Alan Pardew: “Mathieu’s answering a few more questions.
“In my opinion, he’s been as good as anyone who’s walked into this football club.
“It’s more difficult in the Premier League for defenders, trust me.
“The amount of work and discipline you need to have as a back four is harder than in any other division in the world. He’s done very, very well.
“It was a difficult call at the first game at Villa, because Mapou (Yanga-Mbiwa) had just arrived and played games, and I knew he was fit.
“Steven Taylor hadn’t played a game for four or five months, so that was a tough call for me.
“I knew that worked in my favour as I’ve had two great performances with Mapou breathing down his and Colo’s neck, which is how it should be at this football club.
"You should have that level of competition. There’s (Mike) Williamson as well, of course.
“Steven has done terrific, and he needs to take that into Spurs. It’s almost like having half the team new, if I’m honest.”
Source: Newcastle United Mad