Marveaux A Must, Tiote To Be Held In Cheick
I have been contemplating writing an article about Sylvain Marveaux and Cheick Tiote for a while now.
The last few matches have made me want to finally voice my opinion that despite them being totally different players, Marveaux needs to be in the starting 11 every week and Tiote (when healthy) needs to be on the bench and used in a different role.
When I see Marveaux on the pitch, he reminds of Aaron Lennon. His explosiveness to full speed is truly remarkable and I put him in a small category of players in the Premier League that possess that natural ability (eg. Bale, Walcott, Lennon). Marveaux brings such a different dynamic to the team when he is in the line up. His service on corners was fantastic this past week against Fulham (with the exception of one gaff in the second half). He has set up Cisse beautifully on several occasions the last few weeks and has made numerous dangerous runs. I believe that speed is what makes a team dangerous and he adds that element.
I was always confused as to why Pardew sat on Marveaux so much. Obviously injuries played a role in how the line up was organised but I always felt Marveaux was under-utilised. I realise his defensive abilities may not be what a manager may want for a midfield player, however, I think if you look at the whole package of what Marveaux brings to each game, he needs to be starting. He makes life miserable for the opposition defenders. A quick check of his stats with Newcastle shows 2 goals and 8 assists. This includes 1 goal and 4 assists this year, as well as 0 cards (EPL only).
This brings me to Tiote. A quick check of his career stats with Newcastle, 1 goal and 3 assists, 1 red card, and 31 yellow cards (EPL only)!! Now I understand there is a role for a hard nosed defensive minded midfielder, however, Tiote has proven time and time again that he is undisciplined, reckless, and gives the ball away far too often. I have never understood how Pardew has been able to go back to him game in and game out, foul after foul, goal after goal against because of his mistakes.
It particularly drove me crazy knowing that Marveaux was sitting on the bench. Often when Marveaux was brought into the game the damage had been done. I find it ironic that Tiote is getting the minutes because of his hard nosed defensive abilities yet it his play that has cost the team on many occasions, I would argue that he has cost the team more that Marveaux ever has. For the amount of minutes Tiote was playing, his lack of goals and assists should be concerning.
When Tiote gets back to fitness, if one looks at this past week’s starting line up against Fulham I cannot imagine taking anyone out of the line up to put in Tiote: Would you take out Cabaye? Not a chance. Gouffran? Nope. Sissoko? uh no. Jonas? works too hard. Marveaux? Of course not, that’s why I’m writing this! I think Tiote’s role should be limited to coming off the bench and used depending on the dynamics of each game. Are we behind by a goal? Is the team’s performance lacking spirit? Or is the match physical? That is when I would bring Tiote in. But I feel he is too much of a liability to start and to be on the pitch in a tight match that is tied, or the lads are up by a goal. At this point of the season where every point is so valuable, any free kick given up could lead to a crucial goal against, that takes those valuable points away. Tiote has proven time and time again he is more than likely to make a crucial error or foul.
Now I am sure the Tiote fans will have their way with me…
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