The one standout feature of Newcastle’s squad this season has been their team spirit. Each player has been working for everyone else in the team, so singling one player out as the best team player was a difficult task. However, one Newcastle United star has worked tirelessly all season, putting in selfless performances and working hard defensively, even though he’s an offensive player. That man is Jonas Gutierrez.
When you think of wingers, defending is not an attribute that is commonly associated with them. Dropping the shoulder, beating men is more of their thing, but Gutierrez has been working like a terrier down the left flank, providing excellent cover in front of Ryan Taylor earlier in the season and now Davide Santon. Under the guidance of Alan Pardew he has helped Newcastle look far more solid in that area of the pitch and even contributed to masking some of Taylor’s defensive deficiencies.
There hasn’t been a game this season where Jonas Gutierrez hasn’t worked his socks off, but the match against Stoke in particular highlighted his exceptional work-rate. The Argentine might not have got forward as much as he would have liked, but that was because more often than not he was in the left back spot, helping out his defenders. Jermaine Pennant never got to run at Taylor, which was almost solely down to Gutierrez.
Gutierrez may have been Newcastle’s best team player this season in my opinion, but that shouldn’t detract from some of the hard work that his teammates have been doing. French international Yohan Cabaye has been the epitome of a box-to-box midfielder, providing Newcastle with a great engine in the middle of the park. In fact from back to front, the Magpies have been chasing opposition players down and not letting them have time on the ball all season.
Their high levels of teamwork have undoubtedly contributed to Newcastle’s impressive first half to the season and it’s important that they stay a tight unit to help them through the tougher times when positive results are hard to come by. Excellent teamwork is also something that shines through in Street Football, with the Samsung Galaxy SII following ADC Florianopolis on and off the field on the beaches of Brazil…
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