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An Example Of How Rafa Gets The Best Out Of Players

Yoan Gouffran has given an interview with nufcTV and he talks about the conversations he had with Rafa Benitez last summer when Rafa told him he could find him a new club if that’s what he wanted.

But Rafa also told Yoan he was happy with him if he wanted so stay – presumably because of the effort the Frenchman puts into training and he was a good influence in the squad.

Well the rest is history, with Yoan having his best season ever at Newcastle after joining us from Bordeaux back in January, 2013.

Yoan Gouffran with Rafa Benitez

He has played 36 times with 7 goals for Newcastle this season and back in the 2013-2014 season he played 39 times with 7 goals when he was a fixture in Alan Pardew’s team.

This is some of what a rejuvenated Gouffran has said in his nufcTV interview:

“I want to play for you, for Newcastle.”

“Last year was really hard for me because I didn’t play a lot, I didn’t play in my best position either, and I wasn’t involved.”

“When we changed the manager I was injured so I didn’t play towards the end of the season.” “Then there was a new season with new ideas.”

“The manager has been honest with me, saying: ‘If you want to move we can give you a move, but if you want to stay you can stay because I am happy with you.’”

“And he has given me my chance, and I think I have done well.” “I enjoy playing again.” “When you don’t play, you are in a bad mood all of the time.”

“But when you play and you are involved, it is different.” “Maybe it has helped reinvigorate me because the mentality is different.”

“We try to play good football, we try to score goals and I play in my position – so I enjoy it.”

“Christian Atsu did well. Sometimes you have to change the team for fresh legs or whatever.”

“We know we have a lot of quality in the squad, everybody can play and we have to push to play.”

“It’s good for everybody to have competition – it’s good for me, it’s good for him, it’s good for the team.”

Yoan is in the final year of his contract at Newcastle and it still seems a toss-up whether he will have his contract renewed by Rafa Benitez this summer.

We’d like Yoan to get a two year extension, simply because he has played well for the team this season and he can help Newcastle in the Premier League – hopefully that’s where we’ll be next season.

Yoan has made 127 total appearances for Newcastle with 19 goals in the just over four years he’s been on Tyneside and his fine form this season is an example of Rafa’s man-management skills.

Last season Steve McClaren had simply given up on him.

That’s one difference between the last two Newcastle managers – but there are lots more – we’ll leave it at that.

What do you think?

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28 comments so far

  • G

    Mar 16, 2017 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #1

    I think Gouffy is a solid 7 out of 10 player, and relatively consistent. For that reason alone I would give him an extension. Assuming we get promoted I don’t expect to see too much of him in the first team, however, he is always useful from the bench, and very adaptable in terms of style of play.

  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 16, 2017 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #2

    Wally McBrolly’s Return Tour continues…

  • G

    Mar 16, 2017 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #3

    @2, looks like Steve Agnew has been placed in charge till the end of the season (Unconfirmed, just the rumour doing the rounds). Surely Gibson can’t think that the wally is the answer? If he is, then Gibson doesn’t even understand the question!

  • martoon

    Mar 16, 2017 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #4

    If we get promoted Gouff would be useful for the first season but then hopefully we will outgrow him and bring in more quality. For that reason I would only offer him a 1 year contract otherwise we’ll end up paying a player for sitting on his backside again. He has been a good servant and it sounds harsh but he has been well paid and we’re not a charity.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 16, 2017 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #5

    Not harsh at all but he has found his level, served his purpose and time to move on. I’m sure a two or three year deal off Derby or Fulham on 25K a week will help with his moving costs.

  • lesh

    Mar 16, 2017 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #6


    No, there was no intention of irony in my drawing a similarity in Rafa’s utterances about not wanting to sell Sissoko and Mitro.

    Gut instinct tells Rafa’s being shrewd – after all we got £30m for Sissoko, an undoubtedly talented but inconsistent player and may be playing the same game with Mitro.

    If someone were selling an unreliable car for example, the selly surely wouldn’t advertise it as unreliable…. would they?

