What’s Exactly Wrong With This Newcastle Player?

When Newcastle signed Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in January, we thought we had got a really top player who would solidify the Newcastle defense, and since he can play anywhere across the back four, he would get lots of games.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa  987

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – two poor games from the Frenchman

And when Mapou finally ousted Steven Taylor earlier this season, and became first choice at center-back,  after Steven had served his three  match suspension, we thought everything was on track, and we weren’t all that surprised.

But in the last two league games – the two 3-2 defeats against Hull and Everton – Mapou has had two very poor games, and of course when you have a poor game at center-back, it usually ends up with goals conceded, and we’ve let in a massive six goals in those two league games.

It’s still early days for Mapou at Newcastle of course, and he is still learning and should get better as he gets more experience of the English way of playing football.

But we don’t think center-back is his best position, because he is not a good header of the ball, and he cannot seem to handle the big bustling strikers like Romelu Lukaku, as one example on Monday night.

To be fair to Mapou, not many center-backs could have handled the player on Monday, as Romelu was in sparkling form.

But we think Mapou can still play a big role for Newcastle, but it’s probably in one of the full back positions.

Mapou was great at left back in the last few games of last season, and in Debuchy and Santon we are not sure they are necessarily the best full backs at Newcastle right now, with Mapou available and local lad Paul Dummett pressing hard, and there’s also Massadio Haidara, when he comes back from his knee injury..

It sometimes takes players at least a year to acclimatize to England, so we do expect Yanga-Mbiwa to get back into the starting line-up at Newcastle, but that may be at full back rather than center-back.

For the record the Frenchman has played 27 times so far for Newcastle United.

And talking about center-backs we expect Steven Taylor to be fit, but only for the game two weeks on Saturday at home to Liverpool,

Win, lose or draw at Cardiff,  that is huge game for Newcastle and we cannot be overwhelmed like we were in last season’s game, when we were absolutely outclassed and hammered 6-0.

But the bottom line is that we certainly haven’t given up on Mapou, this lad is a fighter and an excellent character, and we expect him to learn – and come fighting back.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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32 comments so far

  • Ibizatoon

    Oct 3, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #1

    I think perhaps a little too much is being made of the MBiwa situation.

    Many have said how great Colo is as our CB (granted some think he is not so good), but he had a fairly horrendous first season with us.

    MBiwa arrived in January to a struggling team so had a baptism of fire. He will still be adjusting to the league and will get caught out in the meantime.

    Whilst he has made some howlers, he has also shown that he can be a very decent defender too.

    He needs time imo. Whether we can afford him that time is a different matter though, but let’s not write the bloke off quite yet.

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Oct 3, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #2


    I’m not going to spend my time investigating every single article than some wanabee journo publishes. I dismissed The May a long time ago as they regularly churn out complete garbage so I don’t read any of their articles.

    I dismiss it as rubbish because it’s just irrelevant and heavily laced with bias. It’s obvious that the whole intention was to be able to write an article like that and do you seriously think that if a representative of SBR’s charity would contact the club to discuss sponsorship then they wouldn’t consider it? It was an obvious MAOC style PR stunt that they would have spotted a mile away.

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Oct 3, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #3

    I agree Ibiza. People are writing off MYM, Debuchy and Santon too quickly. Santon was ne of our best players last season (granted that doesn’t say much) and the other 2 are still adapting. People were saying goofy isn’t good enough just a few weeks ago and now they’re calling for him to start ahead of Cisse!

  • sticklebricks

    Oct 3, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #4

    I don’t really think he was any worse than Colo if I am honest against Everton.

  • Ibizatoon

    Oct 3, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #5

    TDS…Whilst I can see that as a possibility, you do seem to have a disposition to dismiss anything from an anti angle unless it is 100% backed up and correct, but willing to give the benefit of doubt to the regime.

    Whilst I understand why you challenge the anti crowd, you don’t seem to take the same stance with regards to Ashley, other than accepting he has some faults. Doesn’t come across as a balanced viewpoint.

    I wasn’t asking you to do the research, but just pointing out that it is probably worthy of some thought / investigation as it could well highlight another example of the club lying to the fans.

    We both agree that a big issue the club could quite easily rectify is communication and a bit more transparency, well for me, this topic falls right in with that.

    It may well not be 100% factual, it may well be completely made up, so should we just ignore it and sweep it under the carpet?

    If the club were aware that it was part of the MAOC (is that a guess, as there are other campaigns…not just that one?), then surely it would have been in their interest to give actual details? What do they have to hide?

