Watching The Immovable Object this season has been a chore. I don't know what the hell has happened to him. He has been more of a liability this season than an asset. Three things have stood out to me about Tiote this season a) His lazy passing gifting possession away, b) his arrogant dribbling right in front of our defence and c) his needless countless fouling and shocking disciplinary record.
All three of these characteristics from our number 24 has left me screaming at him at times. Monday night down at Fulham was a glorified example of his season so far. For their second goal he needlessly gave a foul away just outside the penalty area for no reason whatsoever, which resulted in gifting Fulham a winning goal. His defending in the box during the free kick playing everyone behind him onside didn't help either.
He even showed us his lazy passing skills by playing in Dimitar Berbatov completely through on goal in the first half shortly after we were already 1-0 down, which Tim Krul did well to save and keep us in the game. It was ridiculous. The amount of times he dawdles on the ball and tries to dribble his way out of trouble right in front of our defence is shocking. What is he doing? Does he think he can match Ben Arfa in the skills department? It's madness. He has been dispossessed at times in that area this season which harms the team. Overall it's passing it forward is his main problem. Very wasteful to say the least. The long ball tactics Pardew seemed to encourage for most of this season doesn't help the situation.
(Passing it forward is his main problem. With the odd wayward side pass thrown in)
I love Cheik. We all do. You wont find a player with more of a cult following. But it has to said he has been one of the most disappointing players we have had this season. Cisse can't buy a goal but he is being messed around with playing out on the wing so at least he has an excuse. Cheik has no excuses. In the absence of Yohan Cabaye for another month at least we need Tiote to be a rock solid wall more than ever. Not an arrogant lazy liability. It's not on.
He cost us a famous victory at Sunderland by needlessly getting sent off with a filthy challenge. It was senseless. There is no doubt in any of our minds we would have won that game easily with 11 men on the pitch. We almost did with just 10. His disciplinary record is abysmal. He has a 1 in 2 record of getting booked to appearances. I've not known anything like it. It's like he wants to get booked otherwise he hasn't 'done his job'. Giving away stupid fouls constantly and being suspended solves nothing. It doesn't help does it?
We have a young player waiting in the wings to replace Cheik Tiote at some stage in Gael Bigirimana. This lad hasn't put a foot wrong this season so far whenever he has played . I couldn't be more impressed with him. He has put Cheik to shame in some games this season by showing you don't need to kick the living daylights out of people to be a good holding midfielder. He reads the game, then makes a clean tackle. His passing isn't shabby either. He can spread the play as good as anybody. His eye for goal can't be in question either as we all saw that left foot strike into the top corner versus Wigan last week. The lad is class.
If Chelsea or anyone for that matter made a significant offer for Tiote would we miss him that much? Would it not be worth taking the money and using it to buy a couple of defenders and even a striker? We have also been linked with France first teamer Moussa Sissoko this season, who is available on the cheap in January as his contract expires in the summer, so a ready made replacement is available if it is too soon to give Gael Bigirimana a first team spot. NUFC In For Sissoko?
I have always said Cheik Tiote is an indispensable member of our team but his performances this season have left a lot to be desired. With Cabaye coming back in February, the impressive recent performances of Vurnon Anita, the emergence of Gael Bigirimana and the possible significantly cheaper replacements available...I am not so sure he is any more.
£20 million or so? Very tempting......
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