There were rumors recently that Cheick Tiote was a bad egg at Newcastle and that he had been injured all year with a knee injury and quite honestly the reports suggested he didn’t really want to play for Newcastle.
In other words, he was causing trouble and was a problem at Newcastle and that was damaging team spirit.
The initial story seems to have come from John Richardson, a pundit on Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement, and he made those comments last Sunday and they were quickly picked up.
Cheick Tiote in action last season
Steve McClaren has completely rejected those claims and the subsequent reports and he knows Cheick Tiote well having worked with him at FC Twente during their Championship winning season back in 2009-2010.
The rumors were also that Papiss Cisse was another bad egg and that he was not really happy at Newcastle.
This is what Steve McClaren has said about the two players:
“There’s been no problem with Cheick.” “He’s not a bad egg at all. I know Cheick well. I obviously had him at Twente, and he’s no trouble. He doesn’t cause trouble, he just wants to play.”
“Papiss Cisse is Papiss, and he goes around with a smile on his face. That’s the culture that he’s got. I don’t agree with that view at all.”
“We haven’t seen enough of Cheick.” “He went away for the Africa Cup of Nations, and I don’t really think he’s played a game since.” “That’s an ongoing problem that he has, and he needs to be right to play.”
“He hasn’t been right or correct – it’s as simple as that. He hasn’t been able to build up his fitness, but I know Cheick well, and I couldn’t be any stronger in terms of saying that he’s not any trouble.”
“He’s no bad egg – he just wants to play football.” “But he’s not been able to do that, so he’s frustrated. He’s definitely not been feigning injury.”
It’s bad enough for head coaches to do their job when things are going wrong, and because of the initial reports about Richardson’s comments, there have even been calls to end the contracts of the two players.
Now if only the initial reports were true.
It shows how much stuff is made up in the press simply for effect and to get at the club.
Switching to talk about something more real, let’s hope we can beat Sheffield Wednesday tonight.