  • Ibizatoon

    Oct 3, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #6

    TDS @ 3….We can agree on something this morning 🙂

  • ArtyH

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #7

    There is nothing wrong with Y.M, what is wrong is the way he is being told to play and his natural ability is being ignored and he is forced to do things Pardew’s way. He looks like he is second guessing himself when he has to make a decision, this throws him of for a split second and the damage is done. Don’t know if its a language/misinterpreted thing or just poor instruction.

  • Phatoon

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #8

    Woudn’t say there is anything wrong with any of our CBs, they all have their uses. The problem is the combo.

    ST and MW don’t work well together. Neither is a leader.

    MW and FC work well, but sometimes lack creativity due to MW.

    MYM and FC provide a good passing game out of defence but struggle to deal with long balls.

    MYM and ST don’t seem to be able to hold the line together.

  • theartfuldodger

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #9

    Summing everyone up,

    We have an owner who is arrogant,wants to keep the club just ticking over. Has no intention to hoard free advertising. Gives interest free loans. Supposedly doesent withdraw or make much from the club. And doesent appoint experts either.

    Looks like everyone is suffering from “Find a purpose for Ashley to own NUFC” syndrome.
    Which gives rise to different accusitions from diff ppl.

    Unless thers some really secret agenda invisible for 6 yrs(apart from arrogance),
    Id have him tested for mental disorders. That would answer stuff.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #10

    If you have found something stating that the £31 million was for a stake, fair enough, what I saw said commercial partnership. Possibly distorting the meaning, so I will leave that point.

    As for our own commercial revenue, £10-£13 million is massively underselling it. Forbes have us at $31million – roughly £20-25 million. Given the number of hoardings plastered around the ground for SD, it is easily conceivable there is at least another £5million there.

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #11


    I’ve criticised Ashley for many things that I think are just the wrong way to run a football club. But I understand business and I understand marketing so many of his decisions do actually make sense from those perspectives.

    I’m usually pretty good at spotting the bulls**t in articles and any article that wants to be taken seriously needs to be written in a certain way and list certain facts. I don’t read The Sun or The Daily Mail because they are full of opinions and spurious facts (lies) and this website falls in that category.

    Two main issues with Ashley:
    1 – communication
    2 – Failure to appoint a football chairman/DoF with up to date experience of top flight football to provide advice

  • theartfuldodger

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #12

    Mbiwa and willo together in second half might have looked just as good.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #13

    Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium: Up in the northeast, the cost to advertise on the main touchline LED system is a whopping £3,000 per minute. That converts to $5,928 per minute or $98.80 per second.


    That was the cost 5 years ago at Boro in the Prem. Works out at $6,750,000 a season.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #14

    A season based on TDS assumption of 25 games at home including cup.

  • Transfer Sage

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #15

    mbiwa is not good, he cant even do the basics of hold a line and pick up a man…i said for ages he isn’t good enough for the prem. I might be wrong, and hope i am, but don’t think he is very good.


    our commercial revenue being 13mil doesn’t prove anything, it would depend what the average for commercial revenue is…if we are 7/8th then it’s pretty fiar really.

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #16


    No. I don’t know how many times I have to say this, but the advertising hoardings are not worth another £5M no matter how much you want them to be! £13M is low but that is the figure we brought in, that clearly needs to be increased. Commercial revenue includes a few things other than just sponsorship too.

    The big sponsor is clearly the shirt sponsor and we’re probably getting between £5M and £10M for that. The rest isn’t much at all sadly.

    Articles indicate that Wonga are paying around £8M a year for shirt and stadium sponsorship and investing an additional £1.5 for the club’s academy and help local kids. Obviously the latter is moot.

    Try to find a list of the sponsors around the ground. They get such a small amount of coverage, I can’t even find a list of them! And I definitely cant’t remember them either!

  • Wiz

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #17

    I agree with theartfuldodger about Ashley’s likely mental issues. There is something perverse about someone like him, whose determination to press ahead when everyone is saying he is on the wrong track is noticeable in his business dealings generally. Incidentally, this produced an admirable result in his stand-off with the Lancashire sports shop fraternity. This has led him, though, to persist in a wholly wrong-headed policy with football club stewardship. When people say ‘you know, with Ashley, the one thing he is getting wrong is communication,’ they are overlooking the fact that he doesn’t communicate to keep his critics quiet. This might be all right in the City, but it is not all right when your critics are your customers. He can’t explain himself, because if he did he would have to admit that he has no intention of competing in the top four.

  • Ibizatoon

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #18

    TDS…I’m certainly not arguing credibility of the press!

    We are at a point where the fans don’t trust anything the club says. If the club cannot or don’t seem to be upfront with the fans, how is this situation going to improve? It’s not.

    Unless the Mag are completely making up even contacting the club, then I personally think it’s an issue that should be looked at further.

    I too am sick of hearing opinion passed on as fact and really just want some actual facts.

    These facts need to be sought though, not just dismissed.

