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Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has admitted his disappointment at discovering that tenacious midfielder Cheick Tiote was sent off during the night.
Tiote has come under fire for his physical approach to the game, which has seen him booked 29 times in his last 59 matches and claimed scores of lives.
However, the Ivorian stayed out of trouble in a 1-0 Europa League win over Club Bruges on Thursday evening, making up for his early dismissal against Sunderland last weekend.
All seemed well in the Newcastle camp, until manager Pardew received a call at 2am.
“The voice at the end of the line told me that Cheick had been sent off,” Pardew told FourFourTwo.
“Apparently he’s put in a late challenge on Vadis Odjijda-Ofoe by the luggage carousel at Ostend-Bruges Airport. I’ve seen the replay and to be fair the ball is gone by nearly five hours.
“But I can’t help but think the other lad’s made rather a lot of it. If you can’t run into the back of a yawning opponent with a luggage cart then I worry that the physical side of the game is disappearing.”
Tiote will miss Newcastle’s next three Premier League games against West Brom, Liverpool and West Ham before returning against Swansea where he has already been booked.
“I didn’t see the incident,” Pardew shrugged. “The referee’s told me that Tiote’s upended Leon Britton’s shopping trolley in Lidl. In my opinion that’s a real Waitrose yellow, I don’t know how the ref thinks anyone gets home from Lidl with a packet of German chocolate biscuits.”
FourFourTwo attempted to interview Tiote but he declined to comment, instead issuing a firm elbow to the ribs.
Editor's note: this isn't a serious accusation and all quotes are fictionalised. But you knew that, because you're not stupid.
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