All about Cheik

Should Tiote walk straight back into the side against Spurs?
Should Tiote walk straight back into the side against Spurs?
Over recent weeks, I have noticed a bit of talk developing about the imminent return of our midfield enforcer Cheik Tiote.

Now, normally when Tiote is away from our starting eleven, the common consensus is that he cannot come back soon enough as we tend to lack a bit of bite, fight and desire along with the presence Tiote can bring to the side.

This time however, it seems that the level of excitement over his return is muted to say the least. With his African Cup of Nations duties done and dusted, Tiote is expected to be available for selection against Tottenham Hotspur, which leads me to the point of this article.

Our midfield looks as strong on paper as it ever has (in my opinion) and with Hatem Ben Arfa soon to return, the competition for starting spots is going to heat up. Tiote will more than likely earn a place on the bench against Spurs but if he was to start, the axe will inevitably fall on James Perch. This can be considered unlucky for Perch as he has performed admirably and has really done nothing to deserve being dropped.

So does Tiote really deserve his spot back without having to earn it?



To date this season, Tiote had only played in 13 games which include seven losses, one red card and five yellow cards. So his presence and form on the park before he left for the ACoN was not what it has been in past seasons.

Sorely out of form, he has looked a shadow of the player we have come to know. His reputation as a tough tackler has not gone unnoticed by the referees and when you watch Tiote play, he seems to be one hard tackle away from card trouble. I think some of this is born from frustration at our lack of ability to hold possession of the ball in the middle of the park. When we are playing well, Tiote does seem more at ease with his game.

The following is something I have been thinking about in regards to Tiote coming back and I want to put it out there for discussion.

Now that we have another enforcer type midfielder in the form of Moussa Sissoko and a fully fit and firing Yohan Cabaye, will the stress of being the prime ball winner be taken off the shoulders of Cheik Tiote to a certain extent? Will the imposing presence of Sissoko free the shackles of responsibility from Tiote somewhat and will we see a more measured, level-headed player?

I guess time will tell.

Written by Aussie Magpie Fan

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111 thoughts on “All about Cheik

  1. Off topic. I think we have real problem if Colo leaves this summer. and we decide to give Cabye the caption armband (then Benny will not be happy as he is been with the club longer). ideally i want Staylor to get the armband but he spends more time on the treatment table than the field.
    Hmm so other option is Jonaz but he aint good enough. Tiote? not sure.
    So we need Colo… give him time off in May if we get 40+points by then and try to sort it out within 6months.

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  2. Santi-Exactly. Plus no Acon for two years, be good to see what he can do next year. Might be an idea to play him against Metalist-won’t we get a european ref? Maybe don’t know his reputation…although they might send him off for touching someone if they’re spanish :mrgreen:

    Sharpy-Yeah, definitely over enthusiastic, but dirty? The lads always talk about how he doesn’t give them an inch in training-but they respect him for it, as far as I know none have complained he’s tried to break their leg. He trains how he plays, though a cool head is needed sometimes. Colo isn’t one to tell players what to do-maybe Cabs could get him to chill? Agree about Anita being for the future. I thought a midfield of him Tiote and Cabs would be great, but with Sissoko in there now we’re pretty sweet in the middle.

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  3. Santii thats part of the problem he is OK we need someone that is better than ok and we have ones that are better.
    As I said Perch’s job is a back up to come in and cover when needed, but when he is not needed he should go back to being a back up πŸ˜‰
    You have to improve what you have to get better and that can sometimes mean replacing a player through no real fault of their own it’s just they are not good enough, and again IMO being OK is not good enough πŸ˜‰

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  4. Max-I don’t see Benny as someone wanting to be captain. He likes to be loved and adored and he likes to have some individuality so he can focus on his own play. I think he’d be fine with Cabaye as captain.

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  5. Max – I don’t think Benny would mind tbh mate. Don’t think Benny would want the responsibility of the captains role. I think you need someone who has the respect of most/all of the other players and Cabs seems to be that player. Christ even Ba said he’s the best player he’s ever played with!. Cabaye is nailed on Capt when Colo leaves for me I think. But in relation to your concerns, I’m more worried about replace Colo the player than Colo the Capt!. So important we get that one right and don’t scrimp on a 2nd or 3rd choice transfer target.

    Interesting to read Pardew saying the club will look to recruit the belly of the team in Summer. I reckon 2-3 purple players – a CB and CF certainly, then another 2-3 squad/development players.

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  6. Newkie – I would like an academy graduate first teamer as caption but you are rit as Cabaye is Caption material on and off the field.
    Isnt it a good feeling all of a sudden what few days can make in transfer window to bring in 2 top players of caption material πŸ™‚
    Lets hope MA and CO. do pick up the pace this summer and replace any1 leaving and bring in quality 1st team Striker/CF and CB and if possible an out and out winger…

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  7. A while back someone put up a comparison of the games we had played wihout Perch, the games we had played with Perch in defense and then the games we had played with Perch in midfield. The games he started in midfield we won a lot more than we drew or lost. The last two games made me think back to that. Sometimes a player hasn’t the reputation or doesn’t look so good on the eye; – but… they are underestimated at your peril and I think James Perch is one of those players to be honest. Cabaye with Perch playing deep in central midfield have about everything you could possibly want there.

