Monday afternoon saw Yoan Gouffran play as a defensive midfielder against West Brom’s reserve team.
With Cheick Tiote now in the treatment room with Jack Colback, the sinking feeling most fans had, was that Gouffran will now play alongside Vurnon Anita in central midfield on Saturday at Selhurst Park.
This tactic proved a disaster at Manchester City with six goals in 20 minutes and the midfield pair going missing as the team fell apart.
Siem de Jong has made clear when interviewed, that he sees himself as being more than capable of filling one of those two midfield spots, only for Steve McClaren to tell him that he doesn’t see de Jong as being an option to play there.
Now Gouffran himself has said that Steve McClaren wants him to play in central midfield now and he says that as well as playing there for the reserves yesterday, it is where he also plays when the team are training.
Crystal Palace will be determined to bounce back from last night’s home defeat to Sunderland and a recent record of only four points from the last 18, with Yohan Cabaye set to face Gouffran and Anita you have to really fear the worst.
Whether Siem de Jong is a better option is an unknown but it is hard to see him being a worse one, so surely it is worth giving something else a try rather than the same old negative Steve McClaren tactics of two limited central midfielders who are basically just extra defenders.
As for the reasoning in pushing central midfielder Gael Bigirimana out of the club at such a desperate time…
“It’s important to be ready to play and the manager knows I can play two or three positions.
“I have to be patient. I don’t play a lot of games but I have to be ready to play, at the moment the team needs some points and everybody fit.
“After the (Leicester) game the manager said he wanted to see me play 90 minutes (Monday in central midfield v West Brom reserves) and I did it.
“I needed to play 90 minutes as it was important for my condition. It was hard and the pitch was a little bit bad but I’m happy to play.
“For pre-season I played central midfield and now I think the manager wants me to play there – at the training ground I play central midfield.
“Peter Beardsley asked me where I wanted to play and I told him central midfield.”