We don’t always like to see this, but Cheick Tiote played on Saturday for the Ivory Coast in their 2-1 win against Sierra Leone in the African Cup of Nations qualifying games, with the Newcastle man starting the game for his 47th cap.
Cheick Tiote – in Ivory Coast colors
Cheick playing for the Ivory Coast could be both good news and bad news for Newcastle.
Good news because he gets some playing time after being out injured since the game at Sheffield Wednesday in pre-season.
We also assume that if he is fit enough to play for the Ivory Coast, after not being fit to play in any of Newcastle’s competitive games so far this season, he is fit to play against Southampton next Saturday.
The bad news is what would have happened if he gets injured while away on International duty with his country?
We remember how Michael Owen seemed to keep himself for England games, and magically was available for England, after not being fit enough to play for Newcastle, and he came back crocked a few times.
And one thing Freddy Shepherd did when Owen came back crocked, was to get the FA to pay for the treatment of his injury, and that’s now general practice – including for foreign football associations.
After all we pay their (huge) wages,
The Ivory Coast play again on Wednesday, when they are at Cameroon in their Group D qualifying game, so we hope Tiote survives injury in that game.
But perhaps he will only start on the bench on Saturday, after playing the previous Wednesday- and we have to remember all the travel involved for Cheick.
The African Cup of Nations finals will be held in Morocco from 17th January through 8th February 2015, so Cheick will be away during that time, assuming Ivory Coast qualifies for the finals.
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