There were quite a few of Newcastle’s players put in what could be called Man of the Match displays yesterday against West Brom and it’s a long time since so many of Newcastle’s players played near their best form.
One of those players was a shock starter yesterday – Cheick Tiote – and you wonder what Henri Saivet had done wrong after being one of our best players in the debacle at Everton in midweek.
But the Ivory Coast international soon showed that McClaren had made the right call as Cheick quickly got a grip on midfield and looked like the player he was in his prime.
And he scored another great goal – but it was controversially disallowed by the referee, much like the goal he scored against Manchester City a couple of years ago.
Cheick Tiote – in action yesterday
But maybe there’s still a lot left to come from Cheick, who has been playing for us this year – it seems McClaren can get the best out of a player he first managed at FC Twente in 2008.
This is what McClaren said about Cheick after the game:
“We didn’t want him to leave. I think his performances just before he left were excellent against Arsenal and Watford, to be fair, and Manchester United.”
“He just shows what he brings. We threw him in because that’s what we need.” “He fights on the field, he genuinely wants the ball, he never gives up, and he epitomizes what we want from this team.”
“We said if we win, we’ll get out of the bottom three, which is important.” “But you have to gather the points. We have got a tough one at Chelsea, we knew that, so this was a big game to win.”
“We know that from Chelsea onwards, we have got 18 days and we will have injuries coming back from that.”
It would be ludicrous if Newcastle allow Cheick to leave the club for China this month – the transfer window there doesn’t close until the end of the month.
Cheick has a contract at Newcastle until June of next year and we are in danger of being relegated this season.
He’s a Newcastle player and the club simply have to tell Cheick that he must honor his contract – at least until the summer.
It’s as easy as that but Newcastle seem to think they have to let players leave when they want to.
And in any case if Cheick stars for Newcastle through the end of the season he will get some big offers coming in this summer.
It could be a win-win situation – good for Cheick and good for Newcastle, because we could get a bigger fee for him.
Tiote could be one of one of our saviors this season and the way he brilliantly teamed up with Jonjo Shelvey to completely dominate the midfield yesterday was great to watch.