Jonas Gutierrez is now 27 and joined the Magpies from Spanish club Real Mallorca just over two years ago, in a deal that finally reached around £5M.
Jonas Gutierrez – in action last Sunday against Sunderland
But like most Newcastle players he has now played under four different managers at the club – Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear, Alan Shearer and Chris Hughton.
And when he was off playing for Argentina, he played under former world class player Diego Maradona, and he compared the two styles of Maradona and his current boss at Newcastle – the quiet, calm and unassuming Chris Hughton.
You could never accuse Diego Maradona of being that, could you?
Gutierrez said today:
“Working with a legend like Maradona was fantastic. It was exciting to be at the World Cup with him. I will never forget it.” “To win the World Cup would have been a dream come true – but just to be coached by Maradona was extra special.”
“Chris Hughton is different because Maradona has a lot of excitement about him.” “They are different but they are both very good men. Chris is calm and, for me, I prefer that style.” “He knows what he wants from the players and he’s really quiet. When I came here, Keegan was a really nice guy, too.”
“They are quiet and calmly explain what they want, rather than shouting or saying things in a bad way.’’
One thing Chris Hughton has famously been able to do, in a relatively short time period, is to completely stabilise the club, and even when we get some bad things happening inside the club, he is somehow able to keep things under control and the players back him to the hilt.
The Carroll – Steven Taylor altercation in late March was handled superbly by the manager, and just a couple of days later Newcastle won 1-0 at Doncaster, and Andy Carroll got the winning goal – you really cannot make this stuff up.
And of course Hughton’s future has been in some doubt recently, as his current contract, which is probably the lowest wage that any manager is currently getting in the Premier League, runs out next summer, although the club has said they will give the Londoner a new contract by the end of the year.
When Newcastle went down in May of last year, and Chris was installed as temporary manger a little later that summer, Newcastle fans expected both Gutierrez and his Argentine team-mate Fab Coloccini to leave the club, but they didn’t, and were huge players for Newcastle last season in the promotion drive.
“There is greater stability at the club than there was in the year we went down.” “It was important what Maradona said to me then.” ” If he had told me I had to play in the Premier League to be in the national team, it would have been a difficult situation.”
“But, after I knew what he thought, I was happy to stay at Newcastle because this is a big club and I don’t think it can ever again be down in the Championship.” “I like it here and I don’t want to move. When I was young, I wanted to play in England. It was my dream, so I want to stay here for a long time.’’
Gutierrez has again been in top form for Newcastle out on the left wing this season, and he seems to be improving that final ball, and is having another fine run of form for the Magpies, after losing his place briefly to French star Ben Arfa.
But even before Ben Arfa broke his leg at Man City, Jonas was back in the team, as Chris switched Ben Arfa to the right wing in place of Wayne Routledge.
For the record Jonas has played 85 times for Newcastle with 5 goals in just over two seasons on Tyneside, and he’s a big favorite with the Newcastle fans – in fact he’a a huge favorite with the Newcastle fans.