A great interview with Alan Smith conducted by the Evening Chronicle today. Alan, of course, is a utility player at Newcastle, and it must be difficult for him to keep playing so many different positions for the team. But he never seems to complain about things, as long as he’s playing.
After starting the last game up front with Michael Owen against Portsmouth, he was asked to play the defensive midfield role against Sunderland and Alan played extremely well.
Alan Smith – a utility player with great commitment for the Newcastle cause
Alan Smith did well in the game on Saturday. He did particularly well in the first half to block a shot which looked like a certain goal, after Harper had half saved a previous effort. But passion and commitment are hardly in short supply with the gritty Yorkshireman.
Alan told the Evening Chronicle today:
“It shows passion from everyone – the support was unbelievable again,” “They’ve stuck with us when at times it’s been difficult.â€“We’re all still learning, and individual errors are costing us, but our reaction when they scored was the most positive thing. It’s the first away point we’ve got since Middlesbrough.â€
“People have questioned our passion and commitment, and I don’t think anyone could do that against Sunderland. That’s a pleasing aspect from our point of view.”
It turns out that Sam started six Englishmen in the derby game against Sunderland. But Alan knew exactly what the derby game meant to both sets of supporters before the game.
“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize how much it means to everyone,” “We’ve got players from Newcastle who know how much it means.â€“But you don’t have to be from round these parts to realize it’s about pride and people going to work on Monday morning talking about a result.â€
“That’s how difficult it is for people and we didn’t want to let anyone down. Nobody wants to give an inch, and I think you saw a fair reflection of that.â€
Alan admits to being a little disappointed with the result because after Sunderland scored, Newcastle went into a higher gear. In similar games against Everton and West Ham we’ve been able to score late goals to win the games. Once Newcastle scored and kept up the pressure, it looked like we could even nick the win. But it was not to be and a draw was a fair result overall.
“We’re a bit disappointed, and if you ask Sunderland, I’m sure they’ll be a bit disappointed as well. We started to control the game in the second half.â€“We knew how much of a threat Kenwyne Jones would be, and we tried to stop that at source as much as we could.â€ “We hoped to get to half-time, and then build on the performance.â€
“Sunderland scored a poor goal from our point of view.â€ “Our reaction after that was the most positive thing. It would have been easy for heads to go down.â€
“We were putting our bodies on the line.”
Whether you like Alan Smith or not, you cannot argue with the boy’s 100% commitment to Newcastle, and he’s just the type pf player that Newcastle fans admire. He never shirks his responsibility, and adds considerable bite to the Newcastle team. Just which position is Alan’s best is a bit of an unknown right now, and we’ll need to wait on that one. He can certainly play a good defensive midfield holding role, which he proved when he was at Manchester United. But we’re very glad to have Alan in the squad, that’s for sure.