Alan Pardew has surprisingly come out today and said if Ivorian Cheick Tiote is fit for tomorrow’s game against Swansea, he will start on the bench.
Cheick Tiote - in action against Arsenal this season
Tiote has been out since h picked up a knee injury back on October 22nd in the 1-0 win against Wigan Athletic, but the knee has healed very slowly indeed.
However, it does seem that Cheick will be fit to play tomorrow, but it looks like he will not start even if he does pass a fitness test.
This is what Alan Pardew said about the Ivory Coast International today:
“If Cheick is fit, then the likelihood is that he’ll be on the bench.” “If I need him I will use him, if I don’t – I don’t.”
“Hopefully we won’t need him.” “They are both training.” “If you are looking at Colo, he is 50-50 and if you are looking at Cheick he is 70-30 against.”
“There is still a long way to go to see those two on the team sheet.”
That’s really surprising that Tiote is not fit yet, since when he first injured his knee it was thought to be only a couple of weeks on the sidelines before he was back.
In fact he was only doubtful for the next game, which was the Carling Cup tie against Blackburn on the following Wednesday, 26th October, when Abeid came in to deputize, and played very well.
And of course those in the conspiracy game will say that Newcastle are keeping him wrapped in cotton wool, so that the club can sell him to Chelsea or Manchester United in a couple of weeks time, to the highest bidder
And certainly if he is sold to one of those top clubs, there will be some validity in those claims, whatever the official line is from the club.
And with Tiote, Guthrie and Gosling not starting tomorrow, only Yohan Cabaye is a first choice in Newcastle’s central midfield.
And it appears the other midfield position is between Mehdi Abeid, Haris Vuckic and veteran Alan Smith, with the 19 year-old Frenchman probably the favorite to start.
This is what Alan Pardew said today:
“That’s a problem.” “We have no Guthrie or Gosling, we have to make sure that midfield area is right.” “I think we have been a little bit looser.”
“Certainly at Norwich, they got more crosses in possession outside of our back four, than I would have liked.”
“I think it’s important that whoever I choose to play in there that we understand, it will be his first full game of the season whether it’s Haris, Alan Smith or Mehdi Abeid.
“We have to give them as much support as we can and make them feel comfortable in terms of our fans.” “It will be an important role, whoever takes it.”
It will be good to see young Abeid start tomorrow afternoon, if indeed Tiote is ruled out once again.
Mehdi has proved himself an excellent acquisition for Newcastle, coming in on a free transfer from Lens, and he looks like a future star on Tyneside, as does Slovenian Haris Vuckic.
The two 19 year-olds are two of the best youngsters in the Newcastle first team squad, but we have to admit to being just a little concerned about why the great Cheick Tiote is taking so long to recover from that knee injury.
We have no proof at all he will be sold in January, and we hope we are completely off base, that he may be being kept on the sidelines to be sold in January.
Tiote can be a mainstay in the future of this new Newcastle United side, as long as we keep him on Tyneside.
What do you think?