We had wondered why Vurnon Anita did not play on Wednesday night in the Capital One Cup at Old Trafford, or last Sunday at Norwich, when he was an unused substitute, and we had thought with the recent arrival of his new baby girl, he had been turning up to training with red eyes and suffering from a lack of sleep.
Vurnon Anita - in action at Everton
Some of that may have been in Alan Pardew’s mind but he has said today he knew the intensity of the game at reading would be better suited to a player like Gael Bigirimana, who ended up having a good game in central midfield for Newcastle in the absence of Yohan Cabaye, but we were surprised that James Perch was preferred at right back to Anita, who has looked class when he’s played there for Newcastle this season.
This is what Alan Pardew told the local Newcastle press today:
“I knew the intensity of the game – it was going to be like a Championship game. It would have that kind of energy.” “I didn’t want Vurnon to get caught out by that. I thought that game might suit Bigi more than Anita.”
“I knew Bigi, being at Coventry last year, would know what it was all about at Reading.” “I thought he played well – he can be very proud of his performance.”
We expect Bigirimana to start against Bordeaux on Thursday night, and he should see a lot of playing time in the black and white shirt this season, if he keeps up his good form – and he looks a great young player in the making.
We expect Gael to even get a call-up for the England U21 side, since surely Stuart Pearce has been made aware of the 18 year-old’s form for Newcastle, one of Stuart’s former clubs.
As far as Vurnon Anita is concerned, he will continue to get used to the English way of playing the game we invented, but he has looked good for Newcastle so far this season, and we think he will turn out to be a good acquisition for the club, but we think full-back may be his best position at Newcastle.
We think the Dutch International has a bright future on Tyneside.
All the 23 year-old needs to do now is make sure he can get as much sleep as possible at night, after the arrival of the new baby in the home.
But speaking from experience, that’s sometimes very hard to do in the situation he is in.
Oh well – such is life.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org
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