Tag Archives: Cheick Tiote

Memorable Matches: Newcastle United 4-4 Arsenal (February 2011)

Goalscorers: Theo Walcott 1, Johan Djourou 3, Robin van Persie 10, 26, Joey Barton 68 PEN, 83 PEN, Leon Best 75, Cheick Tiote 87


Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Jose Enrique, Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson, Danny Simpson, Joey Barton, Cheick Tiote, Kevin Nolan, Jonas Gutierrez, Leon Best (Danny Guthrie 89), Peter Lovenkrands (Nile Ranger 73)

Arsenal: Wojciech Szczesny, Bacary Sagna, Johan Djourou (Sebastien Squillaci 48), Laurent Koscielny, Gael Clichy, Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby (SENT OFF), Cesc Fabregas, Andrey Arshavin (Tomas Rosicky 69), Theo Walcott (Emmanuel Eboue 79), Robin van Persie

Referee: Phil Dowd, Attendance: 51,561

Title-chasing Arsenal arrived on Tyneside for a fixture in February 2011 in confident mood. The Gunners’ were unbeaten at the start of the year and this looked like the perfect time to play their opposition. Newcastle were reeling from the sudden departure of top scorer and star player Andy Carroll on a crazy transfer deadline day.

Whilst they’d received £35million from Liverpool FC for Carroll’s services, fans were upset that the star asset could be sold and no replacement come in. Carroll had scored the winning goal when the teams’ met in November 2010 so at least Arsene Wenger didn’t have to worry about his physical prowess in the air. By full-time, he had to worry about the fragility of his side which was brutally exposed in the second half.

It had started so well in the first 45 minutes for the visitors’. They had simply blitzed their opponents. In fact, it looked like it could end up a cricket scoreline, such was the one-sided dominance. Theo Walcott stormed through the middle, outpaced Fabricio Coloccini and beat Steve Harper inside 44 seconds.

Three minutes later, it was 2-0. Andrey Arshavin’s free-kick was connected by the head of Johan Djourou. It was Djourou’s first-ever goal for Arsenal. Robin van Persie then added a quick-fire brace and Arsenal were 4-0 ahead inside 26 minutes. A combination of stylish attacking football from the Gunners’ and woeful Newcastle defending meant this was a scoreline that didn’t flatter either side.

Alan Pardew had to rouse his troops at half-time but they did get an early boost in the second half. Midfielder Abou Diaby lost control of his temperament. He pushed Joey Barton to the floor and also shoved Kevin Nolan right infront of the referee Phil Dowd. Dowd had no option but to give Diaby a straight red card.

Newcastle were lifted by this and they got on the scoreboard shortly afterwards. Laurent Koscielny’s clumsy tackle on Leon Best saw the home side given a penalty. Barton held his nerve to send goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny the wrong way. The Pole’s refusal to give the ball back resulted in his own yellow card and suggested Arsenal nerves – despite still possessing a three-goal advantage.

Best had scored a hat-trick a month earlier against West Ham United and was giving Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci who had replaced Djourou early in the second half some major problems. He had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside, before beating Gael Clichy at the back post and squeezing a shot past Szczesny from eight yards out after fine work by Jose Enrique. Suddenly, Newcastle supporters really started to believe.

Hope turned to expectation when Barton scored his second penalty seven minutes from time. Koscielny was adjudged to have impeded Mike Williamson in an aerial contest. It looked a soft spot-kick but the home players and supporters were not complaining.

Arsenal had simply gone to pieces. They couldn’t cope with the barrage of attacks that the Magpies’ were throwing at them. Yet, it had to take something special to complete the comeback. Barton’s free-kick was cleared away but only to the path of Tiote who produced one of the most iconic moments in Premier League history.

His volley was sublime and it nestled into the bottom corner, giving Szczesny little chance of saving his shot. The whole place went berserk. Pardew’s passion clear to see; players chased Tiote down the field and started jumping on him. Meanwhile, Arsenal simply looked dazed and confused. How had they managed to let this advantage slip away?

We will see many great comebacks in years to come in the Premier League but they will do well to match Newcastle United’s incredible recovery in this match of February 2011.


Premier League Files: Cheick Tiote

Premier League Career: Newcastle United (2010-2016)

Cheick Tiote had a very impressive football career. A title winner in the Netherlands and part of the Ivory Coast squad that won the 2015 African Cup of Nations, he spent seven seasons with Newcastle United and always gave his all to the club. He was a fans’ favourite and he will be dearly missed by so many in the game.

He arrived on Tyneside in the summer of 2010 after impressing for Anderlecht in Belgium, then being part of the FC Twente squad that surprised Dutch heavyweights Ajax and PSV Eindhoven to win the 2009-2010 Eredivisie title. Steve McClaren was in charge of the club at the time and he would recommend Tiote to the Newcastle board before signing on at St James’ Park. On joining the club, he told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle: “It’s a great thrill for me to be joining such a famous club as Newcastle United.”

His debut was an impressive one at Goodison Park against Everton. Newcastle won the game 1-0 with a brilliant strike from Hatem Ben Afra but it was Tiote’s control of the midfield that won many plaudits. He achieved a 100% pass success rate, was successful in every tackle he made and even managed a shot on target, which wasn’t one of his main strengths.

In February 2011, he went down in Newcastle folklore with his one and only goal for the club. Tiote hit an unstoppable 25-yard volley to complete the club’s amazing comeback in a home match with Arsenal. Alan Pardew’s side were 4-0 down at half-time but came back to claim an unlikely and heroic draw. Tiote’s goal was voted in the Premier League’s top three strikes of the season.

