Cheick Tiote has settled at Newcastle very quickly since he arrived in August, and his wife and small daughter have just joined him on Tyneside.
Cheick Tiote – taking it all in on Tyneside with Campbell and Ben Arfa
And Cheick has given a good interview in the Guardian today, and says some very interesting things about the City of Newcastle and some of the past managers he has played for.
Here’s what Cheick said and he started off by saying he misses his home country:
“Yes, I miss Africa,” “I miss the atmosphere and all the colors and my family, but I’m happy here; this is a special year for me. Winning the Dutch Championship with FC Twente Enschede and then playing in the World Cup during the summer was a big deal and a lot of fun.”
“Now the fun is continuing here. I think I’ve made the right decision by coming to England.” “Newcastle is a very calm city, not a noisy place at all,”
It’s interesting that he thinks Newcastle is a calm city and not noisy at all – very interesting indeed.
And of course Tiote has played for two former England managers in Steve McClaren at FC Twente, and then for Sven Eriksson for the Ivory Cost in last summer’s World Cup, and he compares the two managers and says Eriksson is much calmer and quieter than Steve, and talks to the players more.
Tiote thinks Chris Hughton is more like Sven Eriksson in the way he is very calm and is always talking to his players.
“Steve McClaren is a great manager, a great coach and a great person,” “We achieved a lot at Twente in his two years there. He taught me a lot and I improved a lot under him. Steve McClaren is a real coach, he demands a strong work ethic and players do give a lot for him.”
“Eriksson is much calmer compared to McClaren, he talks a lot to the players,” “He also works a lot on the technical side, but as far as the temper of the two is concerned McClaren is much more aggressive.””I think our manager is a bit like Eriksson. He is also very calm, talks to the players a lot and is always reachable.”
“Chris Hughton is a good manager and a good person,” “It’s something different. Here players can do whatever they like in the dressing room as long as it’s within club rules. It is not the same thing in Holland.”
And Cheick sees a big difference in the football played in England compared to Holland, and as we knew his favorite player was Chelsea’s Michael Essien, and he plays very like him, which is a huge compliment to the Ivory Coast International.
Cheick worked on his technical skills in Holland and that has stood him in good stead in England so far, where he’s looked a great player for Newcastle.
“It’s not the same type of football here,” “In Holland it’s more about the technical side of the game while in England few teams are technical but the majority adopt a physical approach and that makes it more intense.”
“I’ve always had a strong physical presence and been very competitive, but playing in Holland made me a better player because I improved my technique so much. It helps me keep the ball.”
“Didier Drogba who suggested that I come and play football here. Didier said England would suit my style of play but I think it’s a sign of the quality of the Côte d’Ivoire players that there are so many of us here.”
“My favourite player is Michael Essien,” “He worked hard to be the player he is now and I want to be like him.” “I don’t like to make a lot of noise,”
“So I like the calm in Newcastle, it’s similar to Enschede and it suits me very well. In London it’s different, everyone’s in a rush, you are always on the move and I don’t like that. Newcastle is perfect for me.”
So it’s obvious Chieck hasn’t been to the Bigg Market on a Saturday night, but it’s great he likes the City of Newcastle.
Cheick has come into the Newcastle side this season and been absolutely outstanding, and Didier Drogba was right to think that his style fits English football, and the 24 year-old was dominant against West Ham last Saturday, and ran the central midfield for Newcastle.
We have to hope this player can do exactly the same thing against Sunderland tomorrow afternoon, and get the club a badly needed victory, and take some of the pressure off his manager Chris Hughton.