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Cheick Tiote return to training opens up the big debate

6 years ago
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Cheick Tiote is back in training this week according to the Chronicle and it opens up an interesting debate.

While some players become better players in the eyes of fans while out injured, it appears that the Ivory Coast international has gone the other way with many Newcastle supporters.

Like many of his teammates who were part of that season, Cheick Tiote has never really recaptured that dominant form he last showed in 2011/12, or at least for any decent run of games.

With Jack Colback and Moussa Sissoko now seemingly first team certainties, Tiote now faces competition from Mehdi Abeid and in theory Vurnon Anita, with the unfortunate Ryan Taylor also showing promise against Manchester City and QPR before he was forced off.

While Taylor can clearly do a job if his body can stand up to the task, I don’t think Alan Pardew would contemplate playing him ahead of Tiote.

While in Anita’s case, surely Saturday showed that he is way down the pecking order, Alan Pardew choosing not to replace like with like but bringing on Gouffran for Taylor and Vurnon redundant on the bench.

Like a big boxing match, we eagerly await to see what the Newcastle manager will do once both Cheick Tiote and Mehdi Abeid are available again,whether it is this Saturday or whenever.

In one corner we have Cheick Tiote, experienced international who at one time was seen as our most valuable player by many fans, whilst in the opposing corner we have the young challenger, with everybody wondering whether Abeid can carry on where he left off after his excellent displays against the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.

Pardew has already said that he expects to have a selection dilemma at West Ham due to a number of players returning from injury, after six wins in six the pressure has clearly lifted on the United boss, but how he deals with the Tiote/Abeid debate may well massively influence where Newcastle’s season ends up going.

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