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Steve McClaren has finally got something right!

Posted on November 3rd, 2010 | 34 Comments |

Cheeky Cheick is fitting right in.
Cheeky Cheick is fitting right in.
When Newcastle fans heard that the club had signed Cheick Tiote from FC Twente, a lot of fans were left wondering just what he would be like.

It’s fair to say that Cheick was a relative unknown quantity. He came to Newcastle after appearing in the World Cup for Ivory Coast and having been a lynchpin in an FC Twente side that won the Dutch Eredivisie under the guidance of the ‘wally with the brolly’, or Steve McClaren if you want his real name.

McClaren got an awful lot of things wrong with the England team whilst he was managing them, so when he turned around and told us Newcastle fans that we would love Tiote as a player at Newcastle you could be forgiven for remaining a little sceptical. It turns out that the former Middlesbrough manager was absolutely spot on with assesment and Tiote has gone on to establish himself as somewhat of a crowd favourite amongst the Toon Army.

I’ve said before that I never really rated the defensive midfielder position and always saw it as negative move playing one. Perhaps my blinkered ‘4-4-2 rules’ philosophy is part of the reason behind it, but it had never occured to me just how important one could be for our team. Tiote has shown me the way, even though Chris Hughton says that Tiote is more than just a defensive midfielder.

He does a dirty job that not many people want to do, and he does it well. He breaks up play, keeps possesion and distributes the ball almost faultlessly. He tackles and harries and never gives opponents the time to do anything. Quite simply he is a real asset.

Perhaps the most important thing he brings to the team is confidence. With Tiote in the team it gives other midfielders, like Kevin Nolan, the license to get forward, and I believe this is part of the reason why Nolan has improved in recent weeks. He can now get into the attacking positions that he seems to have the gift of getting in to whithout having to worry about leaving too much of a gaping hole at the back. Cheick will sort that out.

All in all, a fantastic piece of business by the club. An absolute snip at £3.5 million, and if the club can continue finding players of Cheick’s ability at that kind of price then we could be in for some more nice surprises in the future.

Long may it continue.

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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34 Responses

  1. I posted this on the previous thread and then saw that a new thread had been put up,anyway I would like us to play this team against arsenal.
    Krul
    Simo Willo Colo Jose
    Smith Tiote
    Joey Captain Cool Spidey
    Avatar
    The thing with this formation is
    that it will enable us to close
    down arse with their passing and
    help us defend better.and with
    our proficiency on the counter
    attack thats already been
    mentioned before,who knows.its
    not fair on shola but thats
    football.i would much rather
    make sure our brilliant goal
    difference is conserved,even if we
    do end up loosing rather than go
    for the jugular and perhaps get hammered in the process….
    Anyway,wat do you guys think?

  2. Good article! A great bit of business, and while I feel sorry for Smudge, you can’t argue with the impressive way Tiote has come straight in and made the position his. As for MacLaren, good on the fella for rising from the ashes and doing so well. Oh, and for selling us one of his best players.

  3. As for the Arse, I don’t want to go too defensive, because it simply won’t work – I don’t think we can keep them out. Our best bet (as Blackpool and others have found) is to keep the ball as much as possible up at the other end and just try to score enough to match them.

    I’d start the same as against the mackems. CH won’t, of course. That’s why he’s a great manager and I’m a naive muppet. :)

  4. The ‘traditional’ defensive midfielder of old is obsolete.

    Imagine this, Top Trumps, David Batty (one of my favs) against Tiote, Tiote would win hands down on every category.

    A DM today is more than a tackler who is aggressive and helps out the back four, and Tiote exemplifies this. He is pacey, intelligent, cool, efficient in possession and athletic. Add to this all the aspects a traditional DM would do, which he does, a thing that differs these day is that when he gets the ball, his first foot is always going forward, he thinks about how he can break, where as a traditional DM would look sideways.

    He is a fantastic example of a ‘modern day’ defensive midfielder.

  5. deepak

    The problem is with a 5 man midfield is that, as we did last season, after you nab a goal, the common thing to do is to sit back and take the preasure.

    Can we do that against Arsnal? No, I don’t think we can, they will break us down. The 442 is playing to our strengths so I say TAKE IT TO THEM!

