Newcastle leave Cheick Tiote out fearing suspension
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has reluctantly left midfielder Cheick Tiote to sulk his way through the final weeks of the season after deciding not to risk another ban.
Pardew will not play the Ivory Coast international at Chelsea on Sunday and will almost certainly leave him out of the final day clash with West Brom after he collected his 14th booking of the season against Birmingham last weekend.
A 15th would land the former FC Twente player a fourth ban of the campaign - he has already missed six games, five of them under his current boss - and rule him out of the start of the new season.
Tiote was desperate to play against the Blues - he has previously spoken of his admiration for Ghana international Michael Essien - but Pardew insists he has little choice but to leave him out.
The manager said: "He wants to play. He's not happy and he will probably go home and sulk this afternoon.
"No one is more disappointed than me. I love the boy and I want him to play, but I can't afford to miss him for two games next year, I just can't.
"He misses this one and he will probably miss West Brom - that will be eight games for me and I can't afford that.
"We have had Hatem (Ben Arfa) out all year and we lost Andy Carroll, so to have Cheick missing for eight games is a hell of a handicap to carry, and we have done it really, really well as a group. We have been terrific.
"But at some point, you need your best players on the pitch and he is one of my best players. That's something we have definitely got to sort out next year."
Tiote's disciplinary record has been the only negative of a hugely successful first season in English football, and while Pardew believes he has been unfortunate at times, he knows that is something he cannot allow to continue.
He said: "It's fairly obvious that we need to correct that next year, and that's something I have talked to him about this week.
"I will talk to him again before he goes away for the summer. He can't take 14 bookings in a season.
"He has been unlucky a couple of times, but unfortunately, that isn't going to wear.
"Referees need to get used to the fact that he is competitive and he is strong in the challenge because four of five of his bookings have just been strong, strong challenges that perhaps if you understood the player, you would know there was nothing wrong with them, they were just good physical challenges.
"There's a situation where he needs to adjust, and also the familiarity with the way he plays will allow referees to understand he is a fair player.
"In terms of his tackling this year, he hasn't hurt anybody or looked to hurt anybody. He's just not that type."
Alan Smith will be involved in the squad following his return from a long-standing ankle ligament injury, but is unlikely to start, while youngsters Kazenga LuaLua, Greg McDermott and Sammy Ameobi, the younger brother of Shola, will also be included.
Pardew intends to blood some of his emerging stars in the last two games, and admits the fact that the Barclays Premier League title may already have been secured by Manchester United tomorrow afternoon is a help.
He said: "It would have been very, very difficult - for example, the Cheick situation would have been a very, very difficult call for me if Chelsea had won at Manchester United, so that's made a little bit easier by that result.
"Of course, the league isn't won yet and we will still put out a professional, strong team. We want to win at Chelsea."
Apple agrees deal with Visa on contactless payments
Latest in Sport
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal offloads fringe players as he looks to the long term
Radamel Falcao transfer latest: Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City linked with blockbuster move
Tottenham to offer Andros Townsend to Southampton in £14m deadline day bid for Jay Rodriguez
Tottenham vs Liverpool player ratings: Who was the star man? Raheem Sterling? Alberto Moreno? Or new-boy Mario Balotelli?
Everton vs Chelsea player ratings: Who was best in the nine-goal thriller at Goodison?
- 1 Is Apple's iCloud safe after leak of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities' nude photos?
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward