Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa looked a very good experienced player last Thursday night, and he put in a very solid game against the Brazilian Willian, who is probably Metalist’s best player.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in action against Metalist
And Mapou finished second in our Man of the Match voting behind only Moussa Sissoko, who has been our top man in three of the four matches he has played for the club so far – what a show-off.
Mapou will again be the starting right back in the Ukraine on Thursday night, in what is turning out to be a key game for Newcastle, and a score draw will see us through to the round of the last 16 in the Europa League.
Yanga-Mbiwa usually plays at center-back, but he can play anywhere along the back four, including left back, so he will be an important player in our defense in the future, if only because of his great versatility.
Pardew had this to say in the local papers today about the 3 times capped French International:
“He did well, he’s quick and comfortable in possession.” “And I think he done a sound job down the right.” “He had a good player up against him, I thought Willian was their best player. He didn’t see much of the ball.”
Yanga-Mbiwa is having to fight for his place somewhere in that back four, but the competition is great for the club, but we wouldn’t expect this lad to stay on the bench for too long at the start of his Newcastle career, and at some point we’d love to see him play in central defense.
But that may not be for a while with Steven Taylor and Coloccini looking very solid at the back for Newcastle, since Mapou joined the club, and that’s interesting in itself.
This is what we’ve always wanted at Newcastle over the last three seasons – a lot more competition – and by definition that means we’ll have some very good players on the bench – like Mapou – as only one example.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org