If you look at out first five games of the season – we have won three and lost one and drawn one in all competitions – and you look at what the difference is from last season, we can point to four players who have made a big difference.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has made a good start to the season
The first one is obvious, and it’s Ben Arfa who had 85% of the vote in our pollas Newcastle’s best player on Saturday, and he’s been in awesome form, and if we can keep this lad fit, which we couldn’t do last season, we could do very well this season.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa had been outstanding for Montpellier when they won the French League a year ago, and Newcastle had been after this player, who is still only 24 years old, for a while, and we thought he was a great signing in January.
But like all the five Frenchmen who joined us earlier this year, Mapou found the Premier League to be a much higher standard than in France.
But this season, he has played in every game for Newcastle, and is forming a great partnership with Colo in central defense, and both center-backs read the game well, with Mapou now looking very solid in Newcastle colors.
This lad is a born leader, so we do expect him to captain the side in Colo’s absence this season, and in two or three years time don’t be surprised if this player becomes the new Newcastle captain.
Vurnon Anita struggled last season, although he still made 35 appearances when we had 14 extra European games to negotiate, and while the Dutchman looked a good technical player, it was difficult for him to get to terms with the physical nature of the English league.
But this year he’s looked a good player for Newcastle, and plays the simple game that all good technical players play, and he very rarely gives the ball away, and he was again tidy and efficient for Newcastle at Villa Park.
On his showings so far this season, he could become first choice over Cheick Tiote, and if you have nufcTV, check out his interview after the game on Saturday – all he did was smile and talk about winning – all the time.
You would even think he used to play for Ajax. .
We know we had made a good signing when we got long-term target Moussa Sissoko from Toulouse in January, but this lad has played very well so far this season, and he gives us drive, power and energy in the midfield.
And Moussa had another fine game on Saturday, but if this player continues to improve and look so dominant in midfield, we may have trouble keeping him next summer, but we hope Ashley puts a ridiculous transfer fee on his head, so we can keep him, as he did with Cabaye this summer.
And we almost made id five players, and added in Loic Remy, but it’s too soon to judge Loic, but his first two games in a Newcastle shirt tells you why we have been after this lad for over five years.
So Ben Arfa, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Vurnon Anita and Moussa Sissoko have made Newcastle look like a much better side so far this season.
And our two wins on the trot in the league suggest we could do very well this season.
What do you think?
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