    Whether right or wrong, no matter who started, we are where we are and something needs to be done. The situation is spiraling out of control imo and that will be damaging for the club.

    Artful Dodger..As I said earlier, I get the feeling that at the end of the day, NUFC is achieving exactly what Ashley wants of it.

    It may not be the most lucrative package for him in the scheme of things and I will also accept that the rise of SD is not solely down to his association with the club (this is largely down to the current state of the financial markets), however, this has coincided with and been helped by said association.

    As long as we stay in the PL then mission accomplished. Whilst the basic ambition is right, it is soul destroying to think we wont try and push on from there.

    Maybe we’ll be surprised down the road again, but any faith in that I once had, has been beaten out of me for now.

  • Transfer Sage

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #19


    he has an article which shows that boro may 5mil…so why couldn’t we make that?

  • Transfer Sage

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #20


    a lot of ground have airlines, nike, addidas, barclays, theres a few

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #21


    That article is for live Sky matches only.

    The facts are the facts anyway. We had £13M from commercial revenue last year, this year we have £8M from Wonga and then everything else on top of that. We obviously need to generate more revenue.

    An article from 5 years ago is potentially invalid because of the new arrangements with Sky and the PL.

  • Malta Mag

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #22

    How come the entire defence has been slaughtered since Monday, and quite rightly so, yet Tim Kruhl has got off Scott free yet was atrocious and not for the first time this season. I would play the following at Cardiff
    Debuchy Williamson Collocini Dummett
    Sissoko. Cabaye. Jonas
    Remy. Ben Arfa

  • cjtoon

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #23


    I have to say to a large extent I agree with most of what you are saying. I think as a fan base we are passionate and this sometimes makes a lot of fans fickle and maybe even ‘deluded’.

    I cannot actually believe what i am reading people are now moaning about MA making us buy french players as SD are moving into france. They are also moving into poland and the channel islands but I havent seen us linked with Lewandowski yet.

    For everything MA has lacked in communication he has more than made up for in the balance sheets. It is very easy to criticise the regime and everyone has the right to do that. For me though as you have rightly pointed out today, MA is not the reason the team are underperforming.

    In truth none of us know the reason to that and until we do its hard to accurately point the finger in one direction.

  • Slank

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #24

    ToonDarnSarf @ 11

    1 – He has appointed a Communications Manager / Director.

  • Scottiedog

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #25

    If Mbiwa is struggling and has not settled in after nearly 10 Months then we are scouting the wrong players IMO.

  • workyticket

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #26

    “To be fair to Mapou, not many center-backs could have handled the player on Monday, as Romelu was in sparkling form.”

    Williamson seemed to manage it though. He worked much better with Coloccini when he came on and they shut him out, giving the team a platform to get two goals back eventually. Until Williamson came on, Lukaku was doing pretty much anything he wanted in our box.

  • workyticket

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #27

    ToonDarnSarf // Oct 3, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    “Articles indicate that Wonga are paying around £8M a year for shirt and stadium sponsorship and investing an additional £1.5 for the club’s academy and help local kids. Obviously the latter is moot.”

    It’s around £6 million for the shirts and £1.5 for the Academy, TDS. As for the ‘Stadium Sponsorship’ that’s a bit of a moot point. It looks like that was a canard for the benefit of the fans which had a dual purpose, to get Ashley out of an embarrassing position and also bribe the fans to accept Wonga.

    Virtually everything at Newcastle United seems to be a lie nowadays if you look into it closely.

  • nufc 11

    Oct 3, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #28

    Santon is not a defender for fcuk sake was that not clearly evident on Monday night and worse again he is playing like he wants to be moved to the wings, MYB is a defensive holding Midfielder and if we want get down to the knitty gritty of it Debuchy is a RM too no defender.

  • North Atlantic Magpie

    Oct 3, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #29

    Mapou didn’t have a bad game against Hull. Debuchy had a bad game against Hull that cost us two goals. Mapou did have a bad game against Everton but so did Colo and Santon.

  • Sav

    Oct 3, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #30

    I’m just a s concerned about the fall off of form from Sissoko. The lad SHOULD be a match-winner but he is looking petulant and lacking imagination at the moment. MYM will be Colo’s replacement, hopefully. But he’s not big enough to partner him at CB in the Prem. That is the problem. Unfortunately, I don’t think Taylor or Williamson are the ideal solution either, as they both hate the ball.

  • toonicle

    Oct 3, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #31

    Colo wasn’t much if any better against Everton.

  • veto

    Oct 3, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #32

    the turning over against everton could be just what he needs , cant be nice having someone do that to you , i know if i was him thee would be no chance in hell id ever let anyone do it again .
    learn from it , get annoyed about it and move on


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