Pardew – Mapou Breathing Down Steven Taylor’s Neck

It’s not a bad strategy by Alan Pardew to show all the new boys a video of what happened when we played at White Hart Lane last February – and we went there to attack Spurs – and we were torn apart and 2-0 down after six minutes and 4-0 down after only 34 minutes, and eventually lost that game 5-0.

mapou yanga-mbiwa 91

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – pushing hard for starting position

It’s not a bad strategy to ensure the team is not over-confident as we probably were last season – and of course with two great wins in our last two games – we suppose there may be a fear that the lads are over-confident for tomorrow’s game.

But we don’t really think so, and too many of our new players – like Moussa Sissoko, Mathieu Debuchy and Yoan Gouffran – are too busy trying to fit into the Newcastle team and give the side a big lift – which is what they’ve done over the last couple of games.

The 5-0 loss at Tottenham is Alan’s worst defeat while at Newcastle, although we were hammered 7-3 recently at Arsenal and then 4-0 at Wigan (of all places) last April – and that came after the Tottenham defeat and that shock defeat against the Latics broke a six game winning streak in the league.

That’s the kind of winning streak we need to try to emulate right now.

Alan Pardew seems fairly confident of being able to get something out of the game tomorrow, but he knows it’s one of the toughest games left in the season, and he had this to say to the local Newcastle press today:

“We’re in a much healthier position – but still not out of trouble.” “We don’t want to be where we are in the league. It is about momentum and we need to keep it.” “We had three or four tricky days last year and Tottenham was one of them. We’ve had a few more this year.”

“There were a lot of things going on – such as Harry Redknapp being linked with England – that caught them on that day.” “This is a different scenario though and hopefully we’re on the up now.” “It’s difficult – it’s a tough game.” “I envisage it to be as tough a game as we’ve had all year.”

“You look at our run-in, and you’d have to say Man City is probably our toughest game, and this will be the second toughest, in my opinion.” “That’s where it sits in the games we’ve got left outside of Europe.” “It was a difficult call at the first game at Villa, because Mapou had just arrived and played games, and I knew he was fit.”

“Steven Taylor hadn’t played a game for four or five months, so that was a tough call for me, so I knew that worked in my favor as I’ve had two great performances with Mapou breathing down Tayls’ and Colo’s neck, which is how it should be at this football club.”

“You should have that level of competition.” “There’s Mike Williamson as well, of course.” “Steven has done terrifically, and he needs to take that into Spurs.” “It’s almost like having half a team new, if I’m honest.”

We cannot see Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa being out of the side for too long, because he’s just too good a player to sit on the bench, and he also has terrific leadership skills, and if you’ve listened to the interviews he’s given since he arrived on Tyneside you can see that.

But Mapou will play in the two upcoming Europa League games – probably alongside Mike Williamson – so then Alan Pardew will have a decision to make for the home game against Southampton two weeks on Sunday – on who partners Newcastle captain Coloccini in central defense.

And Newcastle are already seeing the tangible benefits of having big competition at the back – and our defense has played very solidly over the last couple of games.

If we are going to get anything out of the game tomorrow , the defense will again have to be in top form.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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13 comments so far

  • yo-yo

    Feb 8, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #1

    A message for Llambias.

    You wonder why we have 3.5m fans worldwide and how to make up the gap with ManU with 350m.

    WIN SOMETHING !!!!!!

  • saxonfenken

    Feb 8, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #2

    Paul Merson is tipping us to lose 2-1 at Spurs, as he did against AV and Chelsea by the same score, is this an omen.

  • geordiesteve520

    Feb 8, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #3

    I’ve just read a Chronicle interview with Goufrann and he is fast becoming one of my favourite players; he works his socks off on the pitch (in the 2 games ;)) and says all the right things off it, there seems to be absolutely no hint of ego in any of the players we have signed and it just highlights how many young English players are utter bell-ends! Whether it is the fact they have been given PR training, or they are simply better people (I know this is a major factor in our signing policy) it is just refreshing to hear people speak of the team first and then their personal successes.

  • geordiesteve520

    Feb 8, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #4

    YO-YO; it isn’t up to Llambias and Ashley to win something, that is upto the players – we have had cracking teams in the past and haven’t done that. Not as easy as it seems, we always seem to cock it up ourselves though.

  • Rozzy

    Feb 8, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #5

    Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Colo looks best on paper but I put my money on Taylor and Colo tomorrow night. It’s different for a defender in a new league compared to a striker or midfielder. They need time to get use to the English game. Like when Santon joined R.Taylor was still picked ahead of him because he was in good form and Pards eased him into the game by giving him last 10mins or so of a game. I can see this happening with mbiwa until a injury or drop in form of Taylor.

  • woolerbill

    Feb 8, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #6

    Steve Taylor

    This young man is underrated, we were unbeaten till his injury last year. He comes back and we won the last two. He is a far better than collo and willo. Taylor for captain.

  • yo-yo

    Feb 8, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #7


    The best way to build their ‘market’ and the ‘global brand’ and sell millions of replica shirts is to set the side up to win something.

    Only then is it up to the manager and players.

    Invest to succeed as an alternative to marketing an unsuccessful product through a payday loans company.

    The Entertainers were everybody’s second favourite team. Lasting success and business stability for Mashley will only come through success on the pitch. Not every season, but enough, like the Gooners who are our business model.

  • UpTheRoad

    Feb 8, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #8

    I never thought I’d say this but Yanga-Mbiwa must work hard to get into the team at the minute. Neither Coloccini or Taylor deserve to be dropped. Hope Pardew continues with Sayls and plays Mapou on thursday.

  • nufc 11

    Feb 8, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #9

    Id play him LB and move Santon to RM better balance in the team and a stronger back four then question tho whats happens if colo form completly dips? Is he undroppable some of his proformances have warrented to be dropped to the bench but remains in the bk four willo has been made the scapgoat for alot of colo’s poor defending at times.

  • Sav

    Feb 8, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #10

    Llambias reckons we have never had stability but we have it now? Better move up from 16th and 2 wins before talking the talk, Derek. This was the regime that gave us Dennis Wise, Xisco, that South American joker and followed up Euro qualification by abject failure to invest. But ‘Stability’? Hell yeah, Bring it On!

  • toon1707

    Feb 8, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #11

    I probably disagree with the majority as if mbiwa is to start i would drop colo as I think Taylor is a much better defender (when fit) however at the minute with 2 wins in 2 really can’t change the starting 11 rom the last 2 games

  • geordiesteve520

    Feb 8, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #12

    Yo-Yo – you are absolutely correct the Entertainers were everyone’s second team…but what did they win?

  • HKTP

    Feb 8, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #13

    Good times for Newcastle, competition for places and no Williamson or Simpson in sight. Steven Taylor is one of the most underrated players in the team, excellent in the air and never scared to put his body in the line. Undefeated before his injury last year and 2 wins in his 2 games back speaks volumes. Colo looks a different player now with a bit of stability and reliability next to him. Sissoko gets the majority of the plaudits, quite a few unsung heroes in the team.


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