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This Youngster Has Character – Still Has A Future At Newcastle

4:52 pm, Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 68 Comments

Gael Bigirimana looked a very good player the season before last, in his first season on Tyneside, and he played 25 times for the first team, but last season, for various reasons – including injuries – he only appeared once for the Newcastle first team.

Gael Bigirimana

Gael Bigirimana – in action last season

There had been talk earlier in the summer that Gael may have to leave Newcastle to get some first team football, either on loan or permanently, but that may not be necessary.

The 20 year-old has a terrific attitude and temperament – and seems determined to resurrect his career at Newcastle, as the Burundi born youngster had this to say today in the Chronicle:

“Whatever happened last season, happened for a reason. That reason put me in a position where I had to think for myself.”

“I cleared my mind and worked out what I needed to do to get in the team. I’m ready for that and I can’t wait to start. I can’t wait.”

Bigirimana played 28 times for Coventry and was selected as the Championship Apprentice of the Year for the 2011–2012 season, before he joined Newcastle as an 18 year-old for around £1M.

A lot of success in football and in life depends on determination, guts, perseverance and fortitude, and young Bigirimana has all of that – and he could even get a chance to show what he can do tonight at Hillsborough, when a Newcastle eleven takes on Sheffield Wednesday in our next pre-season game.

We certainly hope that Gael can resurrect his career at Newcastle this season – its certainly possible.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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Tags: Coaching · Gael Bigirimana · Newcastle U21 · Newcastle Youth

68 responses so far ↓

  • 1 G // Jul 30, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    Bing has really impressed me when he has played, but I doubt he will get much playing time this season. I would ship him out on loan to the Champo for 6 months then reassess him then.

  • 2 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Ibizatoon…of course it matters and regardless of the weight as you say it this really a way to treat anyone?

    …did you see the Shaw article about him not being proper fit? So it’s only if you in the doghouse it’s okay to treat somebody else like that?

    Seem very very counter productive to me and seems like coach d is trying to force somebody out. Not really the way to go about something you are partly responsible for?

  • 3 Belfast // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    The Lukaku fee could rise to 30 million apparently.

    Ferk that.
    Definitely not worth that much.

  • 4 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    Ibiza…on the last treat, that was not me suggesting you don’t treat your employees well 😉

    …just saying the way coach d goes about it ain’t right!

  • 5 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    Maybe we just don’t see eye to eye on this one…I am not really sure what else to say without being repetitive?

    …I have a bit of the same problem with the stand you among others take on this matter!

  • 6 Belfast // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    24 million fee rising to 30 if Everton qualify for champions league.

  • 7 Belfast // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:16 PM

    Ibiza has employees?

    Is it his goldfish by any chance?

  • 8 Ibizatoon // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    Jesper…It’s not a problem for me mate, we all see things differently, it’s what makes life interesting…apparently 🙂

    I just think they’ve had enough. He tried smothering him and trying to be his mate, now he’s tried some tough love. Whatever it is, hasn’t been right for Benny and I think he’s simply done.

    Is it professional? Everyone has their limits.

    My employees would be lucky to be treated that good 😉

    On thread, Bigi just proves the point I’m trying to make.

    Take the criticism, fix the problem and fight.

    Granted the same applies to Pardew.

  • 9 Mister Tuff // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    manx – without a doubt if someone is overweight then action should be taken to rectify it. Whether being 1.5kgs “overweight” corresponds to being unfit is entirely another matter. It could be argued that pre-season is the time to get everyone up to optimum fitness -traditionally it always has been.
    When we see the equipment at the training centre -it is clear we have all the requite electonic devices to monitor the players – would it really be so hard to a bit of weight off. Banishing a senior player to train with the sprogs is a bit of an insult.
    We really do not know exactly what has gone on between Percy and Benny – shame to waste such a talent though.

  • 10 Ibizatoon // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    Belfast…Don’t forget my ant farm…busy little workers they are!

  • 11 Whumpie // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    I really like Bigi – great attitude, and really looked good at just 19. Not much room for him with all these newbies, but I’d hate to lose him.

  • 12 Belfast // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    And your hamster, San Antonio the third.

  • 13 Whumpie // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Just to illustrate why Benny isn’t worth the hassle – just take a look at this bit of magic from Callum Roberts:

  • 14 Belfast // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    He definitely looks a lot slimmer than last season.

    Not that it matters anymore.
    He’s definitely off to pastures new.

