Gael Bigirimana – An Old Head On Young Shoulders

Gael Bigirimana will probably start the game against Bordeaux on Thursday night, and anybody who has seen his interviews, since he arrived at Newcastle, will know he’s a very religious person.

Gael Bigirimana – in action against Atromitos in August

Gael has given an interview in the local papers today and he talks about not wanting to be famous, and that he’s just like everybody else – well apart from being a fantastic footballer at just 18 years old..

This is what the 18 year-old said:

“I don’t like the word famous or the word idol for that matter. I would rather be an inspiration than famous. Fame could make other people look at me and think that I am different from them when I’m absolutely not.” “I play football in front of thousands of people, this is true.”

“But you could play football in front of 25 people and it’s just the same. I’m not better than the guy who plays with his friends for fun. My football might be a different level, but we are all people and we are all the same.”

“So I will never think that I’m famous because then you might start acting in a certain manner and thinking you are someone special. I’d rather set a good example to others.” “My faith does keep me grounded. I know not many people believe these days, but my God tells me to be humble and respect people.”

“I like to treat everyone well and I will always try to help when I can.” “ “I do see myself as lucky. I am privileged and I like getting the chance to speak to people about my experience. If they do me the honour of giving me the time then I make sure I get over to them that you can overcome bad times.”

“This has been a dream come true. I have played in the Premier League and in Europe for Newcastle. It’s incredible. I’m always telling people my life is not natural, amazing things keep happening to me. It is a miracle.” “This is something I dreamed about, but you do wonder if it will come true one day and it has for me.”

“It’s crazy. To be involved in the Europa League is not something I even thought of a few months ago. The manager has thrown me in at the deep end and that has been good for me.” “Because that’s football. It isn’t easy. I found that out at Coventry as I tried to establish myself in the youth team and then get to the first team.”

“Football can be disappointing so you must enjoy the good times when they come.”

Gael seems so anxious to learn and be a success at Newcastle, while also keeping his feet firmly on the ground, and he has already said he will follow whatever Alan Pardew thinks is right for his football development.

And he has also said that Alan is like a father figure to him, and certainly the Newcastle manager has shown himself adept at handling the many top Newcastle youngsters.

Gael has made a great start to his career on Tyneside, and with the positive attitude he shows, there’s no reason why this lad cannot become a big success on Tyneside, and this season too.

Gael has so far made 7 appearances for the Newcastle first team.

What do you think?

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39 comments so far

  • Santon03

    Oct 3, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #1

    regarding Nile Ranger, don’t they have rules in England or FA, if an employee is involved in a crime that the company can sack that employee without any compensation?

  • Carryingcoals

    Oct 3, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #2

    It wouldn’t surprise me to see him start Thursday. Perhaps even Sammy too. Bordeuax will provide our cup team with their biggest challenge so far. If they lose, then Pardew will have to reassess things and blood more first team players for the Europa games to get out of the group.

    Pards is in a very difficult position. Maybe we will see some our our first teamers feature but certainly not to the extent of 90 minutes.

    My biggest worry for Thursday is defense. I read a great article on Bordeaux recently and apparently they have some really strong forward players 😉

  • Carryingcoals

    Oct 3, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #3

    By ‘him’ I meant Bigi just to avoid any confusion.

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #4

    Carrying……I seem to remember reading some well thought out in depth piece on Bordeaux recently…can’t for the life of me remember where though, should have bookmarked it really 🙂

    Don’t really have much to add on Bigi, each post about him is the same. Seems a top lad and I think he’ll be a huge player for us for many years. Great attitude and commitment (Take note Nile).

  • jeff

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #5

    Iv ben thinking. Imagine a cheeky bid for stewart downing???

    Think about the possibilities. He has all the qualities to be one of thebest in the world. Pace vision guile and can cros!!!!

    Imagine this front quartet: ben arfa abeid downing behind demba

    OMFG someone wake me up im in dream land

  • Carryingcoals

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #6

    Ibiza.. I know, right? Shame!

    I’d actually happily take a draw from Thursday’s game and a draw from the Man U game. Nothing wrong with that in my opinion. I’d be satisfied.

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #7

    Jeff…..Put the pipe down good sir. It’s morning (I assume your UK based). Drink until lunchtime, then switch to the class a’s after lunch like the rest of us.

    Downing. What a player.

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #8

    I guess the question is can our second string get us through the group stage. I guess you play them until you can’t afford to any longer. It is a fantastic opportunity to develop the squad and I really am enjoying seeing these lads play, but as has been mentioned Bordeaux are no mugs. Tricky.

  • Munster Mag

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #9

    A wonderful signing…

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #10

    Definitely, but spare a thought for poor Coventry.

  • chris_g

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #11

    It would probably depend upon how serious the crime was and where it was committed.

