This Newcastle Defensive Midfielder Will Start On Sunday

Steve McClaren does have a decision to make on Sunday at Sunderland as to who he starts in defensive midfield between Cheick Tiote who is slowly returning from a long-term knee injury – and Vurnon Anita – who has played solidly for us all season and at the end of last season too.

McClaren preferred Tiote to Anita for the home game against Norwich last time out but Tiote picked up a yellow card after just five minutes and he did manage to get himself sent off on 21st October at the Stadium of Light three years ago in the 1-1 draw.

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Cheick Tiote – to start on Sunday?

At that time it was a straight red card for a bad tackle on Steven Fletcher

We were winning 1-0 through a goal from Cabaye after only three minutes when Cheick was sent off 22 minutes later and we almost held out until an own goal from Demba Ba leveled the scores after 85 minutes.

Steve was asked about taking Cheick off at half-time last Sunday:

“I think just because of the yellow card.” “I was a little bit conscious of that and the state of the game at the time.”

“I know Cheicky hasn’t played for a long time, and the tireder he gets the more impetuous he gets. Another yellow would have put us in a lot of trouble, and I didn’t want to risk that.”

“At 3-2 at half time, it was too big a moment to take a risk. I had every confidence in Vurnon.”

“I was delighted with some of the performances. Robbie Elliot was composed and calm. Paul Dummett, for his first game, was excellent, and we know what Cheicky can do.

“I think it was good getting Dummett back and Tiote getting some minutes on the field.”

“In terms of where we’re at now compared to where we were two or three weeks ago, in terms of injuries, we’re a lot better as well as players performing to the standard and their potential.”

“We need that again. We need consistency.”

We think McClaren will start Cheick in Sunday but be ready to bring Vurnon Anita in at any time – much the same as last Sunday – in case Cheick is on a yellow card or to shore things up at the back.

Cheick can provide some energy and bite early in the game for Newcastle and should be better than he was last Sunday, although it’s true there is some risk in starting the 29 year-old Ivorian.

Who would you start between Tiote and Anita on Sunday?

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Comments welcome.

13 comments so far

  • sing in the corner

    Oct 23, 2015 at 8:15 AM

    Comment #1

    I hope not. He’s not up to speed yet, if he’s ever gonna be. And one thing we don’t need is a rash late tackle from a player who has a tendency to make them even when he is on the pace.

  • sing in the corner

    Oct 23, 2015 at 8:20 AM

    Comment #2

    No doubt about it, if he starts he’s red hot favourite for a red card out of the 22 on the pitch. SAFC will target that. Although i’m not a big Anita fan I’d go for him in the present circumstances.

  • will die for the toon army

    Oct 23, 2015 at 8:23 AM

    Comment #3

    When did Chiek Tiote last get a Red card. It has been so long. too many yellows not so many red cards.

  • will die for the toon army

    Oct 23, 2015 at 8:27 AM

    Comment #4

    Looking from the game, we have looked so good going forward. its the defence the problem.

    Players that shld step up at the back:
    Colo and Cheick. Janmatt is a poor defend

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 23, 2015 at 8:28 AM

    Comment #5

    He has a yellow card ratio a striker would be seriously proud of if it were goals

  • cyprus

    Oct 23, 2015 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #6

    This season we’ve dropped the MOST points in the PL, from a leading position. In fact we’d have been in the higher echelons had we kept those points.

    This game, we may fall behind. Surprisingly, that will settle the nerves!

    We’ll then proceed with the spanking.

  • the broons

    Oct 23, 2015 at 8:33 AM

    Comment #7

    Either way I just hope the selection that Mcclaren puts out is the correct one. Anita is safe, however Tiote would give us added protection at back, although I feel anita’s pressing ame is really good. Its a real hard one to play, but an early yellow from tiote should cause the same sub.

  • Bambams

    Oct 23, 2015 at 8:37 AM

    Comment #8

    At the moment I think it is too risky to play Tiote . The referee will want to stamp his mark on the game early, he will be more likely to stamp down on an away player rather than a home player and face the wrath of the crowd.
    Tiote looks clumsy when he gets it wrong, he never just clips a player he lunges in.
    Think its too risky until he gets up to speed.

  • will die for the toon army

    Oct 23, 2015 at 8:37 AM

    Comment #9

    Mcca shld revert to 4-2-4 system with Cheick and Colback not levaing the centre line. Ready to protect the back 4.

    Giving freedom to Wijnaldum , Sissoko , Perwz and Mitro room to attack with no fear. that they have to track back.

    It has really looked hard to penetrate us from Midfield but the problem is crosses and coming from the flanks.

  • Jib

    Oct 23, 2015 at 8:39 AM

    Comment #10

    If Tiote is to get another half of football as part of his rehab. then it has to be the first half as he hardly a game changer.
    I think we may see Thauvin at some stage in the 2nd half probably on the hour mark.

  • will die for the toon army

    Oct 23, 2015 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #11

    Mcca doesnt give up on players that easily so I think Thauvin is in for improvement. We really have a good team on our hands.

    Looking at De Jong, Cisse, Aarons, Thauvin, Rivere, Anita, Obertan on the bench that is good back up.

  • toon-to-win

    Oct 23, 2015 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #12

    First 45 vs norwich with tiote – conceded 2, every attack looked like we would concede

    Second 45 without him – conceded none, norwich attacked well for 15 minutes but we looked alot more solid and composed and went on to a convincing victory

    Says it all really. Was it just me that noticed our 4 goal hero and MOTM when he wasnt scoring, je was absolutely awful? he really should be in the no10 role not on the left flank but we were terrible down the left flank and it cost us the goals and should have been more because of his unwillingness to track back! He gave dummet (who was also very poor) no lrotection whatsoever

  • Brutooon

    Oct 23, 2015 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #13

    not a fan of anita. defensive midfield should be tall, tough and able to dictate the passing. Anita can dictate but cant tackle and cant win any ball


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