Cheick Tiote has probably been playing some of his best football at Newcastle since he was signed from FC Twente in the summer of 2010 for just £3.5M.
Cheick Tiote – in terrific form at the moment
And maybe one of the reasons that Cheick is playing at or near his best, is that he has been pushed by 24 year-old Dutchman Vurnon Anita for his first team place.
And since Colo has been out injured Cheick has taken over the captaincy and he has done a very good job of that too, leading by example and on Sunday against Sunderland he was easily the best Newcastle player on the field.
Manager Alan Pardew is clear that Cheick has been playing so well for the side:
“I was hoping for a more controlled Cheick with the captaincy and for him to lead by example.” “He could not have done any more. I think he has been absolutely terrific in the last three games.”
“I had to leave out a good player for Cheick in Vurnon Anita. He was playing well. I am very pleased with him.” “Sunderland made it a real fight and we had to win back the right to play, which we did towards the end of the first half.”
“To win that battle, we needed Cheick to be at his very best. He turned the tide a little bit.”
If we have any chance of winning against Manchester City tonight, and the prospects do not look good, then both Cheick Tiote and Vurnon Anita will need to be playing at or near their very best.
What do you think?