  • hibbit

    Mar 16, 2017 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #7

    unconfirmed reports from yarm

    Steve McLaren is being lined up for the director of football role NOT the manager or coach
    just the current rumour !!!!!!

  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 16, 2017 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #8

    Gouf is not a PL player, he can not take the ball past a player just like Diame.

  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 16, 2017 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #9


    Yarm or Elton, although they don’t really communicate with each other around the latter.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Mar 16, 2017 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #10

    Looks like Dummett is struggling with injury!

  • hibbit

    Mar 16, 2017 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #11

    neither really northallerton road

  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 16, 2017 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #12


    I knew what you were pointing out and thought it was very pertinent. However making a profit on transfers and having money in the kitty did not get Rafa anywhere in January.

  • Jib

    Mar 16, 2017 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #13

    From the ronnie gill

    Paul Dummett had been left out of the Wales squad for their World Cup qualifying game with Ireland in Dublin after it was revealed he’s been playing through the pain barrier.

    The left-back could yet play for the Magpies this weekend against Birmingham but will then be ordered to rest during the international break. Dummett has been playing through the pain barrier in recent weeks with a heel injury.

    Wales boss Chris Coleman said: “He’s got a problem with his heel, he’s played with an injection with his heel, might need another.

    “He needs a rest.”

  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 16, 2017 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #14


    You heard it off the Postman!!

  • toon kk

    Mar 16, 2017 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #15

    Rafa doesn’t always get the best out of his players, they’ve let him down on several occasions.
    If we’re promoted we’ll need a new squad, we only have a few premier league quality players. A total revamp would be required.

  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 16, 2017 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #16

    Can Lazaar not play against Brum, or is his unsettled family really such a problem? Although replacing both Dummett and Clarke could be a risk, especially with no left footed CB.

  • Budge123

    Mar 16, 2017 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #17

    Agree with that Lesh.
    I half thought you meant he actually didn’t want to sell him (Sissoko )

  • G

    Mar 16, 2017 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #18

    Lindisfarne, is Hanley not left footed? I might have imagined that like.

  • toontaff2

    Mar 16, 2017 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #19

    I was worried about missing Dummett for Wales v Ireland, then realised we have one or two left footers possibly nearly as good : Taylor, Ramsey ……..oh, and Bale!

  • Mag52

    Mar 16, 2017 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #20

    The poor game he had, by his standards, against Fulham looks as if it can be explained, at least in part, by the fact that Dummett was struggling with an injury.
    We’re suddenly looking a bit light on fullbacks.

  • Penshawlad

    Mar 16, 2017 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #21

    If we go up we will need a massive overhaul. Rafa’s approach requires 10 (11?) players who are all comfortable on the ball, and able to turn defence into attack quickly and decisively. Also, defensive frailties would be mercilessly exploited by PL teams. A lot to do, for sure. Will Ashley recognise it though…

  • martoon

    Mar 16, 2017 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #22

    G @18 – I’ve looked on a few football data sites – they nearly all tell you his hair colour but none of them say if he is left or right footed – strangely enough.

  • G

    Mar 16, 2017 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #23

    @22, I’m fairly certain I have seen him play with both feet, but seem to think he looks like he favours his left. As I said, I might have imagined this?

  • cyprus

    Mar 16, 2017 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #24

    Ligue one is poor and all that but a team from there has knocked out arguably the best team in England.

    And the in form player there is a Newcastle player!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 16, 2017 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #25

    According to transfermarkt Hanley is right footed like most CB’s.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 16, 2017 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #26

    Is this not why we bought Gamez?


    Mar 16, 2017 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #27

    Haidara, Lazaar, Games and Anita all fit now and all with plenty to prove…not sure what the worry is tbh

    Wasn’t long ago we had Simpson/Santon/Debuchy/Janmaat or no one


    Mar 16, 2017 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #28

    Christ remember when Ryan Taylor was our LB…dark days though Jonas could carry anyone through a game


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