Yanga-Mbiwa – We Want To Win The Europa League


Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is a good player as he demonstrated in his first start for the club against Metalist Kharkiv on Thursday night, and he’s also got some very good leadership skills, and that helps the team when he’s on and off the pitch.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa metalist

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in action last Thursday night

Yanga-Mbiwa is still only 23 years old, but he led Montpelier to their first ever French Championship last season, and it looks like he is still thinking big – and has said today in the local papers that Newcastle want to win the Europa League.

We’re not sure we’re good enough to be able to do that this season, but there again our five new players have significantly strengthened the squad last month.

But we face a very tough test in the Ukraine on Thursday night, and Yanga-Mbiwa is certain to start at right back again, having contained one of Metalist’s star players – Brazilian striker Willian (full name – Willian Gomes de Siqueira)- last Thursday night.

This is what Yanga-Mbiwa had to say about the Europa League:

“I think this competition is important for the whole squad, we all want to advance and progress in Europe.” “We want to win the trophy because that way we will be able to play in Europe again next season.”

“I think the squad is very competitive – it’s not just a strong first XI, but everyone who sits on the bench too. Everyone wants to win.”

One the evidence of Yanga-Mbiwa’s play on Thursday night he can challenge French team-mate Mathieu Debuchy for the right back spot at Newcastle – although we’d also like to see him play at center-back.

That’s unlikely to be very soon, with Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini both in excellent form at the moment, and providing a new solidity to the Newcastle defense, that we haven’t seen all season.

If Fabricio Coloccini leaves in the summer we could see Steven Taylor and Yanga-Mbiwa become our two starting center-backs, but Newcastle would also need to bring in another center-back and there are two Frenchmen we are looking at right now.

French International Mamadou Sakho of PSG would be a terrific acquisition for Newcastle in the summer, and we’re also supposed to be watching Valenciennes 21 year-old center back Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, who has played for the French U21 side and only turned 21 last November.

But if Coloccini leaves we must bring in a fourth experienced center-back and not have only three experienced center-backs, which we’ve had over the last two seasons, and we’ve paid for that when Steven Taylor had lengthy times out with injuries.

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11 comments so far

  • Kyo

    Feb 18, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #1

    It’s nice to want things.

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  • sirtoongospel

    Feb 18, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #2

    Colo in excellent form? That’s debatable. Personally I wouldn’t hesitate to play Mapou. He is a born winner and will get better and better.

    Taylor and Mapou might just be our best pairing, with combination of pace and power, but Colo will keep his spot regardless of form.

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  • Graeme

    Feb 18, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #3

    He needs to have a chat with the man who picks the team and convince him we CAN win both games this week!!

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  • Toon-Prodigy

    Feb 18, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #4

    This lad looks a class act in every aspect.

    Great to see quality players not coming straight into the first 11. Shows the quality in depth we have now.

    He and Taylor is going to be our CB pairing next season. I wonder who we will bring in to replace Colo.

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  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 18, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #5

    There’s no reason we can’t win both games coming up.

    Matalist will attack more being at home which means if we can withstand that (sure we can as they pass nicely infront of our defence but struggle to break it down often and to good effect) then we can expose them even more than we did at home.

    If we had luck with officials and cisse had his shooting boots on we really should have won the first game 3-0/3-1….so no reason we can’t beat them at their place.

    They reminded me very much of swansea under Rodgers….nice with the ball, look great knocking it around but no real cutting edge (they did lose their big players in january).

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  • Graeme

    Feb 18, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #6

    Mbiwa and Saylor will be our defensive pairing next season – for about 8 games – then Saylor will be out injured for 3 or 4 months as usual.

    At that point, our Collo replacement (Douglas maybe) will partner Mbiwa and Sicknote Saylor will not get a game, unless in cup matches or maybe Europe.

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  • Toon-Prodigy

    Feb 18, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #7

    Thats what I like to see Graeme!

    Optimism!!

    Haha 😉

    Lets hope not.

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  • tequilamag

    Feb 18, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #8

    Graeme, previous injury problems are not always a guide to future problems. RVP had a terrible record at Arsenal and has not missed a match this season. If Taylor was always out with the same injury you may have a point but they have all been serious injuries to different parts of the body. Just be happy he is back and playing well, defence is looking much more solid with Taylor in the team.

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  • Graeme

    Feb 18, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #9

    Toon – Prodigy; Just look at his record over the last 6 seasons – he has never played more than 12 games before being out for months. I would love to see him play a full season as what he lacks in skill and ability, he makes up for with raw passion and determination.

    Tequila, greetings, hows life with you? You are correct, of course, but you can only look at the facts of his career and make a judgement. Based on his time at NUFC it would be sheer madness NOT to bring in another very good CB to replace Collo (if he does leave) to provide cover in that position. The alternative is Willo again!!

    Willo has performed to the best of his ability and given 100% every time he is asked to do a job; unfortunately he is NOT the future of our central defence.

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  • tequilamag

    Feb 18, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #10

    Graeme, certainly agree we need more cover at CB. Willo is a trier but lacks quality and Colo has not performed this season anywhere near as well as last. Good and Streete still need at least another season before they can be considered as PL quality.

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  • tequilamag

    Feb 18, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #11

    Graeme and sorry life is good mate.

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