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.
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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