It’s hardly surprising that after another Man of the Match performance from Gael Bigirimana – he is well ahead in our voting with just over 50% of the vote – Alan Pardew has said the youngster will be pushing for a place in the Newcastle side, even when everybody is fit again.
Gael Bigirimana – in action last night in Madeira
The 18-year-old signing from Coventry for just £1M (what a great deal!), is already looking a top player for Newcastle and he was here, there and everywhere for the side last night, and he closed the back door almost every time there was a threat from Maritimo in the 0-0 draw in Madeira.
This is what a very pleased Alan Pardew said when Gael’s name was brought up last night after the game:
“He is calm, isn’t he? There were times when the game got too open, really, for us. We were trying to win it and leaving ourselves a bit open, and it was him nine times out of 10 who was shutting the door and then being calm and composed. This is a boy who is 18 years old. He has got a great future.”
”You could criticise my selection in terms of experienced players here, but these guys, it’s massive for them. As we go along and we got more options for me in terms of fitness, Bigi is going to play himself into being right in with a sniff even when everybody is back, like he did.”
“They are important games because we have got no travelling, so it will be just like a midweek game for us and I don’t see any problem in selecting a team. After Bordeaux’s result against Bruges, it is everything on the line for Bruges probably in our game. “That’s a very important game in terms of the league and we need to win it.”
“But I am well-armed. We could still suffer a couple of injuries between now and that game – who’s to say we are not going to lose any more players? I am just fingers crossed that some are going to come back and we will be stronger.”
In the other group game last night Bordeaux beat Club Brugge at home 4-0, and Newcastle’s next game is against Bordeaux on Thursday October 4th at St. James Park, so a win there would put us into a good position.
We watched Tottenham’s 0-0 draw with Lazio last night at White Hart Lane, and Spurs had their top side out with all their stars in the side, so at least they are playing their best side in Europe – unlike Newcastle.
We wonder if Alan Pardew will play a much stronger side when we play these games at home, since there’s no travelling involved – he seems to suggest that in his comments.
We’ll see, but the aim has to be to progress beyond the group stages, and Alan is right – some players like Gael Bigirimana could prove to be a top player for Newcastle through playing in these European games.
This lad should surely be brought into the England 21 set-up now.
You can also reach Ed at email@example.com
Buy your Newcastle tickets here.