Many believed his best season came in 2011-2012. Despite a knee injury in October that sidelined him for two months and international commitments, Tiote made 24 appearances in all competitions and played a major role in the club’s outstanding season. His shielding role protected the defenders and enabled the creative talents of Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye and Papiss Cisse to sparkle. Newcastle went into the final day still with an outside chance of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League. A 3-1 defeat to Everton ensured they would finish fifth but above Chelsea and Liverpool FC. Two seasons after returning to the top-flight, life felt good for the Geordie faithful.

Tiote was linked to several Premier League clubs that summer. Manchester United and Arsenal both made tentative enquiries but Newcastle insisted he wasn’t for sale. 2012-2013 was a disappointing season for player and club and saw him pick up the only red card of his Newcastle league career in a Tyne & Wear derby against Sunderland.

Pardew noted his leadership qualities though in the dressing room and when Fabricio Coloccini was ruled out of a game against Liverpool FC in October 2013, Tiote wore the armband for the first time in his Newcastle career. In January 2014, he scored a fantastic goal against Manchester City which was controversially and wrongly disallowed by the officials. Tiote was already celebrating what he thought was only his second goal for the club but Mike Jones chalked the goal off. He believed Yoan Gouffran had interfered with Joe Hart’s vision of the strike. It was an extremely harsh decision.

Injuries started to take their toll and when Pardew left to fill the Crystal Palace vacancy in January 2015, Tiote’s form tailed off. He was linked to moves abroad but despite interest from Russian and Turkish clubs, no formal bids were made. In 2015-2016, he often had to play back-up to Moussa Sissoko and Georginio Wijnaldum and he couldn’t stop the club sliding back into the Championship.

With the likes of Jack Colback and Isaac Hayden now part of the Newcastle midfield choices; Rafa Benitez elected to keep Tiote for the 2016-2017 campaign but only as a squad player. He came off the bench in a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa and featured in both FA Cup third round ties against Birmingham City in January 2017. However, his days at the club were numbered.

He was sold to the riches of the Chinese League, joining Beijing Enterprises in February 2017. He appeared in every league match for the side including a 4-2 win on Saturday, 3 June against Yingli Yitong in a 4-2 victory.

On 5 June 2017, Tiote suffered a suspected heart attack in training with his Chinese club and collapsed. He was rushed to hospital but despite the best efforts of medical staff, he died later in the day. He was just 30-years-old.

Whilst at Newcastle, he discussed about his upbringing, mentioning: “Growing up in Abidjan, I knew what I wanted to do and made sure that this was going to be my life. But I worked and worked and worked for it and it is because of that hard work that I have managed to make it.”

Cheick Tiote leaves behind many memories for Newcastle United fans. His death is a sad end to a strong and combative career which provided moments many won’t forget – especially that goal against Arsenal.

My thoughts are with Newcastle United, Beijing Enterprises and Cheick’s family and friends.

Cheick Tiote – 1986-2017


Rafa Benitez (Newcastle United manager): “It is with great sadness that I have this afternoon learned of Cheick’s death. In all the time that I have known him, he was a true professional, dedicated, talented, and above all, a great man. Our hearts go out to his family and friends at such a sad time.”

Alan Pardew (Newcastle United manager – 2010-2014): “From the moment I arrived at Newcastle, Cheick was a wonderful presence around the dressing room and his performances on the field often defied belief. None of us will ever forget that incredible day when our Newcastle team came from 4-0 down to draw an unbelievable Premier League game against Arsenal, with Cheick’s incredible goal in the final moments of that game one of the iconic moments in Premier League history.”

“To hear the news that he has passed away at the age of 30 breaks my heart and my sympathies go out to all his family and friends who will be devastated by this news. Life if not fair sometimes and I will remember Cheick Tiote as a giant of a midfielder who I loved to managed. I loved him. He’s everything that you want in a Newcastle player. He has the quality, and of course you’ll never underestimate the fact that he wants to win.”

Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace player): “May God watch over you! Words fail me to describe my sadness…I’m really devastated. We will all miss you.” #RIPCheicky

Lynsey Hipgrave (Newcastle fan and presenter of the Football League show on Channel Five): “So shocked & saddened to hear of the passing of Cheick Tioté, so so young. Thoughts with his friends & family. #nufcfamily

Siem de Jong (Ex-Newcastle teammate of Tiote): “Terrible news, R.I.P. Tiote. Always enjoyed sitting next to you in the dressing room my friend.”

Paul Dummett (Newcastle United player): “Gutted to hear the news. A real nice guy. He helped me a lot as I was breaking into the first team so I can’t thank him enough.

Great Goals: Cheick Tiote – NEWCASTLE UNITED vs. Arsenal (February 2011)

Newcastle United had it all to do at half-time of this match against Arsenal. They were trailing 4-0 and looked completely out of the contest. Yet, they pulled the score back to 4-3 with just moments left to play.

Joey Barton takes a free-kick which is cleared by Laurent Koscielny. The Frenchman’s header though only goes as far as Cheick Tiote. The Ivorian connects sublimely with the loose ball and volleys it into the back of Wojciech Szczesny’s net.

St James’ Park erupts in scenes of jubilation and disbelief. On the touchline, Alan Pardew’s passion is clear to see. Newcastle have just completed one of the greatest comebacks ever seen in English football.

Cheick Tiote tragically died on 5 June 2017 after suffering a heart attack whilst training at his club in China. He was just 30-years old. He will always leave this memory with Newcastle United supporters.