Fabricio Coloccini apparently still has a back problem, after doing that crazy overhead clearance in the first half against Southampton on Sunday, but if the Argentine cannot play, it will be a great chance for the excellent Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa to deputize for the Newcastle captain.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – could start at Swansea
We’ve already said that we think Mapou is far too good to be warming the bench at Newcastle, but both Colo and Steven Taylor have been in top form lately, and with Mapou available, we don’t think Colo will play on Saturday if there’s any doubt at all about his back.
Mapou is still only 23 years old, and he’s coming off last season when he captained Montpelier to their first French League Championship ever, and he made his debut for the French club back in February of 2007, when he was still only 17.
And since that time he’s played 219 times for Montpellier with four goals, and has already made fives appearances including two starts at Newcastle, and has 3 caps for France.
And he could get his third start on Saturday afternoon, if Colo cannot make it, and Newcastle team-mate Yoan Gouffran knows all about this player, after playing against him in the French League for Bordeaux.
This is what Yoan said about Mapou today in the local press:
“We can rest assured we have real quality in Mapou.” “Of course, there are a lot of other good defenders like Colo and Steven Taylor already here. Mapou is a fantastic addition to the squad.”
“Let’s not forget that he was captain at Montpellier and he has played for France as well at the very top level. He is a good player and a great defender.” “He’s young but is already an international.”
“It’s easy to forget that he’s only 23.” “He will bring a lot of stability to the defense at Newcastle.”
We should hear more about Coloccini’s condition later today, when Alan Pardew holds his press conference for the Swansea game, but Colo and Yanga-Mbiwa are similar center-backs, and they both are ball playing center-backs who read the game very well.
We also hope that Ben Arfa will be included in the 18 man squad for the Swansea game, and there’s certainly a lot of competition these days just to get a seat on the bench at Newcastle.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org