Defensive Midfield Up For Grabs Next Season


Newcastle allowed James Perch to leave Newcastle this summer, and that was probably because we now have some cover in defensive midfield in Gael Bigirimana, Vurnon Anita and Moussa Sissoko, and new boy Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa can play well anywhere across the back four, and has already done that at Newcastle.

cheick tiote ivory coast

Cheick Tiote – in Ivory Coast colors

James Perch has been great since Alan Pardew arrived on Tyneside, and had two very good seasons at the club, and of course we wish him well at Wigan .

Cheick Tiote played very well in his first year at Newcastle after signing from FC Twente for £3.5M three years ago, but he hasn’t look great these last two seasons, and still picks up far too many yellow cards and makes some daft tackles at times..

Te Ivory Coast International has freely admitted he had his worst season that’s just finished, but manager Pardew still has confidence in the player:

“All players have disappointing seasons.” “Unfortunately for us, Cheick’s coincided with us having a disappointing season as well, which probably didn’t help him.”

“He had such a fantastic season the year before.” “You don’t become a bad player overnight.” “It’s about confidence, and getting him back to where he was.”

“He’s a fantastic character around this building.” “If he’d had another year like he did when we finished fifth, he probably would be gone.”

“So who knows, that might work in our favor this year given the fact he’s still here.”

The job of the manager is to bring out the very best in the players he has in the squad, and those are good words from Al;ana,

But if Cheick doesn’t improve his form next season, we could see Vurnon Anita, Gael Bigirimana or Moussa Sissoko in defensive midfield for Newcastle next season, and Cheick would no longer be an automatic choice.

For the record Cheick has played 83 times for Newcastle over the last three seasons, with that stupendous and unforgettable 4th goal for Newcastle against Arsenal at home over two years ago, which gave us that unbelievable 4-4 draw after being 4-0 down after 26 minutes.

And we had Arsenal exactly where we wanted them with just 26 minutes to play when we were still 4-0 down, and had successfully drawn Arsenal into a false sense of security – obviously. 😀

Here’s  some video of that Tiote goal – as a reminder – and it’s guaranteed to cheer you up this Saturday morning..

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