    I think the standard premier league contract states that the employment contract can be terminated if the player is sent to prison for a period of 3 months or more, although I doubt whether the recent criminal damage incident in London was serious enough to warrant a jail sentence. However, I imagine he could have been sacked on the spot if he had caused similar damage to any property owned by the club.

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #12

    Carrying….I’d take a draw in each, would the 3 points though. We have the capabilities to win, but we also have those huge self destruct buttons stuck to the players heads ready to be pushed at any given moment. Should be a nice calm week for toon fans everywhere.

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #13

    How come Rnger is in a position and has the time on his hands to be running amok in the Capital in this manner. Isn’t he required for training and matches any longer, are we paying him to stay away, has it come to this?

  • cupiddstunt

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #14

    Nah it’s ok jeff you just cuddle up to your power ranger and nod right back of sonny boy.

    I just think it’s amazing just how f****d up dreams can be and yet still feel realistic. 🙂

  • toon1707

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #15

    Jeff I hope that was a joke as it gave me the best laugh I have had in ages downing is terrible ferguson will be starting sooner rather than later I think he looks a fantastic player everytime I see him he has pace can beat a player and as we have seen in the last 2 games can deliver a great cross

  • icon3815

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #16

    NUFC have huge CB problems when Colo and Steven Taylor gets injured so therefore they have to buy another CB for the january window. I live in Denmark and watches lots of danish superliga matche.
    A perfect CB buy would without doubt be Jores Okore from FC Nordsjælland, He’s quick, strong and have good general view of the game, and only 20 years.
    ´Check him pls mr. Graham Carr

  • Carryingcoals

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #17

    Assuming both Tayls and Colo miss the Bordeaux game who do we play back 4? Would it be Perch and Willo CB’s, Tav right, Santon left?

    Pards said after the game against Man U in the cup that it was a risk playing Willo, and obviously if Tayls/Colo are struggling to make the weekend’s game, Willo might have to start then.

    Thing is what else could we do? I’m thinking Willo/Perch Thursday, praying for Colo/Tayls sunday.

  • Carryingcoals

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #18

    – and apologies Ibiza, I know that was probably too much of a football related post for this blog, especially at half 10 in the morning! waaaaaay too early for that sort of thing 😉

  • darrenfletcher88

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #19

    Bigi a good prospect, but has looked out of his depth in some games!!!

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #20

    Carrying….Absolutely. Surely we should be discussing morning papers or something. What did one have for breakfast? Favourite brand of toothpaste and such.

    Being somewhat serious for a second….

    I would say you’re right about the defense. I would imagine Willo and Perch at CB for Bordeaux and hope for an improvement in our main two being back for Man U. Maybe Anita will get the nod at FB for one of the games?

  • Carryingcoals

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #21


    haha I just can’t help myself sometimes, I digress…

    But yeah maybe Anita LB for Bordeaux and Santon plays Man U? But then again Anita could play in the middle and we may need a mature head there Thursday, assuming there’ll be no Tiote or Cabaye.

    Lots of options for Pards. I can see bigi, fergie, oba all starting. Suppose Rob Elliot and Shola too.

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #22

    Carrying…To be honest though, it’s at the back we need some desperate composure at the moment. It’s all a bit too experimental at the back at the minute, need someone to try and bring it together. Not sure that is Anita, but I would think it gives the other defenders an outlet.

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #23

    If you’d like to discuss the mornings papers theres a story on sky sports saying that in an interview with the journal gabby obertan thinks he has shown enough this season for pardew selecting him in the starting XI vs borduex and man utd this week
    Personaly i think the lad is a long way off from bieng more than an impact sub atm

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #24

    What if one or both of Willo and Perch get themselves injured against Bordeaux and we don’t get Colo and Tayls up for Man U. Who would we go with against that stellar attack, Shola and the young Australian. Good Grief!

  • beefman13

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #25

    Ibiza, FTSE up 7.86 two slices of toast and a cup of tea, and oral b complete!

    Ive been waiting for someone to ask me this for ages ha ha!

  • spitfire_

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #26


    What about Sölvi Ottesen?

  • cupiddstunt

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #27

    Jawballsaswallwell @ # 10

    You are right there a thought should go out to each and every club that has to sell some of their prizes.

    Coventry has indeed lost what appears to be a superb player a star in the making that would have helped them greatly had they been able to hang on to him, but I suppose if we had not gone in for him someone else would have so I am just happy it’s us that benefited.

    You also have to give a little thought to the possibility that he may never have developed into the player he could be if he stayed with the blues.

    If I remember correctly Biggi said he went and asked for a trial and was told you can’t just call at the door and get a trial, you have to be recommended by scouts before you are looked at.

    Now I don’t know what other clubs operate the same policy but if true a little short sighted I think as he could have been missed altogether.

