If Newcastle sell Cheick Tiote in the summer, one reason will be because of the very good form being shown by 22 year-old Algerian Mehdi Abeid, and the good news is that he’s fit again and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the starting eleven at Hull City a week tomorrow.
Mehdi Abeid – in action at Gillingham
A number of bigger clubs are eyeing Cheick – like Arsenal – but his main weakness is that he always picks up yellow cards and misses games through suspension.
And that’s been true ever since his first season in 2010-2011 when Alan Pardew has to leave him out the last few games of the season to prevent him from picking up another ban.
In his first two seasons on Tyneside, Tiote picked up 25 yellow cards from 50 league games, and he’s also been sent off a couple of times against Stevenage and Sunderland.
Mehdi had a great season on loan at Panathinaikos last season, and he has only played six times for Newcastle this season, and was injured on his first call up for the full Algerian squad in mid November when he came home on crutches after breaking a toe.
Mehdi needs to play more games for Newcastle this season, and since he joined us as a free agent from Lens in 2011 – he’s only played 11 times for the first team – but this season he’s looked a different player and has played extremely well – and we prefer him to Cheick Tiote in defensive midfield.
He can also score goals as he showed in Greece when he scored 10 goals in 38 appearances last season.
Mehdi is now fit again and raring to go and he had this to say yesterday:
“I need to get back in the team now by training every day to be fit for the next couple of games.” “I’m really glad to be back in training – it’s what I need now.”
“It was a long and bad injury. It took really long to recover, but now I’m back and hopefully I’ll get fit as soon as possible for the next games. Now the toe is completely fine, but I need some training and some games to get back 100% fit.”
“I wanted to get back in the team so quickly, as it was a really, really long time to be injured, and to be with the physios every day.” “Now I’m just enjoying my time on the pitch.”
“Of course it was a disappointment to miss the African Cup of Nations.” “I could have done it, but I said to the coach I wasn’t 100 per cent fit.”
“There would have been no point going there and playing at 50 per cent, so I spoke with the coach and he told me to stay here to have some training and get back as soon as possible.”
With Cheick Tiote at the African Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast, and Vurnon Anita in poor form at the moment, we expect Mehdi to start the game at Hull City.
Newcastle have taken only 4 points from the last 7 league games and to allay concerns, we really need to beat 3rd bottom Hull City in our next game.
And there are other players coming back from injury soon, including Siem de Jong, Ryan Taylor, Rolando Aarons and maybe Gabby Obertan.
If John Carver is to be the caretaker manager through the end of the season, John needs to show fairly soon that he can get Newcastle back to winning ways, otherwise it wouldn’t surprise us if a more experienced coach is brought in to keep Newcastle safe through the end of the season.
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