Smith Probably A Squad Player For Keegan

A lot of fans have wondered how Alan Smith will fare under Kevin Keegan at Newcastle United and we get some hints from an interview Kevin gave today to the Evening Chronicle.


Alan Smith – will not play every game for Keegan

The Newcastle manager said today:

“Alan Smith is one of those players around the football club that are just a delight to have.” “These are the sort of guys you build the club spirit on. He may not play every week, but he can play in different positions.”

“I had to take him off because I felt I needed to make a little change.” “But you feel bad taking people like that off because you know they’re 100% committed.”

“It hurts them when you bring them off, even if they understand the reasons why.”

Great man management sensibilities again from Keegan, and you can see why his players respect him so much. Not just because he’s a football personality respected and liked all over the world, but because he treats his players with respect and as men. He also ensures they all know they are part of the Newcastle United Football club and have a part to play in its future success.

With Alan Smith, we wonder if he’s going to be happy to going back to potentially being a squad player under Keegan, which we think will happen. He left Manchester United for more games, so we’ll have to see how things turn out for Alan.

While Alan is very versatile, it’s more like he’s a Jack of all Trades but Master of None. What we mean by that is his best position is certainly striker, but he’s not the best striker at the club. He can also play central midfield and out wide, but again there are better players at the club who can play in those positions.

An excellent squad player for us, no doubt, and very experienced, and Alan gives his all for the club. But we wonder if he will enjoy being a squad player at Newcastle – we don’t think so.

What do you think?

Comments very welcome.

38 comments so far

  • James

    Feb 6, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #1

    He seems to love Newcastle but is miles away from being good enough for a starting 11 place. A fourth choice striker to bring on for the last 10 ten minutes of games at most.

    Hope he is sold in the summer though

    8 yellow cards, 1 red, and 3 suspensions, and no goals.

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 6, 2008 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #2

    Hes crap and so is Butt; get out!

  • ToonKing

    Feb 6, 2008 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #3

    Smuder is one of my favorite players in the squad, i would love to see him succed. He’s playing good up front when given the chance, but if he doesn’t start banging in a few goals i think he will be sold in the summer.

  • John

    Feb 6, 2008 at 4:54 PM

    Comment #4

    I prefer smith to Butt by miles..Good squad player..But Nicky Butt is one of the reasons were in the position were in at the mo.

    Im absolutley amazed he has’nt came in for any stick, seems like he has just dodged it…dont know how..

    Smith is 100 times better than Butt..Thats how much i hate nicky butt

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 6, 2008 at 4:54 PM

    Comment #5

    Need a new striker for 3rd/4th choice, i like Marica, not prolific but good to watch and gets many assists.

  • Tooner

    Feb 6, 2008 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #6

    Smith is miles better than Butt, but Butt is worthless. Smith is only marginally useful. 8 YC and a straight red, no goals? Get out.

  • Davies

    Feb 6, 2008 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #7

    Yeah, I like Smith, but he’s never going to be a prominent first choice. Handy to have somebody that versatile, and I wouldn’t be to quick to sell him.

    Licky Butt should be given to a charity shop or some other place you ditch stuff that doesn’t work anymore. Sorry Licky.

  • Hadrian

    Feb 6, 2008 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #8

    if smith was savy enough , he’d see a defensive midfield position at the club that needs filled .
    he’s certainly capible of playing their , if he worked on it abit more he could mark players out of the game .

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 6, 2008 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #9

    Hadrian – He cant pass for sht.

  • Gordon

    Feb 6, 2008 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #10

    He tries like hell, but should that really be enough when he clearly (post broken leg?) no longer has the ability…?

    Btw, Sir Alex must be thrilled, sold us Butt and Smith for more than £8m – all he needs do is offload Silvestre and Brown to us for a small fortune and he’ll be pissing himself.

  • paul p

    Feb 6, 2008 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #11

    a while ago someone listed a load of youth players that newcastle should go out ans sign such as emanualson, drenthe, turan, kingston etc, in your view who should newcastle try to sign in the summer. I definately think we should go for arda turan. he is going to be some player. who would others like to see??

