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  1. This is something i've had on my chest for a while now so thought i'd test the water on here and see what people think. Now I understand that i've picked a horrible time to champion his candidacy - less than 24 hours after a calamitous mistake that effectively killed Ivory Coast's World Cup campaign - but I'd like to see Tiote swap roles with Coloccini and made club captain next season. To be brutally honest I was never a huge advocate of Colo taking the captains armband. True he's carried out the role with great dignity and diplomacy but I just don't share faith, which I consider to be misplaced, Pardew has in him to lead Newcastle on the field. To my mind Colo has always been found wanting in that particular area - he's never been the most vocal of leaders - and when we're enduring a rocky patch or have fallen behind in a game I find that he has a tendency to hide from the pressure of stepping up to that particular plate. This is especially prevalent at the tail end of last season and when he beat a hasty retreat back to Argentina early in 2013. Plus, with Cabaye gone (his tenancy as captain during Colo's absent can be chalked down as a failed experiment) i'd like to see Tiote given the opportunity to stake a claim to be our permanent captain. Doesn't necessarily mean that Colo's voice will become less important in the dressing room but more that the leadership burden on the field will be reduced and his focus re-aligned. He is, in my humble opinion, is the captain we NEED right now. Last season was Tiote's best since his first at Newcastle (2010/11) and we saw a more consistent, disciplined and sagacious player, especially when he carried that extra authority. It imbued him a greater sense of responsibility and brought a maturer edge to his game. Aside from the Swansea defeat at SJP it's hard to think of Tiote making any grave errors during 2013/14. Not so much an accident waiting to happen anymore. The raw statistics add weight to that theory: He averaged 3.2 tackles per game (TPG), committed just 2 fouls per game (FPG) and picked up 10 yellows from 22 appearances last season. Compare this with the aforementioned 10/11 campaign, where he averaged 3.3 TPG, made 3 FPG and accrued 14 yellow cards. He also achieved a pass success percentage of 87% for the first time since coming to England. Additionally, being fulcrum of our midfield gives him greater scope to influence the game when the situation requires, something Colo is unable to do from defence, and he'd be a more commanding voice from his central perch, which is something we've missed in the last two seasons. And at 28 I think it's the ideal time for Pardew to consider Tiote as the long-term alternative to Coloccini who, lets face facts, would have been long gone by now had San Lorenzo been able to afford him.
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