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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Anita Best Full Back On The Books – Bigirimana Looked Good

10:41 am, Monday, September 3rd, 2012 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 56 Comments

One of the good things about the game yesterday was the form of both Vurnon Anita and 18 year-old Gael Bigirimana, with Anita looking good both in central midfield and at right back, and Gael having a very solid game in the middle of the park in the biggest test of his career so far on Tyneside.

Vurnon Anita - looked good at right back

Both are featuring in our Man of the Match poll with Gael on 24% of the vote,  behind Ben Arfa (who else?) at 51%, and for the third league game in a row the mercurial (I love that word!) Frenchman was Newcastle’s best player.

And Vurnon Anita is in 4th place in the vote on 7%, and he gave a great display at right back after replacing the injured Danny Simpson, and the truth is that Vurnon is probably the best full back we have on the books.

The Dutch International can play on either side, and when Danny Simpson and Cheick Tiote both return, we would expect Vurnon Anita to be a starter in some position on the field.

Vurnon’s  looking an excellent player for Newcastle, and he saved us a few times yesterday.

When asked about the full back positions – with both Ryan Taylor and Danny Simpson now injured – this is what Alan Pardew told the local press:

“I don’t think we’ve got a massive problem there,” countered Pardew. “We lost Ryan one day before the transfer window closed and so the opportunity to get a player good enough for us was very, very slim.”

“We’ve got great replacements. Anita went back in there and probably saved a point with two great headers at the far post – and his quality going forward helped us.”

And David Santon is looking good this season too, and seems to getting the hang of the Premier League, and there’s no doubt this lad is a good player on the ball, and tried to get forward as much as possible yesterday.

Vurnon said he wanted to play a lot of games for Newcastle this season, and he has already made four appearances for the side, and with Danny Simpson injured he will probably continue at right back, and if Cheick isn’t available for the Everton game we expect Alan Pardew to keep playing Gael Bigiirmana in central midfield.

Gael was given his biggest test so far in his very short career at Newcastle, and he got a warm reception from the home crowd and didn’t look out of place, and he’s an intelligent lad too, because he plays the easy ball all the time, and that’s always the sign of a very good player – he makes it look easy.

In the second half he was slightly to the right of midfield and then put a wonderful cross-filed ball out to Coloccini on the left wing, and we had to look twice to see it was Gael who did that.

This lad looks very good, and if he continues with this kind of form he will be pushing for a first team position later this season, , even though he is only 18 years old.

We didn’t sign enough players in the summer, but yesterday Gael and Vurnon showed they already look two excellent acquisitions for Newcastle, and if it was a disappointing result yesterday (it was), the form of these two players gives us some real optimism for the future – we just need more players signed.

Note to Graham Carr and the scouting staff – we need two unknown players to sign in January.

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Tags: Gael Bigirimana · Hatem Ben Arfa · Newcastle News · Poll · Vurnon Anita


56 responses so far ↓

  • 1 cndrbrown // Sep 3, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Anita almost looks more comfortable at the back?

  • 2 89Norcal // Sep 3, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    As long as we can get a good 4-3-3 flowing, Anita will have plenty of opportunities to display his class, I’m sure.

    But the static 4-4-2 we are running is not taking advantage of our players.

  • 3 cndrbrown // Sep 3, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Also hearing reports of van der wiel to psg

  • 4 geordiemacc // Sep 3, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    One of the real positives yesterday was the introduction of bigi and anita. Both I felt had decent games yesterday. Anita slipped into right back effortlessly and bigi, for one do young showed glimpses of real promise.

  • 5 SupaToonKid // Sep 3, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    So glad we have an international break hopefully allow Cabaye, Ba & Cissé to get some kind of form also allow Tioté, Shola etc to get fit.

  • 6 Markaccus // Sep 3, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    I’m very surprised hba leading the poll, on the strength of the goal. He did very little besides that yesterday. Anita or bigi deserve it more. Hba still a great player, just had an off day for 89.5 of the 90 mins.

  • 7 SupaToonKid // Sep 3, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    A lot of us have been calling Pards to drop Cissé and go to a 4-2-3-1 with Marveaux on the left and Ba up top on his own (me included). I suspect that Pards however may keep Sylvain under wraps like he did with Ben Arfa and slowly adapt him instead of throwing him straight in. It work with Benny so I have faith that Pardew will treat the situation with Marv similarly well so the team gets maximum results.

