Spiderman stokes Argie rivalry
Having played under Diego Maradona at Hampden Park, Jonas Gutierrez has slated his fellow compatriot Julio Arca and prodded the pre-match fires for the Boro game by branding him an unlikely suspect when it comes to international call ups. Spiderman said:
'I know Julio, although I haven't talked to him for a few weeks now. He is a player I know fairly well because of his time in Argentina, and he's someone I've kept a little bit of an eye on since I've been in England.
He has been linked with the Argentina international team over here, but that isn't really something that has been happening back in Argentina. It is very difficult to play in the national team for Argentina, especially if you are a midfielder. There are a lot of very high-quality players in the squad and Julio will have to work very, very hard if he wants to break into that team. He will have to prove he is better than one of the squad players that are already there, and that is going to be very difficult for him to do.
I am looking forward to playing in the derby game. I was a substitute in the match against Sunderland, but hopefully I will be involved in this game from the start. I obviously don't come from England, but I have been here long enough to know about the importance of local rivalry in the North East. The supporters were very disappointed that we didn't beat Sunderland, but hopefully we can make it up to them a little bit by winning against Middlesbrough.'