Where In The World Is Cheick Tiote?

We’ve seen the rumors in the comments section about Cheick Tiote wanting to leave Newcastle, and even being seen at Chelsea, but none of that is true, and none of it has even been in the gossip press.

Cheick Tiote – renewing visa in Accra, Ghana

Cheick is still in Accra trying to get through his visa renewed, and it was hoped he would be in Ghana just a few days,  but it’s not working out like that to the frustration of manager Alan Pardew.

Alan Pardew doesn’t think the Ivory Coast International’s fitness will be any problem when he returns to England ….. and will be shortly we hope.

But Tiote will now miss the last warm up game of the pre-season, the home friendly against Fiorentina tomorrow afternoon.

Derek Wright travelled with him to West Africa, and is ensuring the player keeps reasonably fit while waiting for the visa renewal to come through.

And why that is taking so long we have no idea, and couldn’t it have been done by mail?

Goalkeeper Steve Harper is out tomorrow with a knee injury (again?), and of course the three other injured players – Ben Arfa, Danny Guthrie and Shane Ferguson – will not be involved.

Pardew talked to the local Newcastle press today about Tiote:

“Cheik’s still trying to get his visa,”

“It’s nothing to do with the football club – it’s nothing to do with the British end. We’re putting enough pressure on them.”

“It’s not ideal. Derek’s out there, and it’s the best scenario we can have. We’ve tried to get a local team for him to train with, but it’s not really working out.”

“We need to make sure it’s structured. He’s doing a lot of fitness work, and Cheik will pick the ball up no problem.”’

Tim Krul will be in goal tomorrow, to  press his claim to be the new first choice Newcastle goalkeeper for next season, and we expect the team to look something like this:

Simpson Coloccini (c) Taylor (S) Enrique
Gosling Cabaye Vuckic Gutierrez (Marveaux)
Ameobi Ba

What would your team be for tomorrow?

Comments welcome.