  • Gordon

    Feb 6, 2008 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #12

    Anyone on Wenger’s shopping list 😉

    (That’ll be Charles N’Zogbia then…)

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 6, 2008 at 5:39 PM

    Comment #13

    Arda Turan isnt going to be immense but hes going to be good (well he already is).

    This is kind of realistic but who id like to see:

    Young RB: Zuiverloon
    LB: Maxwell
    CB: Kompany
    CDM: Toulalan
    CAM: Kahlenberg
    RM: Behrami
    CF: Marica
    ST: Kuranyi

    Just off the top of my head, maybe not that if i gave it some thought. I would have also had van der Vaart on that list but thats very unrealistic.

  • sparetheman

    Feb 6, 2008 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #14

    He wouldn’t even be a squad player if I had my way. I’m a bit concerned Keegan might fall into the trap Allardyce did by mistaking commitment for talent after his comments today.

  • Geordie Joe

    Feb 6, 2008 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #15

    Gordon – Anyone with technique will do me because that is what we are lacking, just like the england squad. We need someone who is comfortable on the ball when under pressure. someone who won’t give the ball away even half the amount that butt does.

  • CJ

    Feb 6, 2008 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #16

    Rozenhal signed by the king of bungs and went to play in the league of the bungers he will fit right in.

  • Geordie Joe

    Feb 6, 2008 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #17

    OK smith and butt give 100%. So would I but I am obviously not good enough. Its quality we need. I my opinion the key player for sir bobby robson was probably the laziest. Laurant robert.

  • Swede1891

    Feb 6, 2008 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #18

    Smith is giving 100%, definately..but most of the times thats just not good enough..However, for me he´s our 3rd option up case Owen and Martins are out so…he´s not totally useless…Just dont play this man in midfield!! (especially with Butt!!)

  • paul p

    Feb 6, 2008 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #19

    we need flair players in our team. man u have ronaldo, rooney, tevez, giggs, scholes, carrick, anderson, arsenal have fabregas, adeyebayor, hleb, diaby, rosicky, everton have cahil, fernandez, arteta, pionaer, we have nicky butt and alan smith……bloody quality……hahaha!!!! cahill has got more quality than these 2 put together, never mind playing them in midfield together. time has come now for us to move on and that means getting rid of average players like smith and butt dont matter how hard or how much graft they put in, they are just not good enough along with lots of others in our squad as we have already spoken of previously

  • carl.s.

    Feb 6, 2008 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #20

    i think the things said in the interview prove why keegan finds it hard to succeed. he is to emotionally involved with players, he admits it upsets him to take smith off. can you imagine ferguson or wenger and cappello saying that. they are very cold and pragmatic. as soon as you are no good to them you are got rid of.
    keegan, nice man but in my opinion not ruthless enough. i remember when he had shearer, asprillia, ferdinand. they were all playing great but 3 into 2 didnt go, so keegan played tino on the left wing so not to upset any of them. sums up to me what is wrong with keegan. there are worse things to be than to nice but im afraid at top level sport, nice gets you nowhere!

  • hamzemre

    Feb 6, 2008 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #21

    Smith is at best a squad player to cover others for his versatility in positions (dunno if he’d be goalie). He was an average player no flair,no goals, stupid tackles etc.We must find a tall top class striker/CF with astute of wor Sir Alan Shearer. If we’ve better reinforcement in the summer he’d go for any price.

  • Leo*

    Feb 6, 2008 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #22

    butt and smith are not good enough for the first team, and thats a bit of an understatement, i like smiths ethics but simply hasnt cut it.

    maybe if he scores once or twice he will get the confidence and that little bit extra, bit like benjani, he couldnt hit a barn door now look at him…

  • Howie

    Feb 6, 2008 at 6:31 PM

    Comment #23

    carl.s totally agree. hes a manager of the team, not one of the lads. successful managers in any walk of life have to be ruthless. i also think he says to much to the pres. did he need to say charles n’zogbia was unhappy publicly at least until the summer, if at all. and saying he felt guilty taking smith off is peculiar. its a bit patronising to alan smith aswell

  • ende

    Feb 6, 2008 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #24

    Smith is a fine replacement for Ameobi at the 4th striker role in the short term. As someone pointed out above, he could even potentially take the DM role from Butt (until we get Carrick! :D)

    Butt should retire after this season, start teaching the kiddies how to break legs.