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  8. @Dave i said Perch is ok but he is only a back-up so thats fine. I would rather him there than play a player out of position.

    Tiote is amazing when he is on form. So now he is back problem solved.

    @Newkie

    lol hope not. Hope we use our strongest team for the rest of that cup as well.

    As for the captain debate. I would voted for Taylor on the poll on here at the start of last season. Im glad Colo was givin it now (Hindsight and all that). Mbiwa was an amazing captain for Montpellier. Think Cabaye will get it (if colo leaves of course).

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  9. Sharpy- hopefully pardew can push for the players you mentioned and i will be happy to fly around the world to see us push for top3. we are not that far behind the top4 at the moment when every1 is fit. so with 2/3 quality addition i would see us challenging the Manurez for that long waited success πŸ™‚ happy days ahead!

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  10. Ice- yes i did see it and am sure we will sell or release all the players that do not make a step up before they are 21.
    I want the club to bring in players of top quality rather than squad players.
    who is got energy and drive to succeed.

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  11. Max-Saylor is the only academy player with a shout, and given his injury record I can’t see them giving it to him. We need a captain who will play for more than half a season! πŸ˜†

    Sharpy-Agree we’ll need another top defender in the summer, still hope we can keep Colo though, I don’t see the point in him moving either for himself or for us.

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  12. Although if he does leave it means we don’t have to strip him of the captaincy which could cause problems, although he doesn’t seem one to complain.

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  13. B&B @50
    ‘I don’t think we have particularly β€œtough tacklers” nor do we need them. We get one or two crowd pleasing tackles per game from the likes of Perch and Tiote, but very often we get poor tackles that cost us dearly at times, conceding needless freekicks deep in our own half.’

    The thing I like about Perch is that he doesn’t tend to give away the dangerous freekicks on the edge of the box like Tiote regularly does. He has more intelligence to his game, hence why I think the opposition will not enjoy playing against him, he also doesn’t give the ball away very much either (if ever, compare that to Tiote these days) and can feed Cabaye to go off and find a long field ball or do a simpler pass himself. On the occasions Perch does fly in to a tackle it’s usually a 50-50 near the touchline or in the central area of the pitch where there is little danger. I do like Tiote but I think he has been off form this season and I just feel more assured when Perch played that he isn’t gonna give a stupid goal away or get a red card. These are things that win and lose games at the end of the day.

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  14. Big Dave – my missus says thanks for kind words πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Some nice craic on here about our future midfield set up. I think Tiote should be given a go back in the startng line up but if he under performs, sit him on the bench. We can’t nurse players into form at this stage of the season (Cisse take note) πŸ™‚

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  15. 😳
    Do people on here actually watch football, or do they just go off who has the highest numbers on FIFA12 or something? Why change a winning team? Tiote can sit on the bench and wait his turn IMO. Why revert to the losing side he was in pre ACON? I remember people saying they couldn’t wait to see the back of him at the time. πŸ˜†

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  16. DJG. I think Tiote will be on the bench anyway mate… I really can’t see him starting this one.. So there will be no change to our winning team πŸ˜‰

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  17. B&B,
    I think you should put together a business case for Marv’s inclusion into the first team and send it to Pardz. I reckon 25 pages should do it πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

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  18. Aussie, marvo makes his own case. Besides, pardews poor attention span means he can’t read 25 pages.

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  19. Where has Troy gone B&B? I hope you haven’t buried him in the backyard 😯 πŸ˜†

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  20. Aussie – have you noticed Dave’s much nicer when his masters no longer here? I think were going to see a new, kinder, more thoughtful Dave in the future. πŸ˜‰

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  21. Sharpy
    I thought a similar notion on Hernandez a week or so ago, Man U have loads of forwards so he isn’t getting consistent game time. We’ve been looking for a speedy striker to partner CissΓ© and he could well be our man. He knows the PL better than the foreign strikers we’ve been linked to and he would suit our new style.

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  22. Aussie – I fear somebody might have done. Plenty of candidates. I bumped into another one today. I’m sure he thinks the blog dies a death when he’s not on and that every one will be missing him. I pity the poor #$/^ers on any other sites he graces.

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  23. Right I’m off to pick up some more pointers from fifa12. If hba39 comes on, tell him I’m asking after him.

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  24. B&B, yeah HBA39 is good for a laugh, whether he means it or not is another matter πŸ˜‰

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  25. Tiote has been poor when he’s played this season… But then again Cabaye was also poor when he played before his injury and yet I don’t see anyone suggesting he should be sold for his earlier poor form.

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  26. Toon – You say about Tiote’s lack of red cards. Granted he’s only had two but look at his yelloe card count and bear in mind that everytime he gets a yellow it takes a big part of his game away.

    It’s not even the yellows for tough tackles I mind. Its the amount of silly ones ge picks up and the amount of games he misses because of it. Last season he missed 1/4 of games through suspension alone. You can be the best player in the world but if your not on the pitch it doesn’t really matter.

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