At Least This Unlikely Player Is Made Of The Right Stuff

It will be very surprising if a certain Yoan Gouffran is not in the starting side to take on Wolves again at home on Tuesday night – this time in the EFL Cup – and two defeats at home in four days is unthinkable.

So we are hoping Newcastle can get straight back on track and win the game and then we have Aston Villa away and Norwich at home as the next two league games.

If we play anywhere near the poor form we showed yesterday we will lose both those next two games in the Championship.


Yoan Gouffran – wants to fight for his place

One player who didn’t play yesterday but who has been a revelation this season is Frenchman Yoan Gouffran.

The 30 year-old was interviewed yesterday in the program for the Wolves game.

This is what Yoan said:

“After the two defeats, the manager wanted to change the team a bit,” said Gouffran. “We walked one day for maybe 15 minutes.”

“He asked me if I was ready to play and I said ‘yes, I am a professional. I am ready to play and want to play’.”

“I work hard for the team. Sometimes people maybe cannot see that, but I work really hard to defend and to attack.”

“It’s not natural to me. It’s not my position – I came here as a striker – but I will always work for the team and play where I need to and where I am asked to.”

“Last year was very difficult for me as I didn’t play a lot. You train hard, and sometimes you think you deserve to play, but it’s the manager who makes the choices.”

“Sometimes they were difficult to accept, but you have to respect it because he is the manager. “Then, when we changed the manager, I was injured, so it was not easy.”

“I could have left the club, but I decided to stay here and fight to play. I want to be here, I want to help the team and I want to help us get back in the Premier League.”

“I am enjoying playing again because there have been some bad moments for me, for my family and for my friends. “I wanted to show the people that I can play.”

Rafa Benitez could well send out a message to a number of his players with his team selection for Tuesday night’s cup game.

Surely he will now give a chance to some of the players who have been held back during our good six game winning streak which ended so ignominiously yesterday.

Hope so.

Comments welcome.

33 comments so far

  • Jib

    Sep 18, 2016 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #1

    Betty you have me sussed
    I can only apologise
    It was entirely my fault we lost yesterday

  • Jib

    Sep 18, 2016 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #2

    By the way

    Yoo hoo you Colback knockers – wind yer dumb necks in.

    By gum was his wealth of experience missed yesterday !

  • Average_Contents

    Sep 18, 2016 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #3

    Ah yes, that wealth of experience where he gives needless freekicks away in dangerous areas because he’s too thick to realise after the hundredth time that once he’s behind a player that they will go down under the slightest touch yet he does it over and over and over again.

    Never learns.

    That wealth of experience where he picks up yellow cards like they’re going out of fashion.

    That experience?

    First it was laschelles being captain and now it’s Colback not being in the team to provide his experience.

    I thought he’d be able to find his level in the championship but sadly not apparently.

  • martoon

    Sep 18, 2016 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #4

    I really can’t put my finger on what went wrong yesterday but from the first whistle every player was poor and lethargic and all our passes seemed to go astray. I was surprised Rafa didn’t change it at half time but let’s hope it was a one off bad day at the office!

  • simon376

    Sep 18, 2016 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #5

    Talking to the people next to me, we all thought it was the players thinking they are better than they really are, taking the previous run and 6-0 win as if they are far too good for everybody and don’t need to try too hard

  • hibbit

    Sep 18, 2016 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #6

    AC yellow cards or not colback was missed yesterday we lacked any fight or tenacity no one got in there face we had no fight no bottle and no will to win
    we were beaten by a very poor team who we gifted to goals

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Sep 18, 2016 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #7

    cheers for the comments – tried to see the game/management as I see it from the Gallowgate – have no favourites – just a honest opinion of what I saw yesterday
    Once I learned of the team with Gayle and Perez up front and no bite in midfield of Goufran or Colback I feared the worse
    It looked out there that the players except Ritchie cared back to slow,slow sideways backwards hoof it long – ARGHHHHH

  • stuart no9

    Sep 18, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #8

    When we won on Tuesday raffa took the credit and deserved it and yesterday he must take the blame coz he he deserves it . Sorry

  • Harley

    Sep 18, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #9

    Didn’t see match yesterday and everyone saying we were awful, couldn’t pass etc and wolves much better.
    But stats don’t back that up. 70/30 possession, 17 shots, double the amount of passes and completion.
    Seems to me that the stupid own goal was the big game changer.

