Gutierrez left out for footballing reasons: Pardew

LONDON • Alan Pardew, the former Newcastle United manager, has rejected Jonas Gutierrez's claim that the former Magpies winger was viewed as a "liability" by the club after the Argentinian was diagnosed with cancer, and insisted that he was left out of the side for footballing reasons.

Gutierrez, 32, who now plays for Deportivo La Coruna, is suing Newcastle for disability discrimination after being released by the Premier League club last summer.

He has alleged that he was prevented from playing matches to avoid triggering a one-year extension.

Pardew insisted that he was "personally outraged" by the suggestion that he had betrayed Gutierrez.

"Jonas was an honest player you could rely on doing a good defensive job as an offensive player," Pardew, who now manages Crystal Palace, said.

"He played wide left of midfield and you have to have statistics that back it up. You want players to score goals, to win leagues, to win trophies and I always doubted that with Jonas.

"Jonas sensed he knew long before we got to the summer of 2013 that he was a player I was looking to replace. I moved him two or three times in the team. That's usually a sign to a player.

"I respected Jonas as a professional and I felt the fairest approach was to be honest with him. This was purely a footballing decision. It is personally upsetting to me that Jonas appears to think otherwise."

Gutierrez has told an employment tribunal that he felt Newcastle showed him a "lack of compassion" and criticised them for not calling him after he had a tumour removed in 2013.

The hearing continues.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2016, with the headline 'Gutierrez left out for footballing reasons: Pardew'. Print Edition | Subscribe