  • 15 manxpie // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    Tuff aye but benny only has himself to blame really and tbf last season he was more than 1.5 kilos
    He was out of favour, plus saying he wants be the best player in the world then turns up with a couple of extra chins hardly the way to go about it
    Now I just want him out tbh and we can all move on

  • 16 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    Ibiza…if trying to move forward – saying a door is never closed – then a professional and an adult coach d is suppose to be – surely this is just counter productive?

    What will he accomplish? will he do the same when someone else stands up to him? It seems – from what we have heard – the only player still at the club who have criticized coach d is Colo.

    Maybe this sort of treatment wouldn’t go down well (and nor should it 😉 )

  • 17 Sliema // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    Bigi really deserves some game time this season. It won’t be long before he’s better than Anita… but only if he ever gets a chance.

  • 18 gazza85 // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:32 PM


    Re: Lukaku, I agree he’s probably only worth about 15mil but if he keeps up his form from the last 2 years and Everton can get a good few yrs and Champs Lg outta him then they’ve still got a good deal plus it (along with Barkley’s new deal) shows they’re serious about having a right go of things which the PL really does need to break up the monotony of the usual suspects.

    Good luck to them I say and I hope we follow suit by spending on a striker though I’m sure we wont pay quite as much.

  • 19 IITianToon // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    Pronunciation clarification needed. Are the two L’s in Cabella pronounced or are they silent? The guys planning to chant Rihanna’s “Umbrella” please take note 🙂

  • 20 IITianToon // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    Further is today’s game available to watch online?

  • 21 Jeff from Benwell // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    I think Everton will swap places with Lpool
    I don’t think the reds will replicate last season
    they will focus on the CL not the prem

    It isn’t a given that LvG will have immediate success with ManUre.
    Clearly the top 3 will be Chelsea Arsenal Man City

    I think the fourth place will be between Evertoon and whoever (hopefully NUFC ) wants to challenge them

  • 22 Ibizatoon // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    Jesper…Sorry mate, I’m not following what you’re saying.

    It’s not based on much, but I have little doubt that if Hatem turned up to pre-season fit and raring to go that he would have been given a chance. Pardew would have nothing to lose, imo anyway.

    To be clear, this is not a defense of Pardew, just the damnation of Benny 🙂

  • 23 DokToon // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    quality stuff Tian 🙂

  • 24 Jail for Ashley // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    I agree with you !

  • 25 Ibizatoon // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    Belfast…San Antonio the 3rd was last seen off his face, dancing with some girls on a podium at Ushaia.

    The search has been called off. It’s been a tough few days, but we move on.

  • 26 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    Ibiza…I thought you had followed the discussion we have had on the matter…just forget it! But maybe that is why – regardless of the fact you might disagree of course – you can’t follow me? 😉

  • 27 Prunty // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    IITianToon, according to this it’ll work!

  • 28 Jail for Ashley // Jul 30, 2014 at 5:51 PM

    Are you going to put a bet on the Lpool Everton thing, I’ve got us for tenth again

  • 29 Mag52 // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    Jesper. Where is your evidence that HBA has ever criticized Pardew?
    You armchair managers make me laugh.
    You have no idea what goes on in the dressing room, and so you use every excuse possible to have another go at our manager.
    Surely the fact that the lad has fallen out big time with Deschamps and Gerrets, no dumpasses these two managers, is evidence that, whatever it is, he is the one with the problem, and quite clearly for his future and for our team’s future, he must go.
    The past is the past. Ffs let’s get behind the team AND the manager at least until we see how the new season is looking.

  • 30 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    Mag52…if the past is in the past why do you keep digging it up?

    …you know coach d doesn’t have that bright a record when it comes to dealing with players – just ask Tevez or Macharano among others.

  • 31 Ibizatoon // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    Jesper…Maybe 🙂

    I feel like I’m on repeat now, but I’m not laying this all at Benny’s door. For sure Pardew has his faults.

    Anyway, enough for me on those two.

  • 32 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    Ibiza…you know mate in short that is what I have been saying when ever the blame is being laid at Benny’ door.

    …but it always gets twisted around to be “not wanting to blame Benny”! So welcome to the club of sounding repetitive 😉

    *We can killed it here! I am just going to get crucified by people using the ffs word anyway.

