Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa Man Of The Match and Top Rated Defender So Far For Roma
It might only be a few games so far but you can’t deny that the signs are good for Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa since his move to AS Roma.
The one time youthful Captain and centre-back of title winning minnows Montpellier, was converted into a reserve full-back by Alan Pardew.
Since his escape to Serie A from the madhouse at St.James’ Park, Mapou has featured as a substitute in a 5-1 Champions League win over CSKA Moscow, before getting his chance as a starter in the league.
For some bizarre reason, respected AS Roma manager Rudi Garcia has played Mapou in his true position of centre-back and has been rewarded with three excellent performances.
Roma have conceded only one goal in those last four and a half hours of league football with Mapou at the heart of the defence and indeed against Verona on Saturday, the on-loan Newcastle defender was the man of the match.
The industry leader (used by the football clubs, bookmakers etc) for stats and data analysis, whoscored.com have also now rated Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa as the best performing of all the Roma defenders so far, well ahead of Ashley Cole and the rest.
It is a sad tale when back at St.James’ Park you have chaos at the heart of Newcastle’s defence with nine conceded in the last three Premier League matches.
I just can’t believe that Mapou wasn’t worth a try with a decent run at centre-back, I would personally have preferred that option than any of Williamson, Taylor and Coloccini, though of course you would have had to play at least one of those with Mapou, due to Mike Ashley’s refusal to invest in a much needed quality centre-back.
As some fans have said, it seems all a bit mad that five/six years after those three helped get us relegated, they are still our only options at centre-back!
Mapou now faces an intriguing week as AS Roma travel to the Etihad on Tuesday to face Manchester City in the Champions League, before another huge clash next Sunday when they meet title rivals Juventus, with the two clubs having scored a perfect five wins out of five and already pulled a number of points clear of the rest in Serie A.
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