Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa met with the local press yesterday, but his English is not yet good enough to take the news conference in English, so he had an interpreter with him, but we hope he’ll soon be able to speak to the press in English, as he hones in on hos language skills this summer.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa - in action against Anzhi
We think this lad will turn out to be a great signing for Newcastle, once he settles in at the club, and he’s a real leader on and off the pitch, and of course captained Montpellier to the French Championship for the very first time last season.
He talked about how people love their football in England, and about the Suarez incident last Sunday:
“This country really loves its football, it seems like it’s one of the biggest things in life here. In France perhaps it’s a bit more of a minority who take football that seriously.”
“It’s a massive change to come from a country where there’s not quite as much interest.” “It’s a shame there was an unfortunate incident on the pitch last Sunday, one which could hurt someone’s career, but for me the main thing is people live for football here. “
“That’s a huge change for me.” “I’m perhaps a bit disappointed not to be facing Suárez, you always want to come up against the best players in the world.”
“From the point of view of getting the three points, though, perhaps it’s an advantage for us that he’s not on the pitch.” “As a professional, though, you always want to play against the very best.”
It’s good that Suarez is not playing today, and it gives us a better chance of winning this important game, and that would be a nice change since we’ve only won two of our last seven league games and lost four of them.
And when that four letter word relegation is brought up – well it seems like a four letter word – Mapou thinks Newcastle have some fantastic players in the current squad.
“We have fantastic players and a lot of confidence, we haven’t lost any of that.” “We work hard in training, and we’re serious out there.” “It is important we stick together until the last match.”
“And even if we’re playing against one of the best five team in the league we’ll still be confident we can go out and get a result.” “It’s also very important to remain really together.” “
Among staff, players and team-mates, we have to have the attitude that we’re all in this together.” “Whenever we go out on the pitch, we have to know we’re involved in a battle and make sure we give our all for 95 minutes in each match.”
There’s Mapou’s leadership coming out, and down the road this lad could make a great captain at the club – but he will need to improve his English language skills.
We are hoping Mapou has a very good game today – since we must defend very solidly against Liverpool if we are to get the result we need today – a win.
Let us know how you think the game will go today.
You can also reach Ed at email@example.com