When Cheick Tiote first signed for Newcastle back in the summer of 2010, after being scouted by Graham Carr for a number of years, he was an instant success, and in the following two January transfer windows, Chelsea made big bids to take the Ivorian to the top London club.
Cheick Tiote – what happened?
One problem with Cheick was (is) his bad habit of picking up yellow cards, and indeed he was sent off at Sunderland last year, but he didn’t receive a yellow card on Sunday, but he was also ineffective, after returning to the side after suffering an injury in training a couple of weeks ago.
This is what Cheick told the Evening Chronicle after the Sunderland disaster:
“It is the worst day for the club – for the players, for the fans and for everyone.” “It was difficult for us. We created some chances but we were missing spirit in the team.”
“We have had so many games.” “It is the first year we’ve played in the Europa League and the Premier League.” “Some players are tired and we didn’t have enough energy on the pitch.”
“I don’t think there is anything I can say to them that would make them happy.” “To lose 3-0 at home against Sunderland is the worst thing that can happen to them.”
“That is football, but now the game is finished and we have some important games coming up.” “On Saturday against West Brom that will be hard as well.”
“Now we need to win one or two games to stay in the Premier League.” “Everybody does. Not only the players, the manager as well, everyone.” “We’re never happy to lose any game, especially against Sunderland.”
“Yes. I am playing for Newcastle and to lose to Chelsea or Man United is disappointing. But not like losing to Sunderland. We missed some spirit.”
“We didn’t play badly, we created chances but we were missing some spark on the pitch.”
Maybe I’m the only one, but those words remind us eerily of what our players used to say after losing all the time during our relegation season.
We don’t know what’s happened to Cheick this season, but he’s not half the player he used to be, and it wouldn’t surprise us too much if he were to be sold in the summer,.
But that’s unlikely, since Alan Pardew seems to rate him so highly, although that cannot be based on his performances this season.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org