Nobody doubts Alan Smithâ€™s passion for the game, and now that he is the new captain of Newcastle United, not many fans question that he is fully committed to the club.
Alan Smith – new captain fully committed to Newcastle’s success
But Smith has great pride and he thinks heâ€™s at the right club at Newcastle because the fans share his pride, fervor and passion for the game.
But Smith was signed by Big Sam and was made captain by Allardyce and was very much a Sam Allardyce type player, so things may be uncertain right now for Alan, not to mention our other players.
So itâ€™s interesting to see what Smith has been saying to the Newcastle Journal this morning, in a long interview, before our game at Old Trafford later today.
â€œI could have stayed at Manchester United,â€ â€œI would probably have played 20 games and picked up a Premier League medal and got to an FA Cup final, but this career doesnâ€™t last forever.â€
â€œWhen I broke my leg I thought to myself that if I ever did get back fit, I wanted to be playing regularly because I missed 13 months and when youâ€™re not playing you realize what youâ€™re missing. As soon as I did that in my mind, deep down, I knew I needed to leave.â€
â€œI had two-and-a-half years left on my contract and I was getting paid good money. I could have played enough games to pick up medals, but I donâ€™t know how much satisfaction Iâ€™d get from that to be honest.â€
â€œI wouldnâ€™t have done because the challenge of playing week in week out and testing yourself is what this lifeâ€™s all about. Thatâ€™s why I came to Newcastle.”
“When I look back this time last year it was still in the balance whether Iâ€™d play again so to be back and be captain of Newcastle is something, a year ago, Iâ€™d dared not dream about. Iâ€™m looking forward to rattling a few cages on Saturday.â€
Smith is certainly prepared to give the same loyalty to the manager who eventually replaces Sam Allardyce, however disappointed he may be at Samâ€™s sudden departure from the club. But he also has the game at Manchester United firmly in his mind, as he continued:
â€œIâ€™m fit and I canâ€™t wait to face Manchester United,â€ â€œItâ€™s a big game for us and no better place to go to test yourself against the best team in the country.”
“Iâ€™ve had an experience at (Manchester) United you probably wouldnâ€™t get at any other club and when that chance arises to go there itâ€™s difficult to turn it down. I enjoyed every minute of it, other than the time at Anfield when I broke my leg.â€
â€œI got a lot of stick from a lot of people for going there, but when youâ€™re striving to get to the pinnacle of your career and when a club like that comes in for you, itâ€™s difficult to say no.â€
Smith is also honest enough to admit that things have not gone as well as the team was expecting this season. At the start of the season they were perhaps hoping for a trophy and certainly qualification for Europe.
â€œThings have not gone well in terms of what we wanted to achieve. At the start of the season we were looking at the UEFA Cup and thatâ€™s still not out of reach. As it was at Leeds, you donâ€™t know what youâ€™re going to get with Newcastle.”
“I was fortunate that at Leeds I was there when we were in Europe and also when we were relegated, so Iâ€™ve been at both ends of the scale.â€
â€œFor a young lad, as I was then, that keeps you in good stead. You can try and keep a constant, not get too excited, not get too flattened and keep yourself ticking over.â€
But this has been 4 days of utter turmoil at the club and even more upheaval and uncertainty for everybody associated with the Newcastle club, let’s be honest about that. But Alan Smith thinks there are few better places to play football than on Tyneside as he added:
â€œEveryone knows how passionate the fans are up here and how much success they want through their passion.” “When you drive down the street, everyoneâ€™s got a Newcastle shirt on, that what itâ€™s all about and I wouldnâ€™t change that for the world.”
“People might be criticizing or having a go at you when youâ€™re not playing well, but thereâ€™s no better place to be than on a football field when theyâ€™re all behind you.â€â€œWould I rather have unpleasantness than boredom? Of course. Nobody wants boredom, do they?
â€œIâ€™d rather have 52,000 (people) having a go at you rather than having empty seats. No one wants to play in front of empty seats.â€
Well said Alan Smith – now for a win at Manchester United today. Or a draw would be just fine too. 😀