Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has hailed Yoan Gouffran as the inspiration behind his side’s impressive 2-0 home victory over Chelsea.
The 27-year-old Frenchman headed home the opening goal and produced a tireless performance out wide as the Magpies got the better of Jose Mourinho’s side.
Pardew hailed the work ethic of Gouffran as decisive to the victory, which he thinks his side deserved after being unfortunate in recent weeks.
“When you look at sides like Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, you see that nowadways your wide players need to work,” he said at his press conference.
“You have to put Gouffran in that category. He worked his socks off. He literally couldn’t move or walk when I substituted at the end. It is that kind of commitment that our fans love.
“We are a working class city and they love that. They love flair, but what they really want to see is that hard work and grind in a day’s work and Gouffran did all that and more today.
“You can’t have any players drifting around at the top top level – Jose Mourinho will back me up on that – players are beginning to understand you cannot switch off defensively – wherever you play on the pitch.
“Yohan Cabaye has executed the free-kick right on the money. His execution was superb, you have to be a top top player to deliver a ball like that and Gouffran has connected brilliantly.
“That gave us a platform. The crowd had got involved just before that, we had got the stadium going just before that and it was the perfect time to score. From then on, I was confident we could win.
“In the last four games I think we have been consistent. Not in results but our performances and organisation has been strong. Therefore, that gives you an opportunity to win if you have great players. “
The victory means Newcastle have 14 points from their first 10 Premier League games this season and Pardew gave his assessment of how the start of the season had gone.
He continued: “I would like to think we could have had three more points from our first 10 games so we will try to make that up in our next 10.
“But we have played some really good football. I wouldn’t say we were brilliant in the first half today but we were very good in the second.
“We did initially start slightly conservatively because I’ve seen Chelsea stamp their authority on games early on many times and keep the ball. If you go chasing at the start you are in for a difficult afternoon.
“So we decided to let them have it. Second half we knew we could put a lot more pressure on. We had more energy then to try and put the back four under pressure and that cranked up as we went on. It worked for us today.”
Pardew was also pleased to see a strong performance from centre-backs Mike Williamson and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa after going into the game with the league’s third-worst defensive record.
“Williamson summed it up at the end when they hit a fantastic ball in and he’s dived full length to stop Ivanovic scoring. That summed up my back four today.
“We had a shaky start, Santon wasn’t quite right to begin with when he was against his old manager, but was terrific in the second half. The back four get a big pat on the back from me.”