Steve McClaren has being reminiscing about his days in Holland with Cheick Tiote and how the player is ‘older and wiser’ these days…

After his sacking by England, McClaren next managerial appointment was at FC Twente, where one of the players he inherited was Cheick Tiote.

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In his first season, the former Boro boss gave the Ivory Coast midfielder 17 league starts and another 11 as a substitute.

Then in the manager’s second and final season (2009/10) at FC Twente (when they won the Dutch title), Tiote only started 10 league matches and another 18 as sub.

The now Newcastle midfielder turned 24 just after the end of that title winning season before he joined United, so he was no kid, although Steve McClaren has declared that back then Cheick Tiote was ‘a young kid then, young and innocent’.

McClaren ended up walking out after they won the Dutch title and moved to Wolfsburg, with Tiote joining Newcastle later that summer.

I was quite surprised to see how few games the midfielder started for FC Twente, when he arrived at Newcastle he was portrayed as one of the stars of their title winning season!

Not that I think he is a bad player but as for believing the ‘young and innocent’…

This is what Steve McClaren has had to say now about his midfielder:

“I know Cheicky (Tiote) very well – great to see him when he first came through the door – I had him in Holland for a couple of years.

“He was only a young kid then, young and innocent, and he’s grown now. He’s a bit older and wiser and (also has) a bigger contract.

“I want him fit and playing, I have seen him here and he has had a couple of great seasons.”

I wasn’t sure about the young and innocent tag and I find the ‘older and wiser’ even more dubious.

Starting 125 games for Newcastle, Cheick Tiote has managed to pick up 55 yellow cards and one red one.

He has also accumulated more wives (two) than he has goals (one) for Newcastle, which brings us on to his ‘older and wiser’ personal life.

These are just a few of the press reports of Cheick Tiote’s off-field activities in recent times…

October 2013

‘Tiote was given a seven-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months and 180 hours community service in October 2013 after admitting possession of a fake driving licence.’

September 2014

‘Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote has defended his lifestyle by claiming there is nothing unusual about having two wives and a mistress.’

December 2014

‘Cheick Tiote apologises after Newcastle star is caught holding champagne while driving.’

Going back to Steve McClaren’s quotes, yes Cheick Tiote did have a couple of great seasons at Newcastle but they were 2010/11 and 2011/12, the last three years he has been either injured, suspended or poor to average.

The big question is, can the likes of Cheick Tiote, Tim Krul, Papiss Cisse and Fabricio Coloccini recapture the form of 2011/12 when Newcastle finished fifth, now they are older and wiser…