Gouffran grateful for Newcastle support
Yoan Gouffran is revelling in life in England after being taken into the hearts of Newcastle United fans and insists there is an Anglo-French entente cordiale in the Magpies' dressing room.
Gouffran, a 2.5 million euro purchase from Bordeaux last January, has become a fan favourite on Tyneside thanks to his tireless industry and five goals so far this season. His performances have earned him his own terrace chant at St. James's Park -- to the tune of The Crystals' 1963 hit "Da Doo Ron Ron" -- something the Frenchman told L'Equipe he still cannot get over.
"The first time, I heard my name but I didn't understand the words," the former French under-21 international told L'Equipe. "So I went onto the Internet. They sing after a goal, sometimes even after a run. I spoke about it with Moussa Sissoko, who also has his own. To have your own song is just magnificent. I remember that of [Patrick] Vieira at Arsenal. Even in our clubs in France we have never had such respect. I was little-known when I arrived, but I've made a name for myself.
"The game is 100 times quicker than in France. You make a lot of runs. I often end games having run 10 or 12 kilometres. I'm not used to that. I end up limping or with cramp, but the supporters love that."
One of a significant clutch of Ligue 1 imports in Alan Pardew's squad, Gouffran acknowledged he had been pleasantly surprised by the players' attitude towards new arrivals, and claimed despite the high number of his compatriots in the north-east, there are no cliques.
"There was no jealousy at all. They were happy to see us come in. In France, it's different. When you arrive, you feel a little jealousy, competition. The guy says to himself: 'He's come to pinch my place.'"