Can This Unlikely Hero Make A Difference Tomorrow?

Yoan Gouffran like a lot of Newcastle players this season  has come in for some withering criticism – especially on social media.

But he is in line to make his second Premier League appearance of the season at Crystal Palace tomorrow after playing 66 minutes in defensive midfield at Manchester City – where we were torn apart 6-1.

yoan gouffran

Yoan Gouffran – in action at the Etihad

With Cheick Tiote out for the game tomorrow with a groin problem – Steve McClaren could call on the Frenchman to play there at Selhurst Park.

Yoan at least seems to understand that at Newcastle you have to give 100% and play with passion if you are to simply get by as a Newcastle player.

To be good you have to start playing well on top of that foundation of all out effort and passion.

The 29 year-old Frenchman has talked in the Chronicle today:

“I think we have to play with some passion.” “Sometimes you can lose games but you must show something.” “The fans are disappointed because we don’t play 100%.”

“Sometimes we look scared.” “We need to give 100% for the fans.” “You can’t win every game but we can’t lose like we did against Leicester.”

“It is a special game for Pardew and for the players who played with him.” “But really it is about getting points for us.”

“We need wins.” “There will be no love-in.”

After last week´s surrender we are not expecting too much at Selhurst Park tomorrow, but we have to try not to lose yet another game.

While we´ve never thought of Yoan as a defensive midfielder – more as a hard-working winger who Alan Pardew played a lot – we hope he can have a good game tomorrow.

And who knows – the completely unpredictable Newcastle could even win the game.

That would be something.

Comments welcome.

44 comments so far

  • posada

    Nov 27, 2015 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #1

    He is a forward and we will loose the midfield battle if he plays there.
    Surely Bigi would have been a better option if he was still at the club. Can only presume he has been written off by this regime.

  • cyprus

    Nov 27, 2015 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #2

    As always, you make sense there.
    On the game, I wish I knew the solution, more, I wish steve knew it. Surely they’ve spotted what opponents do to us, surely they’ve seen the glaring weaknesses… can they be fixed? I don’t know.

    Not happy with the team spirit, that’s for sure!

  • jayphoto

    Nov 27, 2015 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #3

    Last time Gouff played centre mid we let in 6 and he was shocking…
    Both janmaat and mbemba have played Defensive midfield in their careers before newcastle, lascelles or mbabu could come in if either moved into that position.
    Sissoko was a DM his whole career in france, itd make more sense if gouffran played that he was further forward.

  • Jib

    Nov 27, 2015 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #4

    The presser is a golden opportunity for olive branches tempered with some frankness from Steve .

    A Chronic journo (forget which) said , and I’m paraphrasing – Steve and his coaches were trying to inculcate a more possession based game into players who had (under previous coaches) lost their appetite for keeping the ball.

    We tend to think that football players because of the money they earn should be masters of their craft.The reality is that while of course they are all talented in their different ways , the vast majority are as thick as bulls lugs.

    They pretty much have to be led by the hand through any new playing philosophy or concept.
    The brighter ones (the minority ) get it straight away ,the dumbos (the majority ) don’t.

    I know it has been 5 months (including the USA debacle) for Steve and 13 league games but he still might have been pushing the new philosophies too fast.

    A more circumspect (nuts and bolts) approach
    , like just going for a point away every time (it worked at Old Trafford , might have been wiser.If we had done that we’d be at least 4 places higher up the table .
    Pragmatism is the order of the day.

  • AncientC

    Nov 27, 2015 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #5

    A formation change could be on the cards, 4-2-3-1 would be suicide if it does not work.

    4-3-3 away to Palace would get my respect; although McClaren is normally more conservative in away games, so it could be 5 at the back as some have proposed.

  • sweendog

    Nov 27, 2015 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #6

    remember a good few games with Goufran in the middle and he let his man glide past, no movement, effort to tackle, unless McClaren has addressed this Cabaye will rip us apart.
    Nervous for this game this weekend.
    Based on this anything other than a defeat will be a major surprise. Still I’m hoping Mitrovic, Sissoko, Perez and Wijnaldum can open this team up.

  • Goldmbemba

    Nov 27, 2015 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #7

    I think its time to give Siem de Jong a start, see what he can do. I’d even drop sissoko and organise the attack accordingly. Since we are expecting no improvement on recent weeks its worth a try.

    wijnaldum / SdJ / Perez
    anita / gouffran *
    Dumm / Lasc / Mbemba / Janmaat

    * come on is there no one else in the squad who can play here?

