Being able to handle the pressure of playing for Newcastle United is unlikely to be a problem for Yoan Gouffran, as Neil Cameron found out
YOAN Gouffran sauntered confidently into the St James’ Park media room yesterday evening and declared he will score as many goals for Newcastle United as Demba Ba.
If the 26-year-old lives up to his own billing, and his CV certainly suggests he’s a player capable of exciting the supporters, then the club may have landed a bargain for a fee of £1.3m.
Gouffran carried the air of a supremely confident man yesterday as he answered questions with the help of an interpreter.
Of all the signings Newcastle have made or are about to make this month, the former Bordeaux man is the one most likely to at first be used as a substitute.
Not that 40 goals from 179 appearances for les Girondins is anything to sniff at, but it’s not quite at a level you would describe as prolific. However, when asked whether he could replicate the form of Ba (pictured below), whose ratio was better than a goal every two games, he didn’t hesitate to put forward his case to be the team’s new goalscoring hero.
Gouffran said: “Can I score as many as Demba Ba? Yes.
“I’m a centre-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.”
And he added: “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.”
It would be wrong to give the impression that he was utterly full of himself as he admitted his primary ambition was to show he could cut it at this level.
Gouffran said: “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.”
It was also encouraging to hear that he is able to play in different positions along the frontline. While there have been many changes made over the past two weeks, it’s difficult to see Alan Pardew tinkering too much with his formation.
As we stand, Newcastle will go with either a three-man attack, with Papiss Cissé in the middle, or a 4-2-3-1 from now on in.