  • 33 noir et blanc // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    I now know how Bill Murry felt in ground hog day, another article another Ben Afra debate. Really enjoy the blog but does every article have to be hi-jacked by pro-anti benny comments

  • 34 Sazzer // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:23 PM

    The truth about me and Mascherano at West Ham

    When Javier Mascherano, a star for Argentina in the semi-final, came to West Ham with Carlos Tevez during my time as manager it was an unusual transfer contractually, as became widely known later; and with the new Icelandic owners then taking over the club, he became a victim of political pressure, did not play as much as he would have liked and was moved on to Liverpool soon after I left.

    But it is quite untrue to say that I didn’t rate him. Like Tevez, he was a terrific lad finding his feet in a new country and I’d be delighted for him to be a World Cup winner tonight.

  • 35 Offkey // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    Jesper@32 ffs


  • 36 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    Sazzer…so is this the story we are going to hear about Benny in a few years time 😉

  • 37 Mister Tuff // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    IITianToon – pronounciation of the French LL -is an excellent topic to explore for
    language students. Note I know nothing of Rihannas umbrella.
    Double L’s can be pronounced differently in French. The general rule is that if the double L follows an A,E,O,U, and Y the pronounciation is as we would pronounce -normal L sound – example would be elle (she).
    However, if the double L comes after an I it is usually pronounced as a letter Y. The best example of this would be guillotine – which should be pronouned as geeyotine. It should be noted however that there are exceptions to the double L following an I rule – best example would be the French town Lille – where the double L is pronouned
    as a normal L.

  • 38 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    See! lol

  • 39 Ibizatoon // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    Jesper…So we’re all guilty of what we accuse the other of doing…what a fine old mess we find ourselves in 🙂

    Right then, we need a distraction. Aren’t we supposed to be playing soon?

    Sazzer…Taking a neutral view, Pardews account of events is as likely as that of Tevez.

    None of us no for sure and it really shouldn’t be used to prove or disprove anything…as it doesn’t.

    Not likely Pardew would have said “Cor, yeah, I really messed that one up didn’t I!, sorry Masch mate!” 🙂

  • 40 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    Ibiza…it seems so 😉 maybe we all should remember that once in a while. Would make it all easier.

    …it all just seems to be shades of gray on here and everything get mixed-up or misunderstood (maybe even deliberately at times)

    Someone said the game would only be on the radio, but Belfast mentioned something about Quest TV?

  • 41 Big Pappa Cissé // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    At the end of the day no matter how talented you are, if Pardew doesn’t like you you’re not playing .

    Pardew is probably the most egotistical manager we have ever had, unlike Mourinho however he can’t back it up .

  • 42 Sazzer // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    Dead on. =)

  • 43 Belfast // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    What do these employees actually do ? And are you looking anymore employees?

  • 44 Jeff from Benwell // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    Cabella’s dad is Italian
    So try and imagine the dramatic way Italians say Bella and stick Ka in front
    JFA – I never gamble

  • 45 Average_Contents // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:38 PM

    I wonder what thought process and reasoning it actually takes to be able to say “get behind the manager” without lying to yourself? Or laughing for that matter?

    Everything that cretin has done is to the detriment of our club and I’m sure all the records he’s broken and his disgraceful behaviour don’t have to be listed! It wasn’t that long ago before these new players were signed that the majority of 52,000 showed their displeasure at him and I think the majority on here did too….so we made some signings and all is forgiven? Get behind him? Do me a favour and open yas eyes! He’s f****g shite and is lucky to be in management never mind managing a prem side! Ashley’s a cunt as well just incase I get accused of being a fatty lover! Both of them out!

  • 46 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    Belfast…I have tried. He won’t even pay me in Rhum or give me a roof over my head!

    …I don’t think he is easy working for 😉

  • 47 Pottsclock // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Quest TV has the weekends games in Germany on…not tonight’s. Not seen a link for tonight’s but for Jesper I have seen a link for Aalborg play Dynamo Zagreb

  • 48 Big Pappa Cissé // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Put it this way, Pardew wouldn’t even play Ibrahimovic or Balotelli if they were both at NUFC .

  • 49 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    Potts…thanks mate. That is actually the club of my birth town 🙂

  • 50 Markaccus // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    Quest have the 2 games in germany. Dont know aboit tonight.

    jesper and ibiza

    I actually got lost trying to follow both your points in the end 😀 so glad i was not involved :-p

  • 51 Ibizatoon // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    Jesper…Not sure at your age you should be giving out advice on remembering things! 😉

    FFS, don’t listen to Belfast. Pretty sure that’s for this weekends games, not tonights.

