It’s been surprising to us that Cheick Tiote has played so well for Newcastle this year at both Arsenal and last week at home to West Brom, when he combined so well with Jonjo Shelvey.
Both players were Newcastle’s best two performers on the day in our Man of the Match poll, with Shelvey topping the poll.
Jack Colback is back in training now and maybe he will come in at left back for Rolando Aarons to add more experience at the back today?
Cheick Tiote – Newcastle’s unlikely savior?
But we cannot see Jack getting his midfield position back anytime soon, assuming Cheick keeps performing like he’s been doing this year – when he’s played for us.
And if Cheick is replaced Jack will have to fight it out with new boy Henri Saivet for the position, and Henri’s looked good when he’s played for us.
His move to Shanghai and the Chinese Super League broke down in January, because he couldn’t agree to personal terms and that deal is now unlikely to be resurrected this month.
This is what Steve McClaren has said about Cheick:
“I hope he stays – I’m certainly recommending that.”
“He showed his value, although I also thought he had been playing well before he left to negotiate his deal with Shanghai.”
“He came back and played well, even though he’d only had a few days training.”
Cheick has massive experience in the Premier League and these are the types of players we need to have in action during the run-in to what has been another disastrous season for Newcastle.
If Cheick can stay fit and keep playing like he’s done at Arsenal and last Saturday – that will go a long way to helping Newcastle survive this season – for the second season running.
That’s the only thing that really matters at the moment.