to see him play there for Newcastle? Not really, because he is such a threat for us going forward and he was one of our best players last season playing on the left wing,”

“He’s going to be a big player for us again next season, but I’d like to see him further up the pitch than right-back. I know full-backs are like wingers these days but I think he is better playing in a more attacking role, certainly that is where he has done well for us.”

“He is an exciting player and I’m sure he is looking forward to proving himself back in the Premier League.”

Gutierrez has picked up a couple of yellow cards and is suspended for Argentina’s final Group B game in South Africa, against Greece.

If someone comes in at right-back for Argentina  and look solid, it could be that Jonas will miss out in the next game but that’s unlikely.

Maradona has already declared Jonas one of the first three men on his team-sheet, along with captain Javier Mascherano and the still only 22 year-old  Lionel Messi, who has looked impressive and had a hand (or should that be a foot?) in all of Argentina’s four goals against South Korea.

Lionel is showing us what a true world-class player does – plays well when it really matters, and it certainly matters in the World Cup finals every four years.

And Jonas is getting Newcastle some good publicity by the commentators over here in the US, as they keep talking about Newcastle getting promoted after just one season down, and Jonas wearing a Spiderman mask when he scores.

Those are things commentators just love to bring up of course, and we’ll all be looking for that mask again next season.  Jonas played much better in the second game against South Korea than he did in that first game against Nigeria.

We expect Argentina to do very well this summer, as they look the best side going forward in the tournament, but their Achilles Heel is their defense and Martín Demichelis, the Bayern Munich center-back,  looked weak against South Korea, and his error was responsible for South Korea’s goal.

Comments welcome.



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1 comment so far

  • Captain Beefheart

    Jun 19, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #1

    Lionel Messi has a non-stop work rate that all our own forwards would do well to emulate. Always a team player. he is forever tackling back or dropping deep to assist the midfield by passing simple options. Most impressive is the little shimmy past a player or a give-and-go pass to open up options. It is this unselfishness that above all makes him a world class player, and he can score goals for fun as well.

    Whatever his Messi’s reputation off the field, he is far from a prima donna once he crosses the touchline. If AC could add even a few of these traits to his (ever improving) game then we could have one of the best home grown forwards ever on our hands.

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