Over the past few minutes the news out of China has been awful with the passing of former Anderlecht midfielder Cheick Tiote. The Ivorian was an energetic, hustle and bustle sort of midfielder who put himself about to say the least.
Beginning his career in Brussels he had a successful spell in this region of Europe. Firstly at Anderlecht where he won 2 league titles, although he didn’t see much playing time unfortunately, but flourished in Holland and England. He took the route most African players seemed to take through Belgium and then onto pastures new, and even though, as stated, his playing time was limited, sometimes due to injury, the club must’ve given him a taste of what was to come in Europe before Twente and Newcastle United.
Heading north to Enschade, he was very successful winning a league and was runner up in the cup for a second time, previously whilst he was on loan at Roda JC. He was pivotal in what looks now a fantastic side that deservedly won the Eredivisie ahead of Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord.
England was next with a short trip to Newcastle where again he was very successful as a key player, just not trophy wise. The Ivorian was key to all that was positive for the club, where he helped them reach 5th and earned his manager the LMA Manager of the Season. He was linked to the top sides in the country, including my club, but I don’t want to bring up off field problems at a time like this.
Sadly, his last destination in his career was in Beijing. Only 30 years old, he still had plenty of time left in Europe and for the national side, where he helped them win the African Cup of Nations. A fine defensive midfielder who will be missed at all his previous clubs and by opposition too.
RIP Cheick Tiote…