Position By Position Preview: Left Midfield/Wing

Jamie McDonald

Will Alan Pardew stick with his blind faith in Jonas Gutierrez? (Spoiler Alert: Yeah... probably)

Alan Pardew has exhibited the fact that he holds a completely different interpretation of what should happen at the LM/LW position than a very vocal section of Newcastle support, and he it would be a surprise if he diverged from his very solidly set in stone ideas.

Jonas Gutierrez

In last year's positional preview, Robert wrote of Jonas:

Jonas Gutierrez is perpetually underrated by the Toon Army because he doesn't produce much on the back end, but he covers over his deficiencies with bucketloads of creativity and fancy footwork. He's a true box-to-box midfielder, often assisting the fullback on his side with his defensive responsibilities. Whenever Newcastle are having trouble moving the ball through the midfield, Jonas becomes the outlet. The majority of their attack flows through the left side, and he is the reason.

While there may not be as much rampant underrating of Jonas by the Toon Army - few don't at least respect or recognize the graft that the Argentine puts in - there is a more vocal section that believe that the club's answers in the left of midfield lie decidedly elsewhere.

Sylvain Marveaux

Sylvain is another of those players that has shown flashes of greatness, but has been kept from a consistent place in the starting lineup by injuries and Alan Pardew's blind loyalty to Jonas. Although holding some similarities to Gutierrez on the attacking end (though to be fair it seems we see less and less of the scintillating stuff from Jonas as the days go by), Sylvain is a marked downgrade to the general integrity of the defense on the left side of the formation. Although he does manage to make it back into defense from time to time, he is neither as diligent nor as capable as the Argentine. Much like his countryman Hatem Ben Arfa on the other side of the formation, Marveaux would thrive in the 4-2-3-1 if Alan Pardew actualy allowed the wings in that formation to do what they are meant to do - drift inside and provide secondary attacking threat behind the striker.

Yoan Gouffran

Although Moussa Sissoko made the biggest splash among the January signings with his brace against Chelsea, Yoan Gouffran would have to be considered the most consistently influential. With Papiss Cissé likely to have a strangle hold on the striking position, Gouffran looks set to be employed in a wide position from the left as he was last year, whether that be wide left in the 4-2-3-1 or on the left of the front line in a 4-3-3. Either way, he brings a similar skill set as Sylvain Marveuax to the left. Both have strength in the attack while Marveaux has the edge with regard to crossing (I know... I know...) while Gouffran brings a slightly better positional awareness (he is a forward, after all) and a better presence in the air. Although I have ordered these previews in a depth-chart style order (most likely to start to least likely), this is a position where you could see any of these three guys in the starting lineup at any particular point during the season.

Sammy Ameobi

Each season, Sammy appears to be closer and closer to making an impact for the senior squad. While he may get a good look in early round cup competitions, unless there is a drastic injury crisis ahead of him, but at least you can say this about him... he didn't get farmed out on season-long loan to Birmingham City like CHN darling Shane Ferguson did. For the first time in the last couplel seasons, however, it doesn't seem like he is the Ameobi most likely to have a meaningful impact on the clubs fortunes.

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