When Second Choice Doesn’t Always Mean Second Best At Newcastle
At times it might seem that Newcastle don’t carry much luck but in missing out on Loic Remy (who has just gone down with a groin injury which could mean up to three months out), Yoan Gouffran has been given his chance.
According to press reports and quotes from the player himself, Gouffran was coming to Newcastle regardless but the move brought forward from the summer when Newcastle ‘missed out’ on Remy.
The fact that Newcastle very publicly were in for Remy might then lead fans to think of Gouffran as a second class replacement.
However, while Remy is clearly somebody with a bigger reputation, it is interesting to see the stats which tell us that before this past weekend, only two players had scored more goals in France than Yoan Gouffran since the start of last season. In that season and a half you had Gomis on 25, Aubameyang (who we were also linked with) on 24 and Gouffran third with 22.
Not bad, especially for a player who doesn’t always play as an out and out striker, as has been the case in his two games so far for Newcastle. However, that vital second goal against Chelsea showed once again that pace is vital in the Premier League as Gouffran’s electrifying burst from the halfway line meant nobody could catch him. Then his decent shot was blocked only for the maybe even quicker Moussa Sissoko to tap in after matching Gouffran’s run.
Yes it is early days but after an OK debut against Villa, Gouffran looked really sharp on Saturday and helped link up play well, whilst at the same time never stopping running to help close down and pressurise Chelsea.
If he can add a few goals on top of what seems an excellent work ethic then he could become a firm favourite with the fans, he certainly seems to have really bought into the whole Newcastle United monster if you read these post-match comments he gave to the Shields Gazette;
“I have not seen anything like this, never, not at all.
To have these supporters behind us is unbelievable. To see a full St.James’ Park and have those fans behind us, just magnificent, it was beyond belief.
Our team has bonded and when you come from another league, you need to get in straight away – there is no time to waste.
The most important thing is we have shown we can play together and can improve.
We work hard, that’s the most important thing.
Most importantly we must continue with the fight and show what playing for Newcastle United means to the fans”.
Also on the second choice front, only eighteen months ago we were on the brink of signing Modigo Maiga and at the last moment pulled out and signed Papiss Cisse instead. Even though West Ham have been desperate for goals/attacking options, Maiga has only started twice for them so far this season.
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