The first name on my Newcastle team sheet when Everton visit would be Florian Thauvin.
Whether or not Steve McClaren belatedly realises that playing seven defenders (back five plus any two of Colback, Anita and Tiote) isn’t in any way a good idea, the French winger has to be included in the starting eleven.
With Papiss Cisse almost certainly ruled out through injury and if not, he must surely be left out after looking terrible againt Spurs and Villa. McClaren must therefore return Aleksandar Mitrovic to the team, unless he somehow thinks that it would still be some kind of a good idea to give Siem de Jong another try, but further forward, despite being even worse than Papiss Cisse in these last two matches.
Lost amongst the dismal result and weather on Saturday, was the fact that Florian Thauvin came on for the last 19 minutes and actually looked pretty good.
Getting a yard and throwing in a handful of crosses for our big number 45 to try and get on the end of, what a revolutionary idea…
Mitrovic has ended up looking so demoralised and yes he should have still given more than he has, but the service to him has being atrocious and must be remedied straight away.
Florian Thauvin sadly became a convenient scapegoat for both the club management and a certain section of our supporters.
Our first sighting of him was a short substitute appearance where he looked the business, almost winning the match in the final seconds.
He then followed that up with a thankless task of playing a solo role up front for 10 man Newcastle against Arsenal after Mitrovic was sent off, Florian Thauvin actually got a load of praise after that game for the effort he’d shown despite the lack if support going forward from his teammates.
Sandwiched between those two games was a man of the match display against Northampton, where he scored one and made another two.
His ‘crime’ after that though, was simply to be no better than the rest of his teammates as two terrible matches saw defeats to West Ham and Watford, Florian Thauvin being the sacrificial lamb.
He was then thrown into some ridiculous situations as a substitute, coming onto the pitch against Manchester City, Sunderland and Leicester with the game already lost and his teammates shattered. However, he wasn’t given the chance for a bit of a confidence booster from the bench against Norwich despite Newcastle having the game sen up halfway through the second half.
He did ok with the last 10 minutes against Liverpool and then better on Saturday with his 20 minutes facing Villa.
It is time for width, it is time for an emphasis on trying to create and score goals, that means it is time for Florian Thauvin to be given his chance to feed the monster that is Aleksandar Mitrovic.
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