Archive for category: Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

Mike Williamson the star of Newcastle United’s “team of the season”

June 1st, 2013 | 130 Comments |

Model Newcastle United players.
Who made it? And who didn’t?
Below you can see two Newcastle United “teams of the season,” which I have assembled based on player statistics from, OPTA and

The first (and most important) is based on performances in the Premier League, with the second based on performances in the Europa League. The figures below the player’s names are their ratings from, which are based on a range of performance metrics based on OPTA stats. To put these into some kind of perspective, whoscored’s most highly rated Premier League goalkeeper last season was Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet with an average of 7.0. In defence it was Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen with 7.6 and in midfield the honours were shared between Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla and Tottenham’s Gareth Bale, both with 7.9. Finally, up front, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez narrowly pipped Manchester United’s Robin van Persie (7.8) with his 7.9 rating.

Getting back to Newcastle United though, although the goalkeepers, defenders and strikers were pretty straightforward overall, things became more complicated when it came to midfielders who had been played in several different positions during the season, gaining different ratings in different positions. However, after some work, I have finally managed to sort it out. (more…)

Probing Pardew’s four French fancies: 2. Mapou Yanga-M’Biwa

January 31st, 2013 | 50 Comments |

Mapou Yanga-M’Biwa: Daft hair like Debuchy.
Mapou Yanga-M’Biwa: Daft pointy hair like Debuchy.
Hello and welcome to the second of my series on the latest four Frenchmen to join Newcastle. The subject this time will be the versatile 23 year old defender Mapou Yanga-M’Biwa, purchased from Ligue 1 side Montpellier for undisclosed fee that is estimated to be around £6.9 million.

For those of you who didn’t read my last piece on Yoan Gouffran, as I explained in that, the reason why there isn’t one on the first of our January signings, Mathieu Debuchy, is that I have already written several pieces about him, including this one where I looked at Debuchy in comparison with Newcastle United’s existing first choice right back, Danny Simpson, which was written when Debuchy was still a Lille player. So without further ado, let’s get back to Yanga-M’Biwa.

The most expensive of Newcastle United’s new signings, Yanga-M’Biwa was signed from French champions Montpellier for a fee of around €8 million which converts to around £6.9 million at current exchange rates. Until he joined Newcastle United, M’Biwa had been a one club man, having spent the whole of his career at Montpellier, rising from the youth ranks to eventually become captain of the side. In total he played 211 games over seven seasons for Montpellier, becoming an established part of the side from the 2007-8 season onwards, and playing a key role in the Montpellier side which won the Ligue 1 title last season along with the likes of Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud. In that time M’Biwa scored a total of four goals, providing 3 assists. He also has three caps for the senior French national side, along with five under 21 caps.

Vital statistics. (more…)

Yoan Gouffran’s message on leaving Bordeaux, and joining Newcastle United

January 22nd, 2013 | 44 Comments |

Yoan Gouffran.
Gouffran: "Tomorrow I will be a Newcastle player."
Many of you out there will know by about the signing of versatile 23 year old Montpellier defender, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, confirmed this evening on the Newcastle United’s official website. You have probably heard about the allegedly imminent arrival of 20 year old Nancy full back Massadio Haïdara too.

The other one which has been slightly more “under the radar” has been that of 26 year old forward Yoan Gouffran, who played against the Magpies in the first (home) leg of our Europa League tie against Bordeaux.

Well anyway, though there has been no official confirmation by either of the clubs involved at the time of writing, Gouffran confirmed on his Twitter site that he will be joining Newcastle United, subject presumably to a medical of course. So here’s a full translation of what he wrote below:

“Soon the news…:) (more…)