  • 8 steveno7 // Sep 3, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Anita ahowed simmo how a right should play. sergin foward good balls in t box .defendin well not gettin overun and christ this boys quick .
    We can counter so quick wit anita as long as t rest can keep up.
    we have 2 very attack minded fb’ . i would keep him there even when simmo is back. bigi is good enuf to step in to the frey now. way ahead of a normal teen. he will be amazin very soon.

  • 9 davybtoon // Sep 3, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    I thought santon was easily mom he was the best player from start to finish

  • 10 TorqToon // Sep 3, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    If somebody bids £40 for HBA he will be sold ! And we will reinvest that money wisely. Just as we did with the AC Money.

    Unfortunately we are not into the ‘big club’ status yet so will always need to sell if big money bids come in.

  • 11 Rotonda heights // Sep 3, 2012 at 10:55 AM


    Sorry ed’s going so fast, but just to say I agreed totally on the previous thread.


    Anita / santon Colo Saylor Santon / Anita

    Tiote Bigi


    Benny Ba / Cisse Marveaux

  • 12 TorqToon // Sep 3, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    Davy – Gotta say, I agree ! He was superb and looks better with each game!

    Bigi and Anita both played great mind you!

  • 13 davybtoon // Sep 3, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Yea Anita has everything to b an amazing rb he should stay there n play biggie in cm I swear this kid if he gets run of games will jus get better n better n with tiote next to him excited about that

  • 14 Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand // Sep 3, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    No matter what out status, if a £40m offer comes in for any of our players they will likely be out the door. That is an obscene amount of money and there are only a few players in history who have been sold for that amount.

    Benny is a top quality player, but £40m would be a decent sale amount. Anyway, we have 4 months without any comings or goings, let’s worry about that late December

  • 15 RonVanDam // Sep 3, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    Ben afa reminded me of Hulk for some reason yesterday

  • 16 ppb // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    @rvd the player or the big green guy?

  • 17 davybtoon // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Torq – yea santon, Anita n biggie best 3 players
    Hard to Believe biggie only played about 27 games at first team level n he’s that good u would think he had played a 100

  • 18 TorqToon // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Ibiza – After getting into it with the trolls and neggers on Saturday night, I wish I’d done the same and stayed away! :-)

  • 19 ochytoon // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    So John Henry has written an open letter to the fans regarding Liverpools failings in the transfer window (not in it for profit, reversing mistakes of previous regimes etc.). If only Ashley would do something like that.

  • 20 davybtoon // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    We can stop doin this oh we will sell him after you realise how good a player is

    We need hba on a new 5 year deal along with ba n cabaye, that way if we did have to sell we can get top dollar

  • 21 TorqToon // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Ochy – I thought the same mate. Would be nice to have some communication from big mike but I don’t see it happening any time soon! :-)

  • 22 davybtoon // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Ochy the board did do that n they did explain the way transfers n the club would b run it’s just some fans can’t except it

  • 23 Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Torq….Don’t worry, I’ve had many days and nights where I’ve thought, why did I bother? Just couldn’t do it this weekend.

    We’ve got a long season ahead and if 4 points from Spurs, Chelsea and Villa is a disaster, then positive thinkers are in for a tough time on here.

  • 24 Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Didn’t we get an open letter last season? Nothing has changed, just our expectations (you know, as we got so close last year, surely we must change the plan that got us there).

  • 25 ochytoon // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    I don’t remember an open letter last year. Anyway Ibiza, we have actually dropped 2 points from these fixtures from last season.

  • 26 ppb // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    @ochy but chelski are a far improved side since the same fixture last year

  • 27 Rotonda heights // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    supa toon kid,

    That’s fair enough but if cisse and ba are to be played in the same team, Ba has to go wide out left in a front 3 and stop whinging about it.

    Pardew seems to be caught between playing his best players and the best formation for the team.

    Nobody would wish injury on simpson, but Anita showed more adventure and footballing ability, not to mention speed than in 40 mins than I’ve ever seen from Simpson.

  • 28 calvinzolamakongo // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Tbh IMO I got a bit edgey everytime anita got the ball all he did was dink it into BA thought he was gonna score a OG with one of his bk post headers and other times he just passed it out of play but positives is that his quick and quick on the overlap and always looks for it but it time the negatives will stop

  • 29 Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Ochy…..Pretty sure they set out “the plan” in an open letter to the fans. Not 100% though and it wouldn’t hurt to get more info from them on a regular basis.

