Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote has committed more fouls this season (41), and more yellow cards (8) than any other Newcastle player this season, but Cheick thinks he is improving on the discipline front, and he thinks it’s better than last season when he picked up 11 yellow cards.
Cheick Tiote – in action at Tottenham
The statistics don’t exactly bear out what Cheick Tiote is saying, and the Ivorian thinks his reputation is going before him with referees, and that could be true.
Cheick certainly picked up an unnecessary yellow card on Saturday when he challenged Nathan Dyer, although TV replays showed he didn’t actually touch the player.
This is what the Ivorian said today on the Newcastle web-site:
“I don’t know why I was booked. I tried to take the ball but I didn’t touch anyone.” “The referee made a decision though and I have to accept that.”
“I think sometimes I get punished because people know I have a lot of bookings already in England. I think sometimes this happens. On Saturday I wasn’t at fault but I got a booking.”
“That’s football though, I just need to concentrate on my game and not let it affect me.” “I think my discipline is better now than last season. I need to keep doing the same things and to continue to improve in that way.”
I think my form is better. It was good for me to go to Africa.” “I feel better and I want to continue like this.”
Cheick Tiote has played quite well since returning from South Africa and the African Cup of Nations, but of course he has Vurnon Anita breathing down his neck for his starting position, and it could be that Vurnon fits better into the new system in defensive midfield.
Certainly when Vurnon came in against Metalist Kharkiv in the Ukraine, he had an outstanding game.
It will be interesting to see who starts in defensive midfield on Thursday night in Russia, when we take on FC Anzhi Makhachkala, in what promises to be a tough game in the Europa League, but we think Cheick can still do better on the discipline front, while keeping his aggressive play for the Magpies.
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