After the final whistle at Hillsborough I was asking myself a number of questions, top of the list being ‘what does Yoan Gouffran actually do?’
It isn’t a new question, after pretty much every game of certainly the last four or five months, me and my mates have had the same discussion in the pub post-match.
Yoan Gouffran definitely wasn’t the only one who didn’t perform against Sheffield Wednesday, with the likes of Diame and Perez just as bad, but the Frenchman does somehow manage to avoid much of the stick that Mohammed Diame frequently gets.
The last 21 Championship games have seen just one Gouffran goal and I can’t really remember him doing anything of note in these past four months or more.
Three assists in the league all season tells its own story for somebody playing in such an advanced role.
Those who argue his case and even think he should get a new contract if we are going into the Premier League(!), tend to say things like ‘he does a job on the left’ and ‘it’ snot his job to score and create and goals’. That is simply not anywhere good enough for the Premier League and at the moment nowhere near good enough for the Championship.
In that first half of the season he did score a few goals (four in the first 20 Champ matches) but by and large, Yoan Gouffran and others could coast along in the background when Gayle, Shelvey & Ritchie were taking apart the opposition in that 13 wins in 15 (only one defeat) run, that set up Newcastle’s season.
Yesterday saw Gayle forced off through injury and Ritchie struggling to get into it, then finished off by Barry Bannan’s shocking lunge that should have seen a red card.
With Jonjo Shelvey fighting a lone battle to try and make things happen, it really isn’t good enough when Yoan Gouffran and others continue to refuse to take any responsibility to try and make things happen.
After the match, Gouffran says ‘I think we have to play much better’ and you can’t argue with that.
The trouble is that the likes of him, Diame and Perez are cruising through much/most of this season and certainly the second half of it.
The story of this season is a small number of players such as Shelvey, Gayle and Ritchie have really carried the rest and the desire that this trio show is why they can still do a job if promoted, whilst most of the rest will need to move on.
Yoan Gouffran speaking to the official club site:
“I think we have to play much better. It was very disappointing.
“We have to improve, we have to try not to concede silly goals, and we have to stay strong.
“We have to keep going, we need to work, and we need to try and beat Leeds on Friday. It is the kind of game we like to play.
“A lot of people will be watching, we know it will be important and we have to win it.
“We are still in a good position but we need more wins to be sure of getting promoted.
“It (losing Gayle to injury) isn’t the best but it is not an excuse, we have to play better.
“I think we started the game quite well. maybe the first ten to 15 minutes we were good, but after that we started to make some mistakes and they scored twice.
“The goal maybe came too late and after that it was hard to score another one.
“Now, we have to keep going and push to win the game on Friday.”
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