    Ochy….We have indeed, although 3 points at the Bridge last season is not a reasonable expectation every year. I would imagine we’ll better results from last season over the course of this one. Maybe not.

    P.S. I think I may have missed a joke you made Friday night, apologies if I got the wrong end of the stick, sense of humour took a bit of a beating :)

  • 30 Shane // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    So C.Ronaldo has revealed he is no longer happy at Real Madrid…

    Worth a cheeky bid? :-) a straight swap with Xisco could clinch it. You have to be bold!

  • 31 yorkshire_magpie // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Heard klasnic is a free agent. I think we should snap him up. He’s a quality finisher and as we all know we do need a extra striker.

  • 32 Les Grossman // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    For 40m id snap anyones hand of for any of our players.
    But we all know that only 6m will be reinvested!

    Here lieth the problem and the cause of much angst between supporters.

    Bills-son will be on next …. ‘ ill eat straw with a mackem donkey if MA doesnt spend the money on players’

  • 33 beefman13 // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    Our scouting system is second to none, christ we could have damian comoli buying our players for massive fees and look at most of them, just like he did at spurs, that fella is a club wrecker, another player we bought in amilifatano will also show he is a class act as well loads of skill and vision, it will give cabaye something to think about maybe push him on a bit more. i am hoping cabaye has not been tapped up he had the same look in his eyes for most of yesterdays game as enrique did after liverpool tapped him bit like a shark nothing going on, no emotion.

  • 34 brighter // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Anita is not deserve to play at central midfield but looked good little bit at right back position.
    Ed Please you do not overrate him than his real ability.

  • 35 beefman13 // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    liverfool 120 million in two seasons??? are they any better than us???? they have spent nearly ten times what we have, theres is not the way forward, it blows clubs up.

  • 36 beefman13 // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    brighter , anita has played three games for us and is improving all the time he is the dutch international midfielder for god sake, he is top drawer.

  • 37 Munster Mag // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Ashley looks very clever when he put guys on 5 yr contracts and then prices of 25 mill on their heads. That wont work once a player wants to move. And we’ll see that next summer if we dont start to make sure we get a few more players of quality in. Billson and Co, please note, I’m not asking for a return to the days on buying Michael Owen etc. The second issue, is that if we sell, say Cabaye, for 20 mill, we’ll only invest about 5 mill of the money back. So Barclays will be happy, but I feel we could push the boat out a bit more. Debuchy was a massive case in point, but hopefully Anita may be every bit as good, and maybe more :)

  • 38 Munster Mag // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    I missed Sky highlights last night. How did Santon do defensively?

  • 39 beefman13 // Sep 3, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    munster, there is always this negativity in your posts, look amilifatano cost nothing he has as much skill as cabaye he can beat a player has more pace and great vision, great scouting, go and support liverpool you are just a moan.

  • 40 deeeeeeano // Sep 3, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Munster, santon had a great game defensively and attacking, just wasn’t used as much as he should have as was having success down the left. He was my man of the match. Also loved the old fella sitting beside me call him suntan everytime he touched the ball

  • 41 croftus5678 // Sep 3, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    i thought we played very well and ba was our best striker in all pre season and 1st few games and they can link up in a 442 i think they just need to learn there positions and they did tend to go to the same spot a few times cisse is lacking a little confidence and sharpness atm but he was never going to always score in every game even shearer went on a 15 or so goal drought.

    we still have perch/anita/santon/tav/guti for the lb/rb slots and fergi coming back soon i hope so were still pretty solid back there but i dont question pards with what he did bleeding arfa in slowly but i really think marv has a lot to offer.

  • 42 nufc 11 // Sep 3, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Couple of things I noticed yest we are no where near the same team without tiote, the steven taylor ,colo partnership isnt as good as willo and colo, and anita is a fart better Rb than simo.

  • 43 croftus5678 // Sep 3, 2012 at 12:19 PM


    while i agree tiote is a very real presence that scares teams and gives our whole team the advantage and that your right in anita being awsome in rb as he read the minds of our defenders perfectly in filling in for them and looked every bit as good a defender as i have seen in letting santon attack while he made a very solid back 3 i must disagree with the taylor/colo partnership as willo makes far too many mistakes for me and even though taylor had a badish game yesterday he normally is very solid and bullish and does not give penalties away like willo

  • 44 danishmag // Sep 3, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    fantastic window..
    We needed the following:
    Right back… Anita
    Central defender… Tayls back and young Good
    Central midfield back up… Young Bigi
    Striker.. Adam Campbell looks fine

    Why on earth spend silly money, when no need?
    We might should have gotten a better central defender, but thats all.. And nono of our best best players left!

