One of the things we liked about Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa before he arrived at Newcastle in January, is that he is a very good leader, both one and off the pitch, and Newcastle need leaders in the team.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – has good leadership skills
Mapou was the captain at Montpellier when they won the French League last season for the first time ever, and they are the only club he had ever played for before he arrived on Tyneside.
In his interviews since arriving in late January, Mapou has already shown that leadership.
The French International defender was speaking at a Show Racism the Red Card workshop at St James’ Park earlier in the week – which he attended with 20 year-old colleague Massadio Haidara.
And the terrible loss to Sunderland was still on his mind, as he had this to say:
“The derby was very different from France.” “It is the biggest game here; there is a lot of attention on it and a lot of passion.”
“There is more envy in this kind of game than there was in France.” “For the next derby I’m sure that everyone will be ready because it is impossible to forget about this game.”
“We really want revenge already. We think we are capable of winning 3-0 against them as well, so we want to win that game and will be aiming for that.” “We are all very, very, very disappointed because we didn’t play well.”
“It’s very complicated for the players and the staff to understand at the moment, because we are very disappointed.” “We also know that for the supporters it is very difficult to lose this game.”
“We really, really wanted to win but we have lost and we understand the importance of this derby for Newcastle. We are very sorry for losing it.” “Last year Newcastle had a very big season, but what happens the year after is that it becomes more complicated,”
“This season we have had some good games and some bad games. We only arrived in January but there have been a lot of injuries and that has an effect.” “We are very tired physically and mentally too. It was a little bit of a bad combination.”
“I wanted to integrate quickly and I feel I’ve done that.” “These are my new colors and I’m ready to fight for this club until I drop down injured. We really want to stay in the Premier League and we want to have a good end to the season that we can take that into next year.
“We know the next game is an away game and even if we are tired the main objective is to win. We need a victory and we want everyone to understand that we want to stay in the Premier League – we want the fans to know that we are focused.”
Mapou will be alongside Steven Taylor, if Coloccini cannot make the game at the Hawthorns, but then his place will be under some pressure from the returning captain.
The French International can also play at full back, so it will b interesting to see if Mapou is preferred to Massadio Haidara at left back, after Colo returns.
But we’d like to see the 20 year-old Haidara given a spell at left-back in place of Davide Santon, who may be out for the season with his hamstring injury.
We need a result at the Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon.
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