  6. i love mike..i laugh him the way he plays..said a few weeks back..he does take chances when he likes turning 90decre with the ball.. got caught 2 times in the first 15 mintues..he did that a lot agianst city and then moved forward..it takes a lot of players out of the game..but if he gets caught we might be in trouble a couple of times..teams will get on 2 that soon..watch him when he spins to get out of trouble..

  7. I said after the Everton game(he was MoM for me) that he could be one of the buys of the season amongst all the premier league transfers and he’s done nowt to dissuade me from that point of few, the lads a star.

    Mclaren may be the “wally with the brolly” but he’s the only manager of one of the “big 3” NE clubs to win a major trophy in the last 37 years ;-)

  8. I Love Mike says:
    November 3, 2010 at 12:32 pm
    The ‘traditional’ defensive midfielder of old is obsolete.

    Imagine this, Top Trumps, David Batty (one of my favs<<<< and mine :)

  9. asim
    you’re very right, he has been caught in possision a couple of times lately, I noticed, but howay man, we’re having a love lock in here :D

  10. lets not have 2 much of a luv in..look what happened to ben arfa..every time we have something good shit happens..only to us.

  11. I love mike,true mate.i guess you are right and it might finally break down but if we do go all out,it is gonna leave gaping holes at the back of which arsenal will surely take advantage of.and our gd is +5.only chelsea and arsenal have a better one.it effectively adds upto a point and i dont want to let it go.anyway just a thought…

  12. richie,
    right about McClaren mate, add to that that at least he’s got the sac to go abroad, & win something.
    Most wouldn’t.
    Maybe he had to go abroad, but he did it.
    ;)

  13. asim,
    HBA didn’t get crocked cos we loved him too much, it was cos de mong is an animal/criminal.
    ;)

  14. “McClaren finally got something right” is a bit harsh on him, since England aside, he’s done a stand up job with the teams he’s managed

  15. I said after the Everton game,when everyone wae giving Ben Arfa all the plaudits,that Tiote would be one of Newcastles best ever signings.He reminds me so much of Makalele(however you spell it)

  16. Yeah I find people are a bit harsh on McClaren at times, PSV tore us apart at pre season and his Twente side beat the to the title! And we all know how well he did at the tramps so maybe some of the criticism is unwarranted.

    However that interview he did where he had a dutch accent still has him under the category of ‘freak’ for me like hahaha

  17. great signing. would love to see him bag a goal soon. he always seems to get space just outside the area and wait just a second too long to release it. i don’t think he’s had a single shot that hasn’t been blocked by a defender.

  18. Tiote is the lynchpin.
    He allows Barton to do his thing.
    Love the guys mean & moody approach, but with great skill & a deft touch.
    Although i would say that it’s CH whom got it right for signing him.
    ;)

  19. CLiNT – Depends mate. Keegan sent Hughton over to Chieck (see what I did there?) him out over two years ago.

    I won’t mention the ‘K word’ again as it will send a load of poeople into a masterbation frenzy ;)

  20. toonsy, aye mate, good play on words there bud.
    :)

    Aye but CH still had to see it through years later, so it’s still credit to CH for me.
    ;)

  21. Ice – Not learned a lot new mate. Took more blood, looked around a bit more. Back on Friday again :)

  22. toonsy says:
    November 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    “CLiNT – Depends mate. Keegan sent Hughton over to Chieck (see what I did there?) him out over two years ago.”

    Toonsy, Keegan just sent Hughton to the Netherlands on a general scouting mission, and Tiote (then playing at Roda) was one of the players who impressed Hughton, and he has kept an eye on him ever since.

  23. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    November 3, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    “Well in worky.”

    I spend way too much time researching the minutiae of Newcastle United. I really must stop and do something more productive!

  24. Tiote is just a class act. Thats why he’s playing for Ivory Coast with Drogba and friends. If we can get another 2 of that quality next summer and Benny back we will be absolutely laughing. I wonder how much Graham Carr had to do with this? Who needs Wise and Jiminez, meh.

  25. Tickets for West Brom oredered today :)

    Cheers Mark ;)

    Seat already sorted for Birmingham :)

    Will be going to Wigan aswell :)

  26. DJG says:
    November 3, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    “I wonder how much Graham Carr had to do with this?”

    DJG, as I mentioned earlier to Toonsy and Clint, Tiote was spotted by Hughton while on a scouting mission for Keegan in the Netherlands years ago. He was playing at Roda at the time and Hughtoon has been tracking him ever since.