  • AncientC

    Nov 27, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #8

    Arsenal play Cazorla as a DM in a 4-2-3-1.

    I wonder if Cathro has experimented with a similar approach using Marveaux.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 27, 2015 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #9

    I will assume nothing other than McClaren getting the formation and lineup wrong tomorrow!

    …but feel free to surprise me 😉

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 27, 2015 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #10

    Ancient…I think a 4-3-3 with Anita as DM and with Siem and Gini right in front of him could work tomorrow. I will make us tight in midfield and give us the ability to get in behind their midfield and run at their defence.

    The front three is the tricky one I think.

  • mindshaft

    Nov 27, 2015 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #11

    Think people are still thinking this is Cabaye in his prime – he’s been terrible in most palace games albeit he has picked a few magic passes and can actually tackle
    We are capable of getting a draw although Bolasie and that other winger will have a field day against Janmatt and Dummett

  • AncientC

    Nov 27, 2015 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #12

    Jesper, it would be interesting to see a 4-3-3 under McClaren… new territory. Pardew’s version of a 4-3-3 turned out to be more of a 4-5-1.

    I think the last time our side played a true 4-3-3 was the cup win against Man City. It seemed like Pardew picked a team and formation to throw the game, strangely enough it worked.

  • colwell

    Nov 27, 2015 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #13

    NO,NO,NO,NO just NO.

    If anything play Colo as DM has decent control and will put in more of a tackle than Anita ever will. Lascelles can play CB and bring more pace to the backline. Mbabu has to play LB Dummett will be ruined by Zaha, Bolasie on the other side will probably get Janmaat sent off, Janmaat is useless when players can run at him.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 27, 2015 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #14

    So long as passionate commitment is not translated into reckless challenges.

    More effort needed but not ending up with only 9 or less players on the pitch.

  • colwell

    Nov 27, 2015 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #15


    Cabaye on a bad day is still 10x better than our CM’s on a good. At least he can score,pass,tackle.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 27, 2015 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #16


    Who’s Marveaux?

  • Jib

    Nov 27, 2015 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #17

    Sometimes I get the feeling that Keegan makes comments just to stir the pot.

    This time however he’s talking sense.

    “Former Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan has slammed the club and the state of mind of Steve McClaren’s players.

    “This club’s going nowhere at the moment and that’s very sad,” he said.

    “I don’t think he [McClaren] realised how poor the squad was when he took over. Those players remind me of when I took over all those years ago when they were in the second division. The players’ biggest problem was the club was too big for them.”

    “That’s a massive stadium to come out in. For some people, it makes you grow – for the right players, the Shearers, Ginolas, people like that that I had, they just grew in it. But these players are shrinking in it.”

  • AncientC

    Nov 27, 2015 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #18

    Marveaux was good enough for Liverpool, only knocked back because he failed a fitness test, strangely enough.

    If McClaren wants to play possession football, he can look no further than Marveaux, play him, or we can give up this myth about a possession strategy.

    If you want to dominate the ball, you will generally have to sacrifice players on the other end of the scale that want to get their foot stuck in. imo

    Sissoko is always available, with his George Weah type crusades with the ball.

  • posada

    Nov 27, 2015 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #19

    I have heard it said on here a couple of times in recent days that Sissoko played as a central ( defensive midfielder ) in France before we signed him.
    Is that right ?
    I have to say I find that hard to believe.
    He is not good at defending. Does not seem to have the qualities it takes to play there.

  • Jib

    Nov 27, 2015 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #20

    Sissoko at ToulouseFC played inside left !

  • Malta Mag

    Nov 27, 2015 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #21

    Never liked the term “Pardewed” but I have to say Goufran was one player I thought Pardew did ruin. Here is a player who was an out and out striker at Bordeux yet Pardew decided to play him out wide? Worse still he was more defensive than offensive and subsequently his game deteriated. I for one always rated him and remember him working tirelessly for the cause however to think of him as central midfield tomorrow fills me with dread. If Mitrovic is to be rested then why not try him as an out and out striker again alongside Perez with Sissoko coming inside alongside Anita? I think however our main issue will remain the defence because Pardew has to finally realise that both our fullbacks can not mark nor can Colocinni and Mbemba is plugging holes on his own. Play 3 – 5 – 2 and play Colocini behind two central defenders, push Jaanmaat wide right, Haidara wide left and Wjinaldun, Anita (for now) and Sissoko central with Perez and one other up front? Worth a try because one thing’s for sure, we can’t get any worse.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Nov 27, 2015 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #22

    Sissoko comes in for lots of stick on here. We have many worse players.

