I think I’ve worked out the Alan Pardew – Yoan Gouffran love affair
The Boxing Day visit to Old Trafford will be a very special anniversary for Yoan Gouffran, exactly a year to the day since he scored his last goal for Newcastle United.
Supporters scratch their heads each time he is named in the starting 11, an attacking midfielder/winger who contributes no goals and next to no assists (4 in the last 18 months), yet plays week in week out.
Yoan Gouffran is the ideal Pardew player, does as he’s told without any free thought, hardly ever gets in the box and his overwhelming aim (when he can be bothered) is trying to stop the opposition scoring.
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Added to this, he has the knack of trying to look like he’s really really trying to win, but nothing ever comes of it.
When he chooses he has a busy style but it never leads anywhere, moving the ball backwards rather than ever trying to do something creative.
Imagine watching a team of Yoan Gouffrans? Alan Pardew would be in his element, the eleven on the pitch never risking anything, protecting the goalless draw.
Pardew tried to blame the Sunderland defeat on going too adventurous towards the end, no doubt inwardly believing that the biggest mistake he made was taking Gouffran off after yet another clueless hour on the pitch, in favour of Adam Armstrong.
For 20 or 30 minutes at a time, Gouffran manages to totally disappear, leading you to forget he is on the pitch. Remember, this is a player whose job supposedly is linking defence with attack, he should be in the game most of the time.
At the end of the day I don’t blame him of course, though I do think that he rarely puts in a proper shift these days.
It is Alan Pardew who has to take responsibility.
It is all very well casting aside players with ability such as Ben Arfa and Marveaux because of the other baggage they bring with them, but only if they are replaced by players who actually contribute something.
Hatem Ben Arfa has of course brought much of his troubles upon himself but I fail to believe he wouldn’t have given us so much more over the past year than Yoan Gouffran’s hide and seek act.
Hatem may not be a Pardew type player but no thank you if Yoan Gouffran is the alternative.
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