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #28

    I’m a victim of my own making. I make a little joke and still get a response 🙂

    Beefman….I’m glad I could help.

    Tads…..I read that too. I don’t agree with him. Although, he has shown some improvement and it seems clear his confidence is improving. Let’s hope he doesn’t look at the article and check in on what fans think – that’s one big confidence drainer right there 🙂

    Jawball…It is a worry. Pardew used to be a defender, right? Time he gets his kit on and gets involved if you ask me.

  • Carryingcoals

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #29


    You’ve given me nightmares now mate!

  • cupiddstunt

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #30

    icon3815 @ #16

    I do not think I have seen you post before so welcome to the blog.

    Only problem I can see is he is Ivorian and if he gets up to international level then we risk losing him along with Tiote for ANC.

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #31

    Cupid…I read that yesterday about Bigi being refused a trial, but when they saw how first he ran back to his mum, they decided to give him a chance. You’re right though, you do wonder if there are many people not getting in to the system. I would think most talented players are spotted…everyone in England being the armchair managers and scouts that we are.

  • beefman13

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #32

    Cupid, your right the system could be inproved without doubt, there are loads of lads imo in the lower leagues who could make it if they were given the chance but beacuse maybe they are in the wrong part of the country get overlooked, Rushy, KK ,Smalling at man utd HANSEN STARTED AT ALLOA I THINK AND LAWRENSEN AT BRIGHTON ALL TOP TOP DRAWER, and smalling was non league, that is a fraction there have been plenty of others.

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #33

    Sure, but you know you’re on the bones of your arse when you sell a player you really don’t want to for a mill and less than 6 months later he’s worth 5 or more.

    It’s a little sad, they’re a fine old club Coventry.

  • beefman13

    Oct 3, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #34

    Jawball, for years at the toon we bought players and hardly ever made a profit at all, and we were still paying for them when they were sold after they didnt producethe goods.

    i struggled to remember virtually any players who were actually better for us then their previous clubs. Craig bellamy was one for sure i thought he was immense for us.

    Im talking after 96/97, we seemed to buy player after player and they all ended up leaving with the tails between their legs, no real cult heroes at the toonfor years imo.

    Now though over the past three years virtually every player has improved and improved his value incredibly (maybe not obertan) its great to have this scenario now beacuse if there value is skyrocketing then they must be doing the business on the pitch, and they are.

    Really good positive times at the toon, and it has turned itself on its head dramatically.

    Remember the team that took us down, there were over 350 international caps in that team!!!!!

    and even though some did the biz next season the rest jumped ship and the ones that were left probably had no serious offers come in for them as their wages were mad.

    They then had a point to prove to everyone and they did and started to play to their full potential, ie, nolan, colo, enrique,! etc.

  • beefman13

    Oct 3, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #35

    Apparently yhe coach at Bordeaux is very innovitive and forward thinking and has brought fresh hope to them over the last season and a bit.

    He mixes the play up tries different formations, uses shock tactics, and it is proving very productive for them, they are on an unbeaten run of 17, and he said yesterday that league form may start to suffer cos he wants to give the europa league a real go.

    that in itself is a different way of seeing things as most managers have the other view!

    That said he isnt in the prem were the money is everything and staying in is a major priority.

    should be an interesting game, on the playing side willy and perch at centre back its just not ideal to be fair, and we will give chances away with this pairing but hopefully come January we can get quality in at centre half and not have to keep playing utility types there, willo is of course a centre half but my hearts always in my mouth with him when hes on the ball.

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Oct 3, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #36

    Beefman….I get the feeling the pressure of a PL manager is much more than any other league (except the top teams in all of the leagues who have an international standard to keep up). In a way, us doing so well last year has given us new problems. It’s harder to take risks when you’re closer to the prize so to speak. Most managers will look to safely achieve the season objectives rather than throw caution to the wind and give it a go.

    It’s all well and good us all saying, we wouldn’t mind losing or drawing if we really gave teams a go, but if bad results started piling up the manager will be in the deep end. Sounds far too stressful, I thought us fans had a tough time with it.

  • Lynxie

    Oct 3, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #37

    All the worrying over team selection is daft. Thursday Night is the perfect opportunity for the like of Gosling and Obertan to start showing everyone that they are indeed footballers deserving of our club, or are they the spawn of Marcelino and Luque…? Cometh the hour gentlemen, time to buck up and show us your worth, best efforts required, our patience only lasts so long, ask Hugo Viana………..

  • Made a ma beed

    Oct 3, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #38

    Whey hey another Bigi thread!!

  • icon3815

    Oct 3, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Comment #39

    Cupidstunt # 30

    Thank you 🙂

    Okore have already been playing on the Danish national team 3 or 4 times so i can’t imagine him go to Africa Nations Cup


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