We were big fans of Mapou Yanga-Mabiwa before he arrived at Newcastle in the summer, and of the five new Frenchmen he’s probably performed the best – along with Yoan Gouffran, who again looked good yesterday – but we still don’t know what Alan Pardew keeps taking him off in the second half.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa - what a player this lad can become at Newcastle
Mapou was our Man of the Match in the last game of the season and we though he was outstanding at left back – and maybe full back is his best position, although he;s played very well in each position across the back four in his 20 appearances for Newcastle.
This lad is going to be tremendous acquisition and he has the leadership and guts to make him a firm Newcastle favorite in the future.
Mapou got 36% of the vote followed by Steve Harper, who had a steady and strong game in his 199th and final appearance for the Magpies, after 20 years at the club.
Steve would be a great buy for some club on a two-year deal – and maybe Lee Clark at Birmingham will sign him this summer, to replace Jack Butland who joins Stoke City.
Here are the results of our Man of the Match poll for yesterday – and it’s still open if you want to vote.
And we point out that two of the top four were new signings in January, and Sissoko and Haidara are out injured – so the five new players in January could all turn out to be excellent signings for the club in the long term.
Now there’s a positive thought!