We had mentioned what a good game Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa had on Saturday, where he was very sound and steady at the back, and seemed to do everything right – and we hardly missed Coloccini at all at Hull.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – had good game Saturday
Since he arrived on Tyneside, Mapou has played some very games for the side, and he’s also had some shockers too, but we are hoping that inconsistency is simply part of the process of getting to grips with the Premier League, and certainly he will become a much better player on Tyneside.
Yanga was the surprise choice on Saturday, as we had thought Steven Taylor would come in, but the Frenchman got the nod and took his chance very well indeed.
This is what Alan Pardew told the Shields Gazette today:
“It didn’t disrupt things too much because Mapou was with us, and it was one for one,” “The best thing in those circumstances was the guys who played to produce a top performance, which they did.”
“It’s given an opportunity to Mapou, which he’s taken.” “I’ll take that into consideration when I pick my next team, obviously.”
“I took Mapou over Steven because I think Steven is a little bit uncomfortable on the left,” “He prefers Willo’s channel.”
“So I made the decision after the Spurs game that – Mapou and Colo on the left side, and Willo and Tayls will contest the right side.”
“I couldn’t have asked for any more from Mapou. He was terrific.”
Mapou still has more to do to become a regular on Tyneside, but when he plays like he did on Saturday he looks a very solid player at the back, and of course he can play anywhere across the back four, and the 24 year-old will make lots of appearances because of that.
Last season he appeared 20 times for Newcastle and so far this season he has made the same number of appearances, but mostly as a substitute.
We really hope Mapou can keep improving on Tyneside.
What do you think?
Note: James Sands is a long time reader of the blog, and he is running the Brighton marathon on April 9th on behalf of the Stroke Association – James’ target is £750 in donations, which can be made here – please help if you can.