Last week was a very tough week for Alan Pardew by his own admission, but at least the players who represented Newcastle against Hull City on Saturday, showed the fight and guts that was completely missing in the debacle that was the 4-0 defeat at Southampton in the previous game.
Jonas Gutierrez – his courage is inspiring
That’s the minimum that Newcastle fans demand from players wearing the black and white shirt – 100% effort.
And late last week we all learned that one reason we haven’t seen Jonas Gutierrez this season, is that he is fighting testicular cancer, and while the Argentine has kept this quiet for more than a year, Alan Pardew and Fabricio Coloccini and others high up at Newcastle knew about it.
But late last week Jonas decided to go public with the news on Argentine TV, and admitted he is having chemotherapy treatment in his home country.
That caused Newcastle fans and football people around the world to rally behind the popular 31 year-old player, and it seemed to inspire some of our players on Saturday.
After the game Alan Pardew said that Jonas Gutierrez’s illness had helped bring the team back together:
“Sometimes in desperate situations, which Jonas’ Gutierrez illness is, in a way for a professional footballer, it can bond you together.¨
“We all felt for Jonas this week announcing it – me and Colo obviously have known for a long time, and it was great that Papiss honored that.¨
“It’s something that in a strange way can bring players together.¨ “I felt that for all the reporting we had to put up with this week, and in the week before the Southampton game, some of it was really, really unfair and I said to the players, ‘You can’t moan about it because we have brought it on ourselves.¨
¨We set ourselves up at Southampton for this sort of criticism and you are going to have to learn to take it’. “Now, there are two things: you either can’t handle it – then don’t play for this football club; or you handle it, and I think they proved that today in very, very difficult circumstances.¨
¨Trust me, I have played as a footballer and not at a stadium as full as this, but with that same negativity level at Crystal Palace and at other clubs, at Charlton at times, and it’s very, very difficult.¨
“The players came through that today. They came through all the criticism of how bad they were at Southampton plus the negativity of today, and that will stand them in good stead to be Newcastle players.”
Jonas Gutierrez’ courage in adversity was one of the reasons our players looked so much better on Saturday than they did in the previous game.
And Papiss Cisse in particular seemed to be inspired by his friend’s fight against cancer, which has helped put things in perspective on Tyneside.
In a strange way Jonas bravery can help the Newcastle team fight out of the difficulties they are in at the moment, and after yesterday’s fixtures we still remain bottom of the league, so there is still much to do.
But if our players need courage and inspiration in this fight to move up the table and away from the relegation zone, they have Jonas Gutierrez to look up to for that.
Our very best wishes go out to Jonas in what is the fight of his life – and we know he can be successful in overcoming the disease.
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