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.”

(To see our interactive player ratings and to add your own go HERE)

(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer views go HERE)

(To read what Carlos Carvalhal had to say after the match go HERE)

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • TheNutJob

    Oot the door with them all

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    What does Anita, Dummett, Diame,Perez do? .. if you sit down any just watch any one of the players I mentioned in isolation you wouldn’t sign any of them to play for your local pub team .. the amount of ball they give away under no pressure is amazing .. I’ve seen lads playing local football who didn’t make it professionally at Newcastle who have 20 times the ability most of our squad has.. if anyone can tell me how Paul Dummett or Jack Collback get a wage for playing football I’d greatly appreciate that.
    Oh… and Raffa signed players that can’t even get into the match day squad before these donkies remember.. unreal

    • The Newt

      That’s unfair…Dummett nearly got a cracking assist yesterday when his clearance fell perfectly to Hooper.

      You’re right though, as is the author of the article. If our squad next season has the same core as this group then we will struggle, they’re simply not good enough.

      • SH.ER

        not in a mood for sarcasm right now … :()

    • SH.ER

      exactly , the footballers at our club :
      – they can’t hold the ball , ( they don’t twist & turn to get out of pressure or press ) & they take the “easy” pass to get rid of this pressure

      – they don’t have movement “OFF THE BALL” << & that's so so scary & worrying , a football team will not do ANYTHING without movement off the ball unless you wanna play simple bus parking & counter attacking


      just watch the replay , the first 20 minute we dominated the ball but did nothing with it because our player were standing still with no movement
      every time we got the ball at the back
      I am sick of it , this pretending of "we are trying"
      pathetic … lazy idiots

      • Anita kick up the Hoop

        We treat Raffa as this master tactician.. I’ve not seen any evidence of that .. he played the same tempo, and system for months without trying anything different, Sheff Wed scored on about 60 minutes and he went and sat down .. 18 minutes later he matched their two up front by bringing Mitro on… and at last we had a focal point! For how long was it obvious Ritchie was carrying a knock? How long could you see Gouffrann having no impact or Perez doing nowt! Where was the decisive tactical changes? .. every game Raffa makes subs mainly to kill time in the last 25 minutes.. he brings a player on.. 5 minutes later another player then 5/10 minutes later another.. the opposition are making subs around the sane time killing the flow of the game … I remember Robson regularly seeing things that needed changing and making three substitutes.. making a impact and tactically altering the game .. I’m yet to see anything like that from Raffa.

        • 1957

          He’s certainly no master tactician, he’s fixated with being tight and compact, not conceding and looking to score on the break. That works ok until we concede first and his only response is more of the same, there is no plan B.

          He equally is no great shakes in terms of the transfer market. For me, and I accept some disagree, Diame has been a waste of money and only gets in the team because he was the manager’s pick. Add Hanley, Murphy and Sels to Mo, with Lazaar and Atsu who the manager doesn’t clearly doesn’t rate and it wasn’t as successful a transfer window in the summer as some feel.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            We have a culture (especially in local papers) where Raffa is beyond criticism.. I’ve never known anything like it! Great managers like Kk and SBR where criticised when they made mistakes so why has Raffa become beyond question when his product isn’t anywhere near as good?

    • Viru leckworth

      Bit harsh.

    • 1957

      I saw the young Dummett play in the second team and he was no great shakes then and hasn’t improved since. When he joined St Mirren on loan I thought that was the last we would see of him but in the absence of defensive signings the silver haired conman and Geordie John kept him at the club and bizarrely he has become a regular.

      He is the prime example of the incompetence of our youth system, if Dummett is the best they can produce all the coaches need sacking

      • Anita kick up the Hoop

        100% right.. imagine how poor Lazar must be if he’s a Raffa buy and still can’t feature when Dummett is so average

  • Leicester Mag

    Hi gets picked because there a few other options in what aside from 3-4 players is a bang ordinary team in a truly shocking league. Compared with previous Newcastle teams this is sadly I fear the least equipped for the premier league.

    • gallowgate26

      Agreed, Gouffran is just going through the motions now and it’s not surprising. He has two months left of his contract to run and then he will probably be playing for some mid-table French team for less that a quarter of what he earns now. At the same time I think the club are content to be ‘using’ him, as promotion is almost sewn up and they aren’t bothered now if he gets injured or clocks up the mileage.

  • Wor Lass

    That was a really poor performance yesterday and Gouffran needs to take his fair share of the blame but we lost mainly because we didn`t defend set pieces. Looking through the team, I would agree with the majority who pick out Darlow, Shelvey, Ritchie and Mitro as the only players who even approached the required standard – and Ritchie was clogged out of it by an appalling foul that should have got a red. Thank God our mates Forest showed their appreciation for the 3 points the ref and Angela Lansbury mugged us for!

  • nevfur

    I would play haidara and ameobi down the sides on Friday. At least they have something to prove and fight for. That frees up Ritchie to play at no 10 behind Mitro. Pray Hayden is fit for holding midfield or if not then Colback. Tempted to play Hanley alongside Mbemba at cb. Be a nice surprise to get Yedlin back at rb too

  • gallowgate26

    Gouffran is turning into Guitterez, when he was just there to contribute to defending and offered virtually no goals and assists. We must be the only club in the world who play a defender as a left winger! Why not play Atsu or Ameobi there? Two players who should be busting a gut to win a contract with either NUFC or someone else. It’s not like Dummett goes forward often so we are very defensive.