While that was also true for much of this season, unhappily that was because the cupboard was bare when it came to alternatives to a number of players who were struggling.
Now however, barring any nasty surprise injuries from the international friendlies, Alan Pardew is now having to look at more positive decisions.
As well as Mapou pushing for a place, the biggest of these must be whether to change a winning team to accommodate Cheick Tiote who is back from African Cup of Nations duty.
For me this is an easy decision, whilst James Perch has done a tidy job as a fill-in, Tiote is the real deal and to me will only thrive with the rise in quality and movement added to the team in January. The addition of players like Moussa Sissoko will hopefully lead to Tiote just concentrating on his own job rather than making up for the weaknesses of others. Speaking of Sissoko, we tipped him at 10/1 to score any time against Chelsea and playing in the advanced role that looks tailor made for him, I still think it is great value at 11/2 for Sissoko to score any time at Spurs.
As well as the new signings, the return of Taylor and Cabaye have been just as important.
Taylor has been outstanding alongside Coloccini in these last two wins, while Cabaye is playing up to somewhere near his very best, plus like Sissoko he is getting into a very good forward positions and adding goals to his performances, Cabaye 16/1 to score first catches the eye as well.
More than anything United are looking a team once again with all the players working hard for one another, epitomised by the hard running Gouffran and a back to form against Chelsea, Jonas.
The performance and fightback against Chelsea will have raised the confidence levels to a massive high, NUFC to win at 9/2 must be good value if you look at our team as it is looking now as opposed to the previous twenty or so matches.
Tiote can slot in that midfield and Tottenham will at the very least know they have been in a game against the Ivory Coast midfielder and the likes of Sissoko and Cabaye.
Let’s keep this run rolling.
What would your starting eleven be on Saturday?
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