It was as if Sir Bobby approved Tiote deal

By Lee Ryder on Feb 25, 11 01:36 PM

The alarm bells were ringing but there was no emergency at Newcastle United's Benton base as Cheick Tiote beamed proudly after signing a new six and a half year contract at St James' Park.

The alarm bells were a false alarm but there was nothing fake about Tiote's delight after signing a new deal.

And as the giant photographic portrait of Sir Bobby Robson provided the backdrop in Alan Pardew's office, it was if he was looking down and giving his very own seal of approval.

Certainly, the powerful midfielder is the sort of player that Sir Bob would have loved to have in his side.

It's a fair bet that Robson would have been delighted to see John Carver sign his new contract just a month after joining the Magpies as assistant boss.

You don't always into the manager's office at a Premier League football club - but this was a special invitation.

Of course, cynicism will always exist in football, especially when Geordie boy Andy Carroll departed the club less than a month ago.

It was only at Blackburn that Tiote had explained in an interview that he was so happy to be a Newcastle player and that he was looking forward to the next four years, well make that six now.

Judging by a smile the size of the Tyne Bridge you could tell that Tiote is keen to stay.

But he also stated he'd like to see new faces at Newcastle in his Press conference today.

And I think everybody on Tyneside would raise a glass to that.

If this encourages more players of his class to come in, how many will complain?

The Andy Carroll sale is one thing but who comes in to replace him is another.

My mind keeps going back to the sale of Andy Cole in a different era, under a different owner.

Then Cole was replaced by Les Ferdinand and others, like David Ginola, came in and bolstered a side that went on to challenge for the title.

Time will only tell if or how much of the £35million is spent.

Certainly no matter how many questions, any Premier League manager worth his salt is not going tell the world four months before the transfer window is even open.

For now, we have one happy Cheick Tiote on our hands, Hatem Ben Arfa and Dan Gosling to come back from injury and some stability in the backroom team and 11 games left to push on.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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