Gouffran is a winger by trade, but on Saturday afternoon against Manchester City he was deployed in defensive midfield.
The injury to Jack Colback meant that McClaren had to find a replacement. Instead of going for more suitable candidates like Cheick Tiote, the Englishman went with Gouffran.
City have arguably the strongest squad in the Premier League, and they made it count at the Etihad Stadium.
Despite conceding early in the Premier League encounter, Manuel Pellegrini’s side staged a brilliant comeback and won 6-1.
Argentina international striker Sergio Aguero was the star of the show, as he scored as many as five goals.
Gouffran was paired with Vernon Anita in defensive midfield, and he was unsurprisingly a flop against City.
The 29-year-old Frenchman struggled with the pace of the game and was substituted after 65 minutes.
During his time on the pitch, Gouffran had a pass accuracy of 75%, and won one header and none of the three tackles he attempted.
Following the defeat, Newcastle fans took to Twitter to express their disbelief that McClaren’s decision to start Gouffran in defensive midfield.
Below are some of the best comments:
WHY, someone please tell me why Gouffran was starting yesterday? #nufc— Michael Getty (@michael_getty) October 4, 2015
Imagine getting to support a team that play football like Arsenal. Instead we get to watch Gouffran run around like a headless chicken #NUFC— Niallers (@Nufcniallers) October 4, 2015
Starting Gouffran from McClaren was a shocker but I think unlike Pardew he'll learn from mistakes. He's not looking for excuses #nufc— Thelonious Monk (@dmill187) October 4, 2015
Having to play Gouffran in midfield highlights what a shambolic decision it was to sell Abeid for peanuts #nufc— Alexander (@diamondsalex) October 4, 2015
I don't get to watch our U21s, but surely to God there's got to be some players there with more desire than Sissoko & Gouffran? #NUFC— David Foster (@Dfozzy1970) October 4, 2015