How Much Will NUFC Miss The ‘New’ Cheick Tiote Against Stoke?

Cheick Tiote’s return to form has been central to Newcastle United’s success this season, as they find themselves 6th in the Premier League and just three points (four after Everton’s win) adrift of the Champions League places at Christmas.

cheick tioteThe midfield enforcer is back to his best and has been a dependable figure in Alan Pardew’s side this season – a side that have only lost once in their last eight.

During that run Newcastle have seen off some of the best with wins against Chelsea and Tottenham, as well as a historical victory at Old Trafford.

The Ivorian played a big part at Old Trafford and deservedly picked up the man of the match award for his part in Newcastle’s first win at Old Trafford in almost 42 years.

Cheick Tiote absolutely dominated the Manchester United midfield and allowed Yohan Cabaye and Vurnon Anita to flourish in front of him.

Newcastle were largely disappointing last season and Tiote was amongst those that struggled – looking a shadow of his former self.

However, his fortunes turned around this season when he was handed the captaincy against Liverpool in Fabricio Coloccini’s absence.

Tiote took the armband and the responsibility that came with it – showing a side to his game rarely seen at St James’ Park.

The Ivory Coast international has a reputation for picking up a lot of bookings, but this season has been a different story with Tiote only accumulating five yellow cards in 17 appearances.

His fifth booking came during Newcastle’s 3-0 win at Crystal Palace and Tiote will now serve a one match suspension – he will be sorely missed as Newcastle welcome Stoke City on Boxing Day.

His style of play has not suffered and Tiote remains as tenacious as ever. He is finally showing the maturity his game has longed for and is now as influential as anybody, as Newcastle push to get back into Europe.