    Belfast…My work, so I can sit on the beach, go out and party and chat on here…of course. I wish anyway.

    Why do you ask? Not sure I’d get the insurance to cover your special needs mate, plus I thought you were about to take over the blogging world and save Ciarans blog?

  • 52 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    Mark…we got very much confused as well and just ended up being repetitive ;D

    …the good part was Ibiza didn’t have to work for a few hours lol

  • 53 Pottsclock // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    Here are the links…

  • 54 deeps // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    Newcastle team: Elliot; Satka, Yanga-Mbiwa, Dummett, Haidara; Tiote (c), Abeid; Obertan, Armstrong, Perez; Riviere. #nufc #swfc

  • 55 Ibizatoon // Jul 30, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    Markaccus…What have I told you about trying to follow me? 🙂

  • 56 firebug666 // Jul 30, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    Team news – Newcastle United starting XI: Elliot; Satka, Yanga-Mbiwa, Dummett, Haidara; Tiote (c), Abeid; Obertan, Armstrong, Perez; Riviere

    Subs: Alnwick, Streete, Bigirimana, Anita, Vuckic, Gilliead, Quinn, Campbell

  • 57 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Jul 30, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    Potts…thanks mate

    Ibiza…how’s the office in the Caribbean we discussed coming along?

    …are we stacking up the rhum as we speak?

  • 58 Ancientcoptic // Jul 30, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    Mbiwa playing centre-back and Armstrong getting a start… nice!

    I am interested to see how Obertan gets on, he is a player I never gave up on. I still think there is a diamond to be polished off there.

  • 59 JAMSHA(IL STAND FOR ISRAEL) // Jul 30, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    match startd?

  • 60 Ibizatoon // Jul 30, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    Jesper…The Rhum is pretty much the only part of that plan that has come about as of yet.

    Actually, I might need to re-stock the Rhum too.

    Basically the plan is in tatters mate 🙂

  • 61 Markaccus // Jul 30, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    I like that team. Tiote calling the shots over all that youth. “YES, MY MINIONS! DESTROY THEM!!”

  • 62 Graeme // Jul 30, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    Jesper, the Shalke games are on Quest but tonights game is not listed!!

  • 63 Belfast // Jul 30, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    I said weekend games not tonight.

    Waiting on Ruddy giving me the go ahead Ibiza. Then it’s all systems go. Operation save Ruddys blog will then commence.

  • 64 IITianToon // Jul 30, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    @MonsieurTuff : Merci!

    @JefffromBenwell: Love the Italian way hehe..

    Hope Streete, Bigi and the two kids Quinn and Gillead do well..

  • 65 dannitoon // Jul 30, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    Must keep him… a star in the making

  • 66 Ian Toon // Jul 30, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    Ibiza- I have no axe to grind as far as HBA is concerned. Let me tell it as I see it – I have before on here. In context HBA was put on a specially devised training fitness programme in March. This was following the Fulham game where he was not viewed as being match fit to play- this being after his return from France where he had been for a family illness( not specified) and before the Palace home game.

    The Palace game was memorable because it was during Pardew’s suspension( 2 nd game I think) and in that it was the last contribution he made to our season. He came on as a second half sub where he centred for Cisse to head home the winner in a 1-0 victory in 90 + minutes. I personally thought he would kick on after that showing.

    The fact is that the coaching staff became increasingly frustrated with HBA because his fitness level just didn’t improve and it became apparent that he just was not sticking to the programme and diet. He just was not motivated to get fit. Pardew spoke to him on countless ocassions and indeed a number of the players tried to get him to comply. Apparently he became more detached and moody with all and sundry at the club.
    From my experience he was always reluctant to briefly chat to fans post games and often just gave thumbs up signs. Although he would stop to give his autograph as I recall to youngsters with family members.

    Anyway at season end having been told that there would be consequences if he didn’t return for pre season training in good shape. His programme had a weight and muscle tone requirement stipulated. As we know he turned up in a far worse state physically than he was in May. I can understand why Pardew would not be best pleased. He seems to to have blown it.

  • 67 SUFC_rule // Jul 30, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    No one has future at newcastle. COme to Sunderland the stadium of dreams

  • 68 Sav // Jul 31, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    It was said the club wanted Bigi to go out on loan at the start of last season. The lad himself said he’d rather stay and fight for a first team place from the reserves/subs bench.. That sounded like a mistake and it seems it was. This year is make or break for him.

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