Checik Tiote was signed from FC Twente in August of 2010 for £3.5M, and he seems one of Newcastle’s best buys for a long long time.
Cheick Tiote – family now safe in the Ivory Coast
When Tiote first arrived on Tyneside, there was trouble in his homeland, the Ivory Coast, and he had to move his family to a safe house, so they were protected from what almost turned into a civil war.
But things are now a lot better over there, and the 25 year-old has been able to move his five brothers and three sisters back to Abdiigan, the largest city in the Ivory Coast.
Tiote’s parents are dead, and the Ivory Coast International continues to support his family, five brothers and three sisters, with the wages he earns at Newcastle, and indeed last February, he was given a new six year bumper contract by Newcastle.
Tiote was interviewed in the Sunday Mirror:
“Thankfully, everything is fine now. I had to move my family to another place because it was a difficult moment for everyone there.”
“Now they’re back in Abidjan. I moved my family to be clear in my head. When you are thinking about your family in Africa it’s hard to stay focused on your job.”
“My family is very important to me. I send money home to help them.” “Coming from my background, you learn to appreciate what you have when you come to England.” “It is not the same in Africa.”
“It is very difficult to play football over there – there are no facilities, no money to do everything you want to do. I had no boots until I was 15 and played barefoot.”
“You come over to Europe and you have everything – you are given everything. The ball, the kits… You have everything.”
“In Africa you have to be strong, so strong mentally to make it. You need to believe in yourself to go forward.”
“Playing in that environment you need to believe in yourself. That is what it gives you.”
Tiote turned down a potential move to Chelsea on the last day of the transfer window in January, and said he was happy at Newcastle, and there is news circulating at the moment that Manchester United want to sign the player in January.
Cheick has played 37 times for Newcastle with one famous goal, the equalizer scored in the last minute against Arsenal last February, in a game that was heralded around the world.
In that game, Newcastle fought back with four goals in the last 25 minutes, after going 4-0 down in the first 25 minutes, and after receiving a rather famous pep talk at half time from manager Alan Pardew.
One thing Cheick has improved this season, at least so far, is his discipline on the field, and he has been booked just 3 times in the 9 league games played so far this season, with Newcastle now 4th top of the league.
Last season Tiote picked up a total of 14 yellow cards and one red card, and missed 6 matches because of suspensions.
And Alan Pardew had to leave him out of the last couple of league games of the season, in case he picked up his 15th yellow card, which would have meant another suspension.
“Last season was my first in England and it was difficult for me. I didn’t know exactly what the Premier League was about.”
“I was desperate to show to the people the quality that I had so I was working hard, tackling hard. But this season, I think it’ll be OK with referees.”
“I am happy at Newcastle and I have a long contract. Every player wants to play in Europe and I am no different. I think Newcastle can get into Europe.”
Cheick is still only 50-50 for the league game at Stoke tomorrow night, although Steven Taylor is likely to play in the mask that was fitted last week by an American specialist, to protect the broken nose he suffered last Saturday against Wigan.
Tiote is suffering from a knee problem and Danny Guthrie, who played well at Blackburn on Wednesday night, will again deputize if Cheick is unable to make the game at the Britannia Stadium.
But as you can see, Tiote is not only a warm-hearted soul, but he is also a warrior when he plays for the Magpies, and we are hoping he will be fit for tomorrow night’s game at Stoke.