After the win at Bournemouth, Cheick Tiote says that he is ‘happy to be back in there doing my job’.
For many Newcastle supporters, the natural question that would bring is ‘what job’?!!
The Ivory Coast midfielder played his fourth game in a row on Saturday but despite the result, he was one of many players to put in a really poor performance.
Alongside Vurnon Anita, the central midfield pair were outplayed and out-fought to an embarrassing extent by their Bournemouth counterparts, which included Newcastle reject Dan Gosling.
The engine room is repeatedly the weakest part of the Newcastle team and since Yohan Cabaye’s departure almost two years ago, whatever combination United have used, is usually second best to the opposition.
Cheick Tiote and others were grateful to Rob Elliot and his two centre-backs who were easily the highest ranked trio in our fans’ player ratings, Bournemouth dominating in every area of the pitch and statistic, apart from scoring goals.
Injuries, links with other clubs and off-field distractions, have been the main focus of Tiote’s Newcastle career since the excellent season he had in 2011/12 when United finished fifth.
In the absence of other viable alternatives, some fans had wanted Moussa Sissoko moved inside and either Tiote or Vurnon Anita dropped.
However, Steve McClaren was keen to stick with the same team and formation and got away with it by the skin of his teeth.
Tiote has been dropped by his country but now looks to have an unexpected chance to show for Newcastle whether he can do the job in Jack Colback’s absence, let’s hope somebody reminds him of his job description sometime soon.
Cheick Tiote talking to the official club website:
“It was a really good win for everyone – the players, the fans and the head coach. It was a massive win.
“It wasn’t the best performance. We have had some games where we have played really well but didn’t win, so today the most important thing was the three points.
“Sometimes it doesn’t matter how you play, as long as you get the result. The Premier League is very tough and you have to get wins however you can.
“Getting a first away win is big for our confidence. We showed spirit and fight, and worked hard for each other. It wasn’t easy for us but we did everything we could to keep a clean sheet, especially Robbie, who made some great saves and was magnificent.
“We are out of the relegation zone now and that is very important. We have the opportunity to climb up the league now and that is what we will try to do.
“It’s not easy to sit on the bench and watch the team play, so I am happy to be back in there doing my job.
“I don’t enjoy watching games, every player feels the same, but when I am given the opportunity I have to do my best for the team, and hopefully I can continue to do that.”