  • lesh

    Nov 27, 2015 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #23

    Now this looks interesting – Charnley’s boy under the cosh from McClaren.. This could prove interesting

  • lesh

    Nov 27, 2015 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #24

    Yup, Colo’s a fine example of doing things on the cheap. Rather than sign a good CB in the summer, Charnley obviously preferred not to, keep Colo and go with Carr to sign Thauvin!

    Carr seems to hold too much sway in the Club and his wings need to be clipped. But that’ll only happen if Ashley changes his policy.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Nov 27, 2015 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #25

    Okay boss. I’ll play better. I needed you to shout at me to make me play better. Thank you boss.

  • Toonfan8

    Nov 27, 2015 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #26

    our players have to play better, need to play with more passion and character, that is what they are missing. When we have been fifth, players played with passion and they enjoyed the game. They have to go to that time and play like that, with passion and enjoy it…Leicester is doing that now

  • Jib

    Nov 27, 2015 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #27

    “lesh // Nov 27, 2015 at 12:47 PM
    Charnley’s boy under the cosh from McClaren.. This could prove interesting”

    You’re posting this as news on Friday afternoon !

    Do you live on Mars ?

  • Tsunki

    Nov 27, 2015 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #28

    Goofy is one of a number of players withered and neutered by the Pardew days and a decreasingly capable squad. Whether he PL here or there or not at all makes few odds. If the transfer window goes flat it’s the end of our season. I think if it’s flat enough, Stevie might even walk to save what he can of his reputation, while he can still get a job elsewhere.

  • Wayayman

    Nov 27, 2015 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #29

    Wow. Are we really reduced to this? A third rate player whose only experience playing in that position resulted in the team collapsing and being dominated in MF?

    Not sure what’s more worrying, that or the thought that the coaches think this is a good idea. I’m just hoping Macca is using some Fergie style mind games before naming a totally different team.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Nov 27, 2015 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #30

    There’s no more to it than Goofy is another poor signing by Graham Carr.

    I wouldnt be surprised if we see Makro, Charnley, Carr (the whole useless lot) gone in the not too distant future. There’s no sign of Mike’s horse turning up to save the day.

  • El Sleeve

    Nov 27, 2015 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #31

    short answer – no. not a cat’s chance in hell

  • El Sleeve

    Nov 27, 2015 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #32

    whos bright idea was it to sell Abeid and Kemen? ffs

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Nov 27, 2015 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #33

    What’s Abeid and Kemen ever done? A classic case of reputations enhanced by not playing.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Nov 27, 2015 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #34

    With Mitro piling on the pounds and getting shirty, is this what Ashley meant by punching above our weight?

  • bills-son

    Nov 27, 2015 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #35

    We are shockingly bad creatively in the centre of midfield and with Sissoko and Wini not really wingers I don’t see the point of playing Mitro, especially if he continues to put in as little effort as he did last week.

    The back four and the DM’s need someone to play the ball to who can hold it and use it to hurt the oppo. All we are doing now is giving it to Tiote, Anita or Colback who playing it back, sideways or a safe pass out wide.

    Id play 4411 with Perez up top with De Jong in the hole and two DM’s behind him. De Jong is intelligent, has an eye for a killer pass and also gets goals. Perez is guaranteed to chase down and harry defenders and with half a sniff he’ll score too.

    Our 442 doesn’t work, and, I can’t see any dramatic change in results if we persist with it.

    Give De Jong a run of 4/5 games in the hole and he might just change our play and results.

  • Mister Tuff

    Nov 27, 2015 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #36

    The Ashley horse has arrived at SJP and has been bolted on to the cart.!_WEB.jpg

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 27, 2015 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #37

    Still the best owner in the world bills, still got veins popping out the side of your neck when somebpxy suggests that our transfer policy is flawed !

  • lochinvar

    Nov 27, 2015 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #38

    Headline in The Guardian
    “Steve McClaren believes best is yet to come from Wayne Rooney”

    Er have you nothing better to do with your time Steve ?
    Criticising Colo for lack of leadership and then wandering off course yourself to talk about Rooney is hardly focussing on more pressing matters at SJP.

    Unless you think Rooney should kick start his career at a big club then sign him !

  • bills-son

    Nov 27, 2015 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #39

    Jail – fack off you cretin.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 27, 2015 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #40

    Still possessing your usual charm bills, made you look like a bit of a cnut has good ‘ol Mikey !


You must log in to post a comment.