JONÁS Gutiérrez was delighted to finally perform his Spiderman celebration at Newcastle United, although he wished it had not been such a long wait for the moment he put on his mask.
Gutiérrez scored only his second goal for United in the 6-1 thrashing of Barnsley at the weekend and, having refused to don the mask in protest at stories claiming he wanted to leave earlier this season, St James’ Park finally got to see their superhero.
However, the Argentina international revealed the mask has paid the price for spending so many games stuffed down his shorts after giving it to the injured José Enríque as a present.
“I don’t know how long the mask has been down there, but it did not smell very nice when I put it on,” said Gutiérrez (pictured right), who will not take the mask to the World Cup with Argentina.
“I had to do it, it has been a long wait. People were talking about it when I signed because I had worn it in Spain.
“I had it last season, the same one, but did not use it at all. I cannot actually remember the last time I put one on. I never thought it would take so long for me to have a chance to put it on. It does smell.
“When I gave it to Jose I did warn him it did not smell very good. I have cleaned it once or twice.
“I did feel a little sorry for José because he has just came back from injury. I wanted to give it to him as a gesture of my support for him. He did the right thing.
“He felt something was not quite right and he came off to stop it getting any worse.
“I don’t know whether to let him keep it. I might have to ask for it back because it might be a lucky one now.”
Gutiérrez was famous for the celebration in La Liga with Real Mallorca, an idea which came to him after meeting a young fan in a cinema the night before a game.
He explained: “It all started in Spain. I went to the cinema and a little boy asked me to score a goal for him, so I told him I would put a Spiderman mask on for him as that was his favourite film.
“The next game I scored so it carried on. I bought four or five after that, although I don’t know where the others are. Maybe this is the last one so I will have to get it back. I could wear the whole suit if we are promoted. No, no, just the mask.
“I am glad to have finally had the chance to wear it. Of course, it is more important the team can win the game and if I score that is just a bonus for me.
“I thought we were excellent against Barnsley and it could have been more than six.
“We are looking as though we are on course for the Premier League, but we still have to get there. The gap is a big one, we are in a really strong position. It was important we won the game again and if we win all our remaining home games that will be enough to get us up.
“We have to play Nottingham Forest here this month and that will be the big one.
“We have five home games left and we are playing so well here.”
United manager Chris Hughton was delighted with his winger, even if he knows he should score more goals than he does for the Magpies. He said: “When Jonas plays like that he looks like an international player playing in the Championship.
“He had come back from international duty, he played very well for Argentina in the week and he is a player with real confidence at the moment.
“He had a great goal at the end of the season and that was promotion here and then to do well at the World Cup.
“He is playing well at the moment. For us, the most important thing is his overall contribution and we cannot fault that. He was excellent.”