Cheick Tiote was up in court today facing charges of fraud. One count of masquerading as a professional footballer, one charge of obtaining extortionate Premier League wages by deception and one charge of royally p***ing me off last season. Serious stuff. All kidding aside, Tiote was actually in court today in relation to driving offences. He is accused of possessing a false identification document, making false representation as well as making a false statement to obtain insurance.
He was stopped by police in February of this year and has been bailed until October 2013 when he will face these charges.
Surely with all that has been going on in Tiote’s personal life, he is not in the frame of mind to face Aston Villa this Saturday? I suppose the same could be said for Loic Remy but the key difference is this – I want Remy to play, and I want Tiote on the bench. I admit it, I will cling on to anything that will help justify my pleas for Alan Pardew to drop Cheick Tiote. But answer me this. Should I have to plead? It is clear as night and day that Tiote is not good enough, or at the very least should spend some time on the bench.
I am conscious that I am beating this drum very hard (not a euphemism people) but I passionately think that we need to think bigger, bolder and more ambitious for this season. The first step in that process is to explore life without Tiote in the team.
What do you think? Should we let him unleash his frustrations on Villa this weekend or let him sit on the bench? Am I digging in to Tiote too much? Do others deserve more criticism? Or should I back off entirely? Let me know what you think.