This New Frenchman Has Guts, Leadership And Ability Too

We were big fans of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa before he arrived on Tyneside, and one reason was that we knew the 23 year-old could play anywhere along the back four and he had excellent leadership abilities as the captain of Montpellier.

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Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – in action at West Ham

The center-back filled in at left-back for Newcastle in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with West Ham United, and the center-back made his first start at right back against Metalist Kharkiv in February, in the 0-0 draw, and had an excellent game at right back.

And manager Alan Pardew has been singing the French International’s praises in the Shields Gazette today:

“We defended really well, and I thought Mapou at left-back was terrific,” “We’ve lost Davide Santon and Sadio,” “We had a performance going into QPR which gives us encouragement.”

“That’s probably an area which we haven’t done well in recently. Yanga-Mbiwa was terrific. That really bodes well.”

Davide Santon may be back for Sunday’s game, but there’s a decent chance that Pardew will play the same back four – just because they played so well at Upton Park.

And Danny Simpson may keep out Mathieu Debuchy – who will be returning from his one match ban for being sent off during the Liverpool disaster – simply because of his extra Premier League experience.

We don’t know what will happen in our next two games, and if we go down – anything can happen – including unloading a number of our International players who will not want to play in England’s second division next seasons with the World Cup in Brazil next summer.

But if we do stay up and keep our players we wouldn’t be too surprised long term if Mapou becomes the Newcastle captain.

He’s only 23, and he  has the leadership skills – and he should be an excellent player for Newcastle  once he adjusts to England’s Premier League – and learns to speak English well.

What do you think?

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28 comments so far

  • yo-yo

    May 7, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #1

    WE need to hope that the scum’s win over us was a pyrrhic victory and they, Norwich, Wigan etc., all struggle and only get one more point each out of their remaining games. Entirely possible we can escape relegation.

    But do we deserve to ?

  • JackButler

    May 7, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #2

    Personally I wouldn’t put Debuchy anywhere near the starting 11 and I’d continue with the much maligned Simpson…………………..Can’t believe I just said that.

  • Indian Magpie (HD_07 on Twitter)

    May 7, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #3

    Pardew always surprises me.

    Pthetic Interview. Bodes well for what

  • yo-yo

    May 7, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #4


    Yeh… I was thinking the same thing – but how good was Simmo on the weekend – I was listening to the radio and he was getting a bit of stick from the commentators

  • Joe Blog

    May 7, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #5

    Way to chip away at two young player’s confidence, Alan!

    He isn’t just the worst incumbent of the manager’s seat at NUFC, he’s perhaps the biggest gobshite I’ve heard in any walk of life, that’s including Beattie!

  • JackButler

    May 7, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #6

    yo-yo – I thought he played well on the weekend tbh and kept Jarvis pretty quiet. But Debuchy has done little for me, I know he needs time to settle but his red card was sheer stupidity. Simmo’s taken a hammering this past few seasons, and rightly so at times, but we need him now more than ever

  • Fostino

    May 7, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #7

    i would have debuchy straight back in…he hasnt done much wrong and keep mbiwa at lb. i think having colo back is hige. he just makes everyone so calm..including me come the match.

    as for midfield expect if sissoko is back, expect an interesting call to see if gourfran or ben afra are dropped to accomodate him.

    whats the status of marveaux, id love to see him come on??

  • Indian Magpie (HD_07 on Twitter)

    May 7, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #8

    Teams that have got something or all 3 points at SJP

    Aston Villa
    Man Utd

    10-15 points gone there and then

  • Spoof

    May 7, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #9

    Joe Blog, Santon is an awful fullback and Haidara has looked out of his depth, you have got to say it how it is, telling them that they are doing well will not help them

  • Transfer Sage

    May 7, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #10

    not sure on debuchy

    he is better than simmo, we need his attacking threat too as we need to win games.

    the problem i have is that the red card he got looked like he just wanted to get off the pitch and dived in to let himself have an early bath. Simmo has never given up like that.

    It’s a tough call but won’t blame pardew either way he goes with it.

  • JackButler

    May 7, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #11

    Fostino – Marv is out for the season

  • Indian Magpie (HD_07 on Twitter)

    May 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #12

    On a +ve note its still in our hands.

    Hope we survive


  • Rainrix

    May 7, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #13

    Heres a bit of wild experimentation that’ll never happen but why not have debuchy on the wing? Its blatantly obvious his strengths lie in attack and one of our main weaknesses is wing play. Of course a major stumbling block in this idea is pardew.

  • Transfer Sage

    May 7, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #14

    I’m not bothered which players or formation is selected for QPR.

    We have shown that even with jonas, shola, simmo, willo etc that when we atatck and commit players forward we look good and can score/create chances.

    Even with our best team we have lost purely due to being too defensive and keeping 10 in our own half.

    If we just let the players get forward to support cisse we have a chance to beat anyone, fingers crossed it happens.

  • JackButler

    May 7, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #15

    Sage – Debuchy’s red card really pi**ed me off as you say, he looked as if he just wanted off the pitch and at a time when we need everyone fighting for us that sort of attitude is the last thing we need.

