Now that the dust has settled after an eventful game between Newcastle United and Manchester City, it was nice to see a Toon player emerge as a great role model for youngsters
Cheick Tiote’s thumping shot was disallowed by referee Mike Jones, but the midfielder has leapt to the defence of Jones, who has been demoted to fourth official duties on Saturday.
He said: “I sympathise with the referee because it is a difficult decision to make and the rules do not help. It was going so fast, so quick. The referee was the only man on the pitch who could decide that.
“We need to accept that. There’s no point going over it and over it, we must move on.”
This is a very mature, adult approach to the referee’s decision, especially as it was a brilliant strike and would have brought the hosts back into a match they ended up losing 2-0.
Professional footballers are often pilloried for the bad example that they set for the younger generation, but on this occasion Tiote should be applauded for defending the match official.
The Ivorian certainly enjoys getting stuck into a challenge and collected yellow cards aplenty in his first three seasons in England, but this season he has improved his disciplinary record, and also seems to have returned to top form after struggling to impress last season.
I think his manager Alan Pardew could well take a leaf out of Tiote’s book, as his latest touchline antics saw him spouting expletives at his City counterpart Manuel Pellegrini in the wake of the disallowed goal.
The FA have decided that a verbal reprimand is sufficient to deal with the swearing Pardew, I would imagine that the Newcastle manager’s swift apology to the Chilean after the game helped in this matter.
Considering Pardew’s animated touchline antics in the past he may well have feared another stint watching his side from the stands.
The issue of swearing on the football pitch has always baffled me, as it seems the professionals are not punished as much as the grass roots players.
I would imagine the decision to sideline the referee was also partially due to his failure to show a red card after a heavy challenge by Newcastle defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa on the knee of City’s French midfielder Samir Nasri, who will be out of action for up to eight weeks.