French Star Turns The Corner
Over the years we have seen many signings from abroad who came with a reputation and/or price tag, then proved disastrous buys.
Often it has been impossible to gauge how much of it has been the players’ fault an dhow much the club’s, with Newcastle generally throwing new arrivals straight in the deep end, unlike any sensible club.
When the French recruits arrived in January, Mapou initially had a short few weeks to ease his way in but as soon as Fabricio Coloccini injured himself against Southampton, Mapou had to play every game. With out record of foreign centre-backs not being the best, the match against Liverpool saw every aspect of the team under the microscope, including the centre-backs.
Playing at centre-half in England is generally accepted to be totally different to playing in that position in any other European league and I think Coloccini returned just in time to retrieve the situation.
Mapou led Montpellier to the French title last season and despite also being a French international, it will do him the world of good getting a pre-season behind him in England.
Once Colo came back in, Mapou has filled in at left-back and been excellent, capping his mini-run of three games in that position with a man of the match performance against Arsenal in our fans’ poll.
Mapou was top with 25% of your votes, then a sentimental second place for Steve Harper on 18%, Colo and Ben Arfa tied on 16% and Gouufran fifth with 10%.
Mapou looks a very good footballer and once he gets up to pace I’ve no doubt he’ll be just as good in the middle as he has shown in the less pressurised full-back position.
A special mention also for Yoan Gouffran, almost every week he is in the top half dozen players when we do our man of the match poll yet gets subbed almost every single time, what’s that all about?
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