  • Barbtoon

    May 7, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #16

    I think we will stay up if we get a win at Loftus Road, Norwich will go down as a result. They have WBA at home, they are likely going to get a draw from that and then they travel to the Etihad. If we can pick up 3 points from QPR -and Norwich draw with WBA – we are safe…

  • Transfer Sage

    May 7, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #17


    it could work and it might add more stability defensively as well.

    I think santon must be used as a winger next year, he looks so much better forward than back and when he attacks starting higher up the pitch he is more effective with his final ball.

  • Joe Blog

    May 7, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #18


    Yes, perhaps it’s ok for the average fan to just blurt it out in that fashion, but I’d expect the manager to be a little more upbeat and constructive, but as we live in the era of the soundbite, I’m sure asking for something more comprehensive is a stretch.

  • Transfer Sage

    May 7, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #19


    exactly. for all i think simmo/willo aren’t the best they never gave up on the pitch and give their best.

  • Joe Blog

    May 7, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #20


    And Santon isn’t awful, that’s an exaggeration, he’s very hit and miss and perhaps too banzai, but with adept guidance and discipline can reach his potential. He’s definitely better than Haidara 1vs1, although it’s getting him to recover his position after gallivanting forward, that’s the problem. Haidara gets skinned way too easily, considering he’s quick himself, but I’ll put that down to him been a rookie in the PL and to the directness that comes with it.

  • Spoof

    May 7, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #21

    JB, as far as Santon goes, fair comment, awful is a bit strong, but as you say tracking back and improving his defending is vital, but he and Haidara both need to be told or they will never improve.

  • Black and White Blood

    May 7, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #22

    To switch things up, what about:


    Simpson – Collo – Saylor – Yanga-M’biwa

    Debuchy – Cabaye – Sissoko – Ferguson

    Cissé – Ben Arfa

    4-4-2 might just be the way out of this if we can get some decent crosses in. And Debuchy and Ferguson know how to do that, and both can get stuck in when they have to.

  • Assam Toon

    May 7, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #23

    Debuchy and sadio r good players but its too much to expect from them to paddle in this shit pool straightaway.bright kids like them didnt come here to face this shite,at least not in their first season.sticking to the same back four would make sense for the remaining two games. I see a draw tonight…swans r not going to lie down to the Wigan snowball so easily.

  • supadom

    May 7, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #24

    Yanga Mbiwa was shocking against Liverpool. Absolutely useless. Yes he played well on Saturday but a future captain? This is the bloke that wants to play for Man Utd in the future isn’t it?

  • JP...from The Rock

    May 7, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #25

    I was crying out for Mapou last summer, and was overjoyed when we finally got him in January.

    He is a leader alright, and if he stays will become NUFC captain one day. He has shown in a few instances what a great defender he is with some rapid clearances when all the other Toon players were just idle caught ball watching. He is still finding his feet though.

    I just can’t help but wonder what a strong and calm defense we would have if Colo and Mbiwa could have formed a defensive partnership. It’s a shame Colo had to get injured at that time. We wouldn’t be in this mess it he were fit and we had M’biwa too.

    Saylor is a great defender but too erratic for M’biwa who is still learning the English game.

    Colo just rubs off his calmness and him and M’biwa are brilliant readers of the game.

    Perhaps there is a slight chance we survive and it will be most likely thanks to Captain Colo and no one else.

    I am still sceptical about his injury however and a huge part of me feels like he exaggerated his back injury so he could have more time to sort out his family issues. That has cost us dearly whatever the reason, especially since we already had lost out top goal scorer in Demba Ba and not found a replacement

    If we draw against QPR what could we hope for? Cuz’ the way I see it, we will need a miracle to win.


  • Charlietoon

    May 7, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #26

    Basically we need to hope that Norwich gets hammered twice in the next two games. We wont get anymore points I dont think so we have to hope we can concede less than them. What a shame we shipped nine goals so recently.

  • cornishman

    May 7, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    Comment #27

    Wow ifs buts and plenty of maybes. If we can beat QPR and we can.i believe we will be ok. I would not be surprised if the mackams don,t get another point. They were poor last night and they are struggling for a striker with suspensions and all and Southampton will turn them over. Gotta say though, its so hard to believe where we are. I hope Ashley realises the negative fool he employed and gives him the flick as soon as we,re out of this mess. I,ve yet to see a manager knock the confidence out of players so quick with wrong positioning and negativity.

  • Douglas

    May 8, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    Comment #28

    My take on things:
    We’ll be safe after Wigan result yesterday. Slept better last night.
    Pardew should go, but Ashley will keep him foranother season. Ashley to demand of Ashley better quality football and top 6 place next season and cup success.
    To go: Collo, Anita, Santon, Krul, Jonas, Harper, Simpson, Gosling, Amalfatino, Arbeid. Plus some minows who will not make it. IN about 30M
    To come in: No idea but we should have 40M to spend.


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