Both Mike Williamson and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa had very good games against Chelsea on Saturday, as they helped Newcastle hang on in that first half, and for a change we had a little bit of luck and Chelsea missed one or two chances.
Mapou and Mike line up for a corner against Liverpool
We have always thought Mike Williamson was under-rated at the club, and he’s got to be one of the best professionals on the playing staff,. and when didn’t even make the bench in some of the early games, we didn’t hear Mike complaining.
Rather it was Alan Pardew who told us Mike just got his head down, and kept training well hoping for a chance, and he’s often talked after games that it’s always a privilege and honor to wear the famous black and white stripes of Newcastle, and he means it too.
And it’s good to see Mike getting some praise for his good play, with Lee Ryder having an excellent article out on the Stoke born player today – it’s worth a read.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has had a couple of rough games this season, and one of them was at Everton, when he was hauled off at half time and Mike Williamson was brought on, and he calmed the defense down, and we got two goals back in the 3-2 loss.
And then against Liverpool Mapou made a bad mistake when he fouled Luis Suarez, and was sent off just before half time, and that may have cost us another great win, but of course we’ll never know.
But it’s to the credit of the Frenchman, and his strong character, that he’s come back in the last two games and put in two very solid performances alongside big Mike.
Fab Coloccini – cheer up Fab – we won on Saturday
Fabricio Coloccini is back in training this week, and could be fit for the game at Tottenham on Sunday, but we’d be very surprised if Alan Pardew doesn’t give Mike and Mapou another chance in central defense at White Hart Lane.
And then when Steven Taylor is fit it’s a good question as to who will partner Colo at the back.
We think Mapou will be so good before the end of the season, that Alan will need to start him, and of course he can also play in either full back position, and in the last couple of games of last season, he looked top class at left back.
The form of these two defenders is only good for Newcastle, and competition tends to get the best out of players, and one good example of that is the great form of Vurnon Anita has forced stand-in captain Cheick Tiote to his best form at Newcastle for a couple of seasons – to keep his place.
This all bodes well for our future this season, and who knows we may just shock the league again like we did two years ago.