Cheick Tiote has had an excellent first seaosn for Newcastle, but the Ivory Coast International thinks he can do even better next season.
We’ve heard about Newcastle’s great team spirit but this is ridiculous! 😀
And Tiote has come out today and praised his experienced captain Kevin Nolan, for helping him in midfield, and both on and off the pitch.
This is what Cheick told the Newcastle press corps today:
“Kevin Nolan’s my man in midfield! He’s helped me, and done everything for me.” “I want to say thanks to him for that.”“I think I’ve improved as a player this season.”
“If you are a new player, you have to show the players at the club you have the quality to improve in this team. I think I have done that this season.”
“I hope I do well next season as well – I think I can improve.” “I think this season, my first in England, has been good.” “It’s been very hard, but the team has helped me. I’m happy for that.”
“We have to stay together to finish the last games.” “It’s different to last season in Holland, as I wasn’t playing too many games.” “Now I have adapted to English football, and I’m happy with how I have done this season.”
“The key is now to build on this and carry it through to next season where we hope to have an even better year.”
The big concern about Cheick is of course his disciplinary record, and he’s already been suspended for 6 games this season.
And since he returned three games ago, from his two game suspension for picking up 10 yellow cards, he’s picked up a caution in every one of those games.
So we’d like to see Cheick improve that poor disciplinary record, while not losing his combative qualities in midfield, and of course that’s not an easy thing to do.
And since Cheick will be away at the African Cup of Nations next January, we half expect Newcastle to bring in a defensive midfielder as cover, even if Alan Smith sees out his contract and stays at the club for next season.
That’s not to say Tiote hasn’t had a great season because he has, and for the record Tiote has made 27 appearances for Newcastle with one extra special goal.
And one moment this season most fans will never ever forget, was when Cheick scored that wonderful fourth goal for Newcastle against Arsenal, with just two minutes to go in normal time, and it was his first goal for Newcastle.
That goal completed the greatest come-back in Premier League history and Newcastle drew the game 4-4, after being 4-0 down
Arsenal had scored their four goals in the first 26 minutes of that game, and Newcastle came storming back with their four goals in the last 26 minutes of the game.
Only Newcastle could have done something like that – guts and glory indeed – and Newcastle got fantastic publicity all around the world for that particular miracle.
We’re not asking for a miracle tomorrow, just that the lads turn up and play somewhere near their best, and then Newcastle should be able to get a win against Birmingham – which would be terrific.