  • lochinvar

    Sep 18, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #10

    Surely Gouffran shouldn’t be risked against Wolves in the Cup – more important that he’s fit and ready to play against the more experienced and physical Villa and Norwich, which are both the proverbial ” six pointers”.
    Start Murphy or Mitro against Wolves as they need game time and need to produce some goals for us.
    Yesterday we threw a number of crosses into the box that both those players might have thrived on instead of Gayle or others and we lost momentum once our early attacks faded out without producing a goal.

    Yesterday was a turgid affair – crosses but no physical or tall headers of the ball to score or hold up or knock down to others around them.

    Not quite sure why it didn’t happen but there was a lack of energy and urgency which was very frustrating to watch…..almost Carveresque

  • magscar

    Sep 18, 2016 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #11


    I think it is the different being at matches. We definitely needed some bite in the centre and neither Hayden or Diame when he dropped back provided it. Colback for all his faults ( which we all know) does break up opposition play. Hayden is still learning and will develop. Is Tiote in right frame of mind?

    I was also bemused that Rafa once again went for Diame Gayle up front with Perez on LW. He either sees something in training and wants to work on it during matches or Mitro is still well short of 90 minutes. He was frustrating when he did come on though. I don’t think anyone there yesterday could see Gayle and Diame suddenly clicking after half time ( as neither the service or their play was good enough) but Rafa persevered with them. I am sure he had good reason and bow to his greater knowledge and understanding of players fitness levels.

    Something clearly needs fixing especially at home where we need to make it a fortress and I trust Rafa to do that – but please make it soon 🙂

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Sep 18, 2016 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #12

    You can have all the possession in the World but you need the end product – a goal or two.

    but yesterday: forward, back, back, sideways, back, sideways, forward, back, back, sideways, back, sideways, back to keeper hoof, back to keeper hoof, get possession back – forward, back, back, sideways, back, sideways, back to keeper hoof -get possession back – forward, back, back, sideways, back, sideways, back to keeper hoof.

    That’s all the TOON did yesterday which made life easy for Wolves to defend in two banks of four then swift counter attack.

    We had one BLODDY shot on target first half from Perez – keeper made good save thats what he is there for.

  • Harley

    Sep 18, 2016 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #13


    Sounded like there was no one to aim at. Got to get mitro fit and firing.

  • Average_Contents

    Sep 18, 2016 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #14


    It’s all well and good saying we missed fight or tenacity and I agree we did.

    Colback offers neither though. His idea of tenacity is running around fouling players and giving away needless freekicks in dangerous areas repeatedly.

    If he won the ball back more often than not then I’d agree we missed him but he doesn’t do that.

    He’s like one of those annoying jack Russell’s who keeps yapping away then tries to go in for the kill only to find his biting technique leaves a lot to be desired and he’s bitten off more than he can chew.

    I’m going to start calling him marmite lol.

  • magscar

    Sep 18, 2016 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #15


    As we all know possession counts for little unless it is effective . I haven’t seen the stats but they don’t always tell the full story.

    Wolves were well set up, had no fear of us ( could and should have scored in first few minutes). Having said that they were not a side we should have been wary of at home.

    We had very little penetrative play and I don’t know what that stats say about giving the ball away unchallenged but we must have won that one by a mile.

    Only 1 game but too close to the Huddersfield display 5 weeks ago for comfort. They need to start playing at home quickly because other sides are going to come like Wolves and frustrate us play for time and hit us on break. Mistakes are proving very costly when we aren’t playing well ourselves.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Sep 18, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #16

    NP one to aim at and no movement – Static United – no one wanted the ball no one found space, no one ran past a player – oh yes 92 minute when Mbema pushed and ran past someone down the left passed it to Perez who shot across the keeper and past the post – IT WAS CRAP from minute 1 to minute 96

  • magscar

    Sep 18, 2016 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #17

    I think one area we clearly need to work on (and that is perhaps why some are saying we miss Colback) is the closing down which we were very poor at. When we did challenge Wolves players often fell over – Freekick!

  • magscar

    Sep 18, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #18

    Anyway enough reliving another poor display – off to enjoy some sun 🙂

  • davis_toons

    Sep 18, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #19

    Yoan Gouffran can be more effective than Perez or Gayle upfront with his strength and holding abilities.

  • Jib

    Sep 18, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #20

    Strange you should mention the shambles at home v Huddersfield
    Colback was an unused sub and Goofy didn’t even make the subs bench !

