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

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How Pardew Just Gave Up On Promising Teenager At Newcastle

8:42 am, Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 4 Comments

When Gael Bigirimana first arrived at Newcastle from Coventry City for £1M in the summer of 2012 as an 18 year-old, he was looked upon as being a top young player who could improve at Newcastle.

And certainly in that first season when we were in the Europa League he did look a very good player – and he  played 24 times for us with one goal – but since that season he played only one more time for Newcastle United.

We often wondered what exactly happened to such a promising young player who played as a defensive midfielder.

Gael Bigirimana +Newcastle+United+v+Portland+H9EaOIE_oo7l

Gael Bigirimana while at Newcastle

Well according to his agent it turns out that Alan Pardew gave up on him after he didn’t turn up for training a couple of times and told him he wouldn’t play for the Newcastle first team again.

His agent is now Lee Marsh and he has revealed a lot about Gael’s time at Newcastle via the Coventry Telegraph today:

“He was a young lad and everyone was looking at him for the future.”

“He went for a million quid – a lot of money – with add-ons and what I would say is that he was 19 years old and didn’t have the right people around him.”

“It seemed that they wanted to move him on quick; the club might have wanted to just take the money because that might have been the best he becomes.”

“There were a couple of scenarios where he turned up late for training when some people went to visit him.”

“He took a few days off without asking and got himself a couple of fines that amounted to quite a few thousand quid – an alarming amount.”

“Whether it was a case of mature physically and capable of playing the game but immature in terms of how to handle the move, the pressure, the money and living away from Coventry where he was used to things.”

“Alan Pardew told him he wasn’t going to play first-team football for him. When a manager tells you that, no matter how much money you’re on, you’re uncomfortable.”

“Gael asked to give him ten minutes here and there as a sub, let him play his way into it but Pardew wouldn’t have it.”

“It’s not fair for me to sit here and have a go at Pardew, but when you have paid close on a million quid for a player that’s 19 years old – it’s like if it was your own son, you’d put your arm around him.”

“It was a rush of a deal and he shouldn’t have gone.”  “There were other clubs who were interested – I know Arsenal were looking at him – but the managerial side of things from Alan Pardew was the most alarming thing.”

“He’d gone up there, a kid from Burundi having lived in Coventry, which was his club and he respected it, but probably couldn’t turn the move down.”

“It was because of peer pressure from his family – ‘take it, it’s good money’ – and a lot of issues surrounding it.”

“Sometimes kids at that age just can’t turn it down.”

Alan Pardew could certainly be ruthless with players and once he decided he didn’t like them or didn’t rate them for whatever reason – he simply stopped playing them.

It has happened to other players too – like Jonas Gutierrez and Hatem Ben Arfa as two other good examples.

Gael Bigirimana is now 22 and back at Coventry on a one year deal and we hope he can can resurrect what at one time was a potentially glittering career.

Comments welcome.



Tags: Coaching · Gael Bigirimana · Management · Newcastle News · Transfer News and Rumours




4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 lochinvar // Sep 22, 2016 at 9:03 AM

    Can’t help thinking that with Pardew it was all about ” me” as in” look at me’ and his touch line antics said it all.

    Whereas Rafa keeps his own counsel and his manta seems to be more akin to SBR – it’s about the club and each week a different player seems to het a mention in despatches so that shows how to encourage and develop players.

    OK they’re different ages but look at how Bigi was allowed to drift off radar by Pardew while Gouffran has been encouraged and trained to become a key player and he and the team are clearly enjoying that under Rafa’s guidance.

    I suspect that its nit just Rafa and that all the way down the line the coaches, physio’s and all staff feel involved.

    Give us a job Rafa -bet its hard graft but fun.

  • 2 Jib // Sep 22, 2016 at 9:20 AM

    I clearly remember an interview Bigirimana gave on NUFCtv when on tour in the States just after McClaren had taken over – where he said everyone had been told they had a fresh start with the new coaching team and he fully expected to make the squad.

    So what happened there ?

    If senior players on 10 times his money are expected to turn up punctually for training why should he be the exception ?

    Pardew is of that old school type British coach where discipline is all and no sign of weakness must be shown.

  • 3 emperor // Sep 22, 2016 at 10:02 AM

    In this scenario I dont blame Pardew.
    He has his reasons.. Missing training without notice is inexcusable as a professional, and the fines were deserved.
    Jonas was very crap for a while and as much as I love him HBA was lazy and has been unmanageable for almost every club hes played for.

  • 4 posada // Sep 22, 2016 at 2:21 PM

    If I did not turn in for work I would get the sack.
    The first time it would be classed as misconduct, the second time gross misconduct and i’d get the sack.
    Sometimes think they get away with a lot as they have some sort of value that is then lost if they are dismissed.




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