Remie Streete, center back
20 years old. Has made two appearances while on loan with Port Vale. One as a starter, one off the bench. Had one shot on target & committed one foul in the start. Injuries to Newcastle’s back line cut short Streete’s loan spell & he is being prepped for his EPL debut in the near future.
Ed Harrison, who runs The Newcastle United Blog, provided this insight on Streete. “Remie is another 20 year-old local lad and a 6’2″ center-back and very well thought of on Tyneside. He had a short loan spell at Port Vale earlier this season, and got some rave reviews before Alan Pardew recalled him because of some injuries to our center-backs.”
“Been a top player coming through the ranks at Newcastle, and he will probably be sent out on loan in January – quite possibly a top player of the future.”
Matt Feltz, who writes for I wish I was a Geordie, added – “Streete is a center back who has hit a roadblock in his development. This article from the Newcastle Chronicle sums up his situation going into the season. He was on loan earlier in the season, but NUFC recalled him because of an injury crisis. He still hasn’t played, however.”
“Streete was involved in an incident last season where he gave away a penalty in a reserve team match, and the coach of the reserves apparently hit him afterward.” Wow.
Haris Vuckic, attacking midfielder
22 years old. Has made three appearances this season – two as a sub. He managed just one shot in the three games. Last season he made 27 appearances while on loan with Rotherham. He scored four goals, had one assist, had 22 shots, twelve shots on target, committed 14 fouls, & was fouled ten times.
Harrison wrote, “We signed the once capped 22 year-old Slovenian International when he was 16 back in January, 2009, and he had enormous potential. But he has had a lot of injuries and hasn’t come through as much as Newcastle coaches had hoped for.”
“He hasn’t been part of the first team this season and needs a loan spell – he’s a skillful 6’1″ tall midfielder but doesn’t seem to like too much of the physical game.”
“He’s now 22 and has played 17 times with one goal for the Newcastle first team. Was out on loan at Rotherham United earlier this year – but started mostly on the bench.”
“Very skillful and talented technical player, but time is running out for him to make it at Newcastle.”
Robert Bishop, the managing editor for Coming Home Newcastle, added “Vuckic looked like he might get an extended look with the first team for a bit, and then he disappeared. I think he’s refused loans before. Pretty sure he wasn’t be able to say no now, though.”
Feltz exclaimed, “Finally someone I have actually seen enough to properly evaluate!”
“Vuckic is a classic #10 type with a fantastic left foot. However, he also has some major flaws in his game.”
“First of all, he’s picked up injuries pretty regularly, which has certainly hindered his development. Even when he has been healthy, there have been questions about whether he can handle the pace of the Premier League, and for a big, strong kid, he doesn’t seem to be all that physical.”
“There is a very talented player in there somewhere, but no one’s been able to unlock it yet.”
Gael Bigirimana, defensive midfielder
21 years old. A refugee from Burundi, Bigirimana has only made one appearance for Newcastle in the last two seasons. In 2012-13, he made 25 appearances – he scored one goal, had eleven shots – seven of which were on target. He was fouled ten times, committed 15, & was booked four times with yellow cards.
Harrison: “We signed this lad two years ago from Coventry and he was very highly rated. Gael had a great first season with us on Tyneside playing 25 times for the first team with one goal. But he played just once last season and isn’t part of the first team squad this season – so for whatever reason he’s gone off the boil.”
“A good strong defensive midfielder and he played 28 times for the Coventry first team before joining Newcastle.”
Bishop: “Bigrimana should be playing with the first team. He’s a big name in England’s youth system but he has been frozen out by Pardew.”
Feltz: “For those of us concerned with Newcastle’s inability to develop its young players, Bigi’s lack of progress is Exhibit A.”
“He came to Newcastle as an 18-year-old who was already a first-team regular at Coventry City, and got off to a pretty fantastic start, notably in his Premier League debut against Aston Villa in September 2012.”
“He seems to have been miscast as a defensive midfielder, even though he’s actually got quite a good shot, as he demonstrated in his only goal a couple months later. Since then, he’s also struggled with injuries, and the club has lost faith in him for some inexplicable reason.”
“I actually wrote a post about this back in February.”
Kieran Dodds recently wrote a post for Coming Home Newcastle last month that blasts Pardew’s handling of Bigirimana.
Among the million and one reasons why Alan Pardew deserved the sack, surely, is his shoddy treatment of Newcastle’s young players.
It’s easy to forget just how promising Bigirimana’s career once appeared. He beat Palace’s Jonathan Williams (‘Joniesta’ to his fans) to the 2012 Championship Apprentice of the Year award while playing for a largely poor Coventry team, prompting the million-pound move to Newcastle. And at first he flourished, impressing in a handful of Europa League appearances and scoring with a stunning left-footed drive in a 3-0 victory over Wigan. (Matt Le Tissier, on co-commentary, deemed it ‘absolutely superb,’ and he should know.)
There then came starts against Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, and – in a Europa League quarter final – Benfica. In a sign of what was to come, Bigi actually started on the right-hand side in the latter match, and despite a respectable performance in an unfamiliar position, he was withdrawn at half time in favour of Shola Ameobi. And then… nothing – or, more precisely, zero Premier League appearances and one League Cup appearance in the entire 2013-14 season. Now languishing in the U21s, it’s a case of ‘bye-bye, Benfica’ and ‘hello, Blyth.’
What better summary of Pardew’s handling of the club’s youngsters than this? Time and time again, mismanagement is dressed up as opportunity. Only one solution remains available to us, comrades: PARDS OUT, BIGI IN.