There’s a good interview with one of new boys – Yoan Gouffran – today in the local papers, and certainly the 26 year-old does not lack confidence, and he already knows a lot of the French players at the club – who he calls fantastic players – and of course like the rest of our signings this month, it will be important that he settles down quickly at Newcastle.
Yoan Gouffran – seems to have brought his boots with him
In the last two seasons at Bordeaux Gouffran has scored 26 goals in 64 appearances for the French club, and that’s not a bad average, although the Premier League is a lot tougher than the French League.
Gouffran was asked first if he could score as many goals as Demba Ba did when he was at the club:
“Can I score as many as Demba Ba? Yes.” “I’m a center-forward. I have proven that I can score goals in France.” “It will be different in the Premier League and it is up to me to make sure I go on the pitch and score, and do everything I can to succeed in the Premier League and in different country.”
“Being compared to Ba does not put more pressure on me.” “Yes, I’m an attacker, and yes I want to score goals. But we both have different styles of play. What are my big assets? Speed. I’m fast and I score goals.” “First of all, I want to settle in well, and secondly to show I am a good enough player to handle the Premier league – to score as many goals as I can.”
“My main position is center-forward, but I can play to the side or behind a striker if I have to, I can adapt my style of play if that is what is needed.” “Papiss and I played against each other when he was at Metz. He has made a lot of progress at Newcastle. He has scored some great goals.”
“I had a chat with him this morning and we got on well. He is a great guy and I have no worries that we can get on really well and be able to play together.” “I am a good friend of Yohan Cabaye. I have spoken with him, but not solely about Newcastle. I also know Hatem Ben Arfa.
“We played together for the French Under-21s. He can change a game at any time and hopefully I can play alongside him very soon. The reason I decided to sign for Newcastle is because it is a massive club.” “As soon as I was contacted by Newcastle there was no hesitation in signing here. I spoke with the manager when I had my medical and he told me how he wants to use me.”
“It was the club, Newcastle itself, not necessarily the French players, that made me want to sign. It is true there are a fair number of French players at Newcastle – who knows if others will join? I’m sure they will be delighted to welcome anyone.” “I am not worried at all. I know the players that play here already. They are fantastic players.”
“Newcastle should not be in the position they are in the league, so we are going to try our utmost to get us up to where we should belong in the league.” “I think with the players that Newcastle have we can realistically be aiming for the top eight.” “When I played at St James’ Park with Bordeaux, the stadium was not full but the atmosphere was fantastic.”
“I can only imagine with the stadium full, what it is like to play in front of. I’m sure it will help us to climb up the league.” “It’s definitely a different culture, a different way of living, but that is something I wanted. Now I just need to learn the English language and to be able to answer all of your questions in English.”
Gouffran will be an extremely useful player for Newcastle, and we’ll be able to play in different formations – but maybe the formation Alan Pardew will concentrate on most is a 4-3-3 formation - which we used last season with excellent results.
We’re not sure Gouffran is the direct replacement for Demba Ba, and we know Newcastle have expressed an interest in Ricky van Wolfswinkel of Sporting Lisbon – but whether we get him this month or go after him in the summer is a good question.
But the way things have gone this week it wouldn’t surprise us if Newcastle can bring Ricky in by next Thursday.
But Gouffran’s speed and movement will give something to the Newcastle attack that we don’t have at the moment – and he’s a great buy at only around £1.2M.
You can also reach Ed at email@example.com