  • Average_Contents

    Sep 18, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #21


    That’s exactly what happens when Colback plays and he never learns.

  • Bowjaw

    Sep 18, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #22

    I wasn’t able to get there yesterday but it sounds to me like we could’ve done with a fit and disciplined Mr T sitting in front of a well drilled back four. Maybe some players bottled it yesterday in front of an expectant full house, less likely to happen if we had that defensive 5 keeping things tight early doors while the away team/fans have there 15 mins of fame at such a wonderful stadium. We need to make playing at home an advantage not a disadvantage which is certainly a possibility. I believe Rafa will get it right.

  • Average_Contents

    Sep 18, 2016 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #23


    My thoughts exactly.

  • lesh

    Sep 18, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #24


    You referred to player lethargy and I floated the question whether they were tired. Could they have been indulging in some err, shall we say recreational activity that’s affected their game?

    I’m sure not but you can bet your boots that Rafa’ll be on the case.

  • cyprus

    Sep 18, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #25

    Once more thanks for your realistic report. Those players evaluations come to 28 points for 11 players!

    Wow… Tbh I am all for rotation, keep players alert, adjust according to opposition, avoid burnout and all that. But you shouldn’t fxxx too much with a winning formula and especially those people who contribute big time. E.g. goofy and colback.

  • Jib

    Sep 18, 2016 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #26

    Folk use yellow cards as a stick to beat Colback with – then in the same breath call for Tioté !

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Sep 18, 2016 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #27

    Mbemba needs dropping for a prolonged period. Lascelles is head and shoulders above him. Like Tiote, Mbemba has been mythologised and all his faults airbrushed out of conscience early on in his career here. He was solely responsible for 3 or 4 defeats last year and yesterday he was the main culprit yet again, setting the tone and spreading the nervousness throughout the team from the off.

    Diame also needs dropping. Supposedly going to run for the 90 once he is fit, yet ever since that remark he’s gone backwards, had less flashes of quality when we expected more and worked less counter to his comments.

    Perez should never play LW and that is solely Rafa’s mistake.

    Yesterday was a perfect opportunity to freshen things up, go for the jugular with an attacking team, create a buzz by handing the likes of Lazaar, Atsu and Yedlin debuts, pairing Mitro/Gayle – had all those things been done, we’ll never know, but I think he atmosphere would’ve been much better and the football more fluid. Wolves dealing with many unknown quantities. We looked stale and slow. New players and new dynamics would’ve excited.

    Opportunity missed.

  • martoon

    Sep 18, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #28

    Lesh not sure how Rafa can police that unless he posts guards in their bedrooms 😉

  • martoon

    Sep 18, 2016 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #29

    Seriously though as I said I can’t quite put my finger on it but there was a spark missing yesterday. I’m still confident Rafa will sort it out.

  • lesh

    Sep 18, 2016 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #30


    You’re dead right about policing players’ own time.

    They need their social life like anyone else but one would hope that the coaching staff are able to spot the signs of an unprofessional approach to their jobs – playing to the very best of their ability.

    Posters’ve been consistent in reporting a seeming lack of steel and determination among yesterday’s players and when most of them have an off day, then there’s a rabbit off somewhere.

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Sep 18, 2016 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #31


    That was always the danger after the euphoria of the 6-0. The perfect solution would’ve been to freshen things up and hand full debuts, adding pace on the flanks, that would’ve provided the spark and cancel out any complacency, along with Mitro starting at home with Gayle.

    Think Rafa himself had one eye on the cup game. He’s known for planning weeks in advance which players will play when, problem with that is, if you’re rigid in your thinking, when you get an unexpected 6-0 win and don’t reconsider taking into account the psychology of the players involved in that win. Had we scraped a 2-1 at QPR, would we have seen such a bad performance yesterday?

  • kimbo

    Sep 18, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #32

    It was quite simple why we lost, small players upfront against 6ft 4 plus defenders. We were out muscled and Wolves sat back and waited for our mistakes. Rafa was clueless yesterday on how to change it.

  • TyneMouth

    Sep 18, 2016 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #33

    Some you win, some you loose, but you very rarely win 6-0 away, and conversely you would realistically not expect to be beaten,at home, by a side beaten 0-4, at home, in their previous game.
    Both games should be considered the exception, and valued as such.
    The good, the bad and the ugly, all part of life’s rich pattern.
    ps; Bottle of bubbly for Rafa last Tuesday, contender for a bottle of Sarson’s finest yesterday, perhaps…


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