Newcastle United’s 2-0 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge only contained positives for the Magpies, but I feel that two Blues, midfielder John Obi Mikel and caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo, haven’t come out of the match smelling of roses and should take a look at themselves and their actions.
In regards to John Obi Mikel, the incident that I’m not happy with is the elbow on Newcastle’s Mr T, Cheick Tiote. Just a few minutes before Mikel and Tiote challenged for the ball in the air, the Ivorian caught the Nigerian in a fair tackle and I don’t think Mikel liked being on the wrong end of Tiote. So when the pair jumped for a header, the Chelsea midfielder clearly led with an elbow, which Tiote took the full force of.
I think it was extremely naughty from Mikel, should have resulted in a red card and the injury to Tiote could have been even worse. As it was, Tiote had to be treated on the pitch for around ten minutes and had a large gash on his face, which he had to have 40 stitches to treat! Luckily Tiote is ok and should be fit to face Manchester City at St James’ Park on Sunday.
To be fair to Tiote, he’s taken it really well and told the Chronicle after the game that: “I spoke to John Obi Mikel afterwards and it’s fine. It was purely an accident from him. If you play in midfield you have to let people hurt you and be ready for it.” I’m afraid I disagree, though. Tough tackling is part of the game, cheap elbows are not.
Then there’s Chelsea’s caretaker manager Roberto DI Matteo, who I used to have a lot of respect for, but some of that was lost when he made his comments after the game. The football world was in awe of Papiss Cisse’s second strike of the night, with many labelling it as the goal of the season, but in what can only be described as sour grapes, Di Matteo questioned whether Cisse meant it.
In his post-match interview Di Matteo said: “The second one [goal], I don’t think he knew what he was doing”. Are you having a laugh Roberto? You’ve just seen one of the greatest goals of the season and you question whether Cisse knew what he was doing! There is such a thing as being gracious in defeat, which would reflect much better on you than being a sore loser.
Anyway, John Obi Mikel and Roberto Di Matteo have gone down in my estimations after their actions last night, at least Chelsea trio Didier Drogba, Petr Cech and Ashley Cole, who had the perfect view from the bench, appreciated how good a goal Cisse’s second was.
Try telling Steve Claridge that Papiss Cisse didn’t mean it…