There is a good interview with new boy Cheick Tiote on the Newcastle web-site today.
Cheick with Campbell and Ben Arfa at Benton
Tiote speaks French and it seems he’s been helped in settling down at the club, by the arrival of Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa, with whom he is already good friends.
This is what Cheick talked today about Ben Arfa:
“That will help me,” “At the moment my English isn’t great, but I am getting by okay.”"He has quickly become a good friend. I didn’t know him before Newcastle, but we’ve got to know each other pretty well.”
There are now a number of Ivory Coast players now playing in the Premier League, with brothers Yaya and Kolo Toure at Manchester City, Saloman Kalou and Didier Drogba at Chelsea, and Emmanuel Eboue at Arsenal.
The most famous of those is of course Didier Drogba, and Cheick knows the striker well from playing together for their country.
Cheick talked about Drogba today:
“He’s someone I know well,” “I have learned a lot from him, he’s a great guy. It was him who suggested to me that I come and play football in England.”
“The English league is very well known over there. I think it is a sign of the quality of the Cote d’Ivoire players that there are so many of them playing in England. I know them all well and I’ve seen a few of them already since arriving.”
Cheick will start to give Alan Smith a run for his money in the central defensive position at Newcastle, and we feel sure he will make his debut sometime over the next two games – either at Everton in the league on Saturday, or at Stamford Bridge next Wednesday in the Carling Cup tie.
Drogba of course could also be playing in that game next Wednesday, although we hope not.