Cheick Tiote seems to be returning to the good form he showed when he first arrived at Newcastle over three years ago from FC Twente for £3.5M, and certainly in the last two games the 40 times capped Ivory Coast International has played very well.
Cheick Tiote – in Ivory Coast colors
Cheick is currently in Abidjan for the first game of a two leg play-off with Senegal for which country will qualify for the World Cup in Brazil next summer, and Cheick will be up against his Newcastle team-mate Papiss Cisse.
Cheick is certainly coming into some form for Newcastle, but the team has been so inconsistent so far this season, and we never quite know which team will turn up, but last Saturday, at least in that first half, it was a very good Newcastle side on show.
Cheick has talked in the local press about Newcastle’s season:
“The first game was really difficult and we were nowhere near as good as we can play.” “After we came back and won but then lost another two games.”
“To beat Cardiff was so important for us and I hope we will continue to do the same.” “I think this result could kick-start our season.”
“It will be good for the players, because we will go away with a good feeling and come back in a positive mood.” “The run we had made it even more important we got a result.”
“Liverpool isn’t going to be an easy game. We have a bit of time to rest and prepare for a very hard game.”
The last time Senegal and the Ivory Coast met was last October in the African Cup of Nations qualifier, and all hell broke loose in the second half.
We watched that game , and the Ivorians were leading 4-2 from the first leg, and Drogba had scored his second goal of the second half from the penalty spot in the 71st minute and the Ivorians were 6-2 up on aggregate, with less than 20 minutes to play.
And that was too much for Senegal fans, who stormed onto the pitch and the game was later abandoned as fires raged on the pitch and in the stands.
Cheick and Cisse were both involved, and Cheick hopes the result will be the same this time around:
“I hope it will be the same story for us because everyone wants to play in a World Cup.” “It is a big game for both countries and Papiss is a dangerous striker, but we have to concentrate on our own game and get through.”
It’s going to be quite a game on Saturday, and then the second leg takes place in Casablanca. Morocco on 16th November to decide which country make it through to the finals in Brazil next summer.
Either Cheick Tiote or Papiss Cisse is going to be a very disappointed player on that date, because as Cheick says – everyone wants to play in a World Cup.
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