    Good window, and almost no money spend. Can do that i january, if needed!

    Scum spend money they dont really have.. A.Johnson and Fletcher.. how much is that spend?.. 20 mill?

  • 45 ITUNDERASHELL // Sep 3, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    We will be playing a lot more games this season so why not share the striker role between Cisse and Ba?
    Either a half a piece or a game a piece? Then we can play a more fluid system, with Tiote and Bigi as holding midfielders and Anita in one of the wing back roles.
    Anyone else notice Benny’s new physic, he has definitely bulked up.

  • 46 darrenfletcher88 // Sep 3, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Bigi was out his depth yesterday

  • 47 amble_ball // Sep 3, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Well this article is just wrong. Santon is clearly the best full-back we have on the books; he was excellent yesterday and is getting better every game. Furthermore, Anita was very poor in central midfield; his touch was awful and he only started to look better when he was shifted to right back

  • 48 Ketsbaia9 // Sep 3, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Anita is equivalent to Santon at full-back. They’re both good players. We need to sign a new full-back in January as Anita should be playing in Defensive Midfield.

    Xisco should be in the first team squad in place of Shola. We can’t expect Ba and Cisse to play every game. Give Xisco the chance and make sensible additions in January (i.e. Remy/Sulejmani, Boudebouz, Debuchy and Alderewereild).

  • 49 Zebras4Life // Sep 3, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Anita and Bigi looked poor? Give me a break. Looked far better than Cabaye. Cisse. Ba. Taylor. Jonas.

  • 50 BigKirky // Sep 3, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Shame about Abeid being not as favoured as first thought.

  • 51 Ketsbaia9 // Sep 3, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Bigirimana did a lot of poor things, but he got better as the game went on. He looks a good signing. I still would prefer Abeid to play ahead of him though. In my opinion Abeid is above of Vuckic and Gosling in the pecking order. Cabaye needs to up his game as does Cisse.

  • 52 cockneymagpie90 // Sep 3, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    As iv said from when Anita came to to this club the other week, the formation/line up should be as follows….



    I dunno about other peoples opinoins but i definately think this line up can challenge any team in pl. Lets hope Alan sees it before our next game!!!!

  • 53 Premiership Manager // Sep 3, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    £40M for our midfielders?

    Mark my words, a cash bid of £15M would very likely secure any of them! Forget the bullshit business is business and £10M profit over a two year period is a very good investment especially if you have a £2-5M replacement lined up and somebody 18-20 who can step up to the mark and increase their market value while doing so.

    I honestly think some people live in cuckoo land.

    We have a very good squad but being brutally honest it will be very diffficult to improve on last years league position and 4th-6th th place would be a very good finish to the season.

    We are still building the team and a long way from the finished article but it will be several years before we can compete on a level playing field with MC, MU and Chelsea as we simply do not have the resources with full blown internationals sat on the bench.

    If we finish above Spurs, arsenal and Liverpool I will be more than happy as will the NUFC management team.

  • 54 Matthew Tom // Sep 3, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Anita Saylor Colo Suntan (love it!)
    Tiote Guti
    HBA Cabaye Amalfitano
    Ba/Cisse (definitely Ba just now)

    I thought Amalfitano looked lively, fast and skilful against Atromitos, a good signing and he’s not a kid he’s 22. Wingers don’t often get better than they are at 22.

  • 55 dunk // Sep 3, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    shame we only have Anita as full back but the shortsighted policy cost us Debuchy when a few dollars more could have clinched the deal Yes fiscal prudence is good but to not pay so little more could cost millions with a champions league spot as now we have lost two backs with injuries I appreciate hindsight is easy to say but we all knew we needed defenders at the start of the transfer window and did nothing. Not clever!!!

  • 56 matt11_25 // Sep 3, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    This article is pretty dumb hate to say it…. Anita may be fourth in the rankings for MOTM but SANTON IS IN 3RD!!!
    I thought he was great just needs that last touch reeled in and he will be deadly.. he looked solid defending.

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