Yoan Gouffran's turnover at midfield should have surprised me on Sunday. It should have surprised me even more that it directly led to Tottenham's first goal. Unfortunately neither one of these is the case. His blunders and lack of trust in himself have ultimately led to me no longer trusting him to play well in a Newcastle United shirt.
Gouffran started off the season knocking on the doorstep of opponents' goals, and he continued this through the strong run of form in October and November of last year. He was part of the build up on attacks, providing good shots and headers on goal, and even providing quality crosses for others to create quality chances. He even set up Cisse for a goal with a quality header on the end line and has scored a pair this season.
After not scoring goals, it became apparent his lack of confidence set in firmly. He looked lost when he had the ball, particularly from the centre stripe leading to the attacking third. He would seemingly sprint toward the corner and look lost when he could not create a split or provide a cross into the box. One could call him a black hole on the ball, and they would be right.
His high-profile blunders have not helped his case. His back pass to nobody against Spurs in the League Cup nearly cost the Magpies an additional goal in a 4-1 loss. He conceded a penalty against Everton at Goodison Park after losing the ball just outside the penalty area. His most recent blunder this past Sunday against Spurs was the final straw for me.
The general consensus at Toon Army Chicago has not been a good one for Gouffran all season. We were not a fan of his play in December, and we were especially frustrated with him after Sunday. I posted this not so shocking stat earlier today on our Twitter feed:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/ToonArmyChicago">@ToonArmyChicago</a> Follow-Up: When Gouffran starts, 3W 7D 14L. When he doesn't, 6W, 1D, 2L. Once again, draw your own conclusion.</p>— Toon Army Chicago (@ToonArmyChicago) <a href="https://twitter.com/ToonArmyChicago/status/590192064496869377">April 20, 2015</a></blockquote>
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You, the Coming Home Newcastle readers, also agreed with us. You voted to not keep him on the squad in the Shaping the Squad polls.
This season has shown me that he is not cut out for the Premier League. He was one of Mike Ashley's cheap signings, and it's time to cash in. He has 2 years left on his contract after this season, and he is at the preferred age of sale for Newcastle's front office, 28. I say it's time to let him get a shot at playing somewhere else. If Luuk de Jong, Mapou Yanga-M'Bwia, and Davide Santon are indications of a brighter future, I think Yoan Gouffran might want to think about his future elsewhere in the coming months.