There are three players we need to be concerned about losing either in January or next summer and Tiote as we all know is one of them, right now he must be wondering whether to stick or twist because of all the flak he’s getting.

One moment Pardew tells Tiote to pick his tackles and the next moment he’s criticising him for pulling out of three tackles last night, no wonder the game passed him by a bit on Thursday night.

Hughton bought him because he wanted a combative midfielder to replace Alan Smith and that’s exactly what we got.

His disciplinary record at FC Twente is as follows

07/08 Played 28 yellow Cards 7 Red cards 1

08/09 Played 24 Yellow cards 6 Red cards 1

09/10 Played 16 Yellow cards 6 Red cards 1

So we knew exactly what we were buying and the lad was a revelation when he came to Newcastle. As we all know though, the Premier league is faster and much more competitive that the Dutch league and one of the main reasons why we did so well last year was because Tiote didn’t give any opposition players any time on the ball whatsoever within a 4-3-3 formation.

That’s the key, in a 4-3-3 formation – when defending we should have 5 players in the middle of the park closing down the opposition not just 3 or 4 like we have when playing the 4-4-2 formation as we have all season.

If you have Tiote and only one other central midfielder trying to close down 3 or more midfielders, the desperate lunging tackles start flying in, the more pressure he’s put under and the yellow cards start racking up whilst we’re being over-run in the middle of the park.

If we get Tiote back in the middle of a settled 4-3-3 formation, with more midfielders supporting him, then he’ll settle down again and be as pivotal as he was in his first 18 months at the club.

The very last thing you should say to Tiote is ‘Pick your tackles’, as far as I’m concerned you should be saying, “get stuck in there bonny Lad, don’t give them a minute on the ball and go out there and destroy!”.

Should we be telling Tiote to calm down? I think not!

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  • Mal

    I think he does need to control himself more and he isn’t helping the team overall. His disciplinary record with us is now much worse than the figures you quote before he arrived. For example his booking against Bruges (which means he gets a ban in europe) was stupid and unnecessary and he was pulling out of tackles. Personally I think he is suffering from a loss of confidence and a couple of games on the sidelines will do him good. I agree though, when he’s at his best, he’s a fantastic player and should be one of the first names on the sheet.