  • Punk Skunk

    Feb 6, 2008 at 6:51 PM

    Comment #25

    I get the feeling that KK is telling Smith publicly that he ain’t playing every game, which is a good thing, isn’t it?..He’s just trying to let him down gently?..

  • Hadrian

    Feb 6, 2008 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #26

    @ carl.s
    i cant belive your not reading into keegan’s comments more than at face value , managers comments always have hidden agenda’s behind them .
    if he hadnt came out and said this we’d have one upset player on our hands when he found himself on the bench .
    smith’s not as bad a player as some of you make out either , people really need to start taking into consideration the style of play allerdyce tried with these players , we are in no position to judge their ability from perfomances under allerdyce , and they havent had time with keegan yet

  • big pea ov the weab

    Feb 6, 2008 at 7:22 PM

    Comment #27

    top striker 0 goals in how many games giv him the boot hes crap

  • Gordon

    Feb 6, 2008 at 7:22 PM

    Comment #28

    Funny how so many people were defending Butt saying how integral he was to the team only a few weeks ago…

    He’s shit and always has been since he left his hallowed Man U.

  • carl.s.

    Feb 6, 2008 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #29

    hadrian, thats my point. the manager shouldnt have to come out and explain to the world why he may be leaving a player out. its always been a problem up here. you dont get the top clubs coming out explaing why there leaving players of much bigger standing of smith on the bench ie. ronaldo was rested the other week, rooney is often on the bench. wenger used to drop henry now and again. only at newcastle was it front page news when anyone dared drop/rest shearer.
    i dont dislike smith but i dont think it needs explaining in the press why he may be used as a sub!


    Feb 6, 2008 at 8:04 PM

    Comment #30

    finally it is agreed. BUTT is butt and SMITH is butt. We’ve all known this for sometime now. don’t know why we would even buy players from any other PL teams. If their teams don’t want them, then that is the sign they are not quality for us. that is the arsenal way, get them young, farm them and then bleed them. Of course we want some relative success soon. So, get rid of Butt, Smith, Carr, Viduka, Ameobi, Troisi and Edgar. These players are dead wieght and pull us down just by being in the city. Get some younsters in with Quality, Heart and a LOVE for the game and CLUB. Then lets have some fun.

  • marcus owen

    Feb 6, 2008 at 10:36 PM

    Comment #31

    I personally believe that Smith and Butt are commited to NUFC, but there is one thing that they can’t change in short period of time, which is so called “ability”. Alan is worst compare to Butt because he got another thing so called “attitude” problem. However, i will still give credit to them in term of commitment.

  • lee

    Feb 7, 2008 at 2:01 AM

    Comment #32

    Fu***ng hell boys. Not a week goes by when you’re not trying to hound someone out of the club! Will you EVER be happy with what we’ve got?

    “bloody RONALDHINO, his teeth are far too big, we should sell him as soon as”.

  • Anon

    Feb 7, 2008 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #33

    “Smith Probably A Squad Player For Keegan”
    And rightly so!!!

    What has he brought to the table???

    Commitment doesnt win you games!!!!!!!

  • Anon

    Feb 7, 2008 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #34

    Keegan has stated he tried to sign 2 players in the transfer window, but it was too late.

    Any whispers of who they were anybody??

  • Graeme

    Feb 7, 2008 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #35

    I cant see the likes of Smith, Butt, Carr, Ameobi etc having ANY place in the future of NUFC. They might last another season, at best, to provide some cover.

    Thefollowing season, Owen, Duke, Emre, etc will also be surplus to requirements as they wont be good enough for the bench by that time. If I’m wrong, then Keegan hasnt been doing his job properly!!!!

  • nightfall

    Feb 7, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #36

    like i said a million times…smith should be the first player sold this summer… of all the players in the world i think he’s the worst…the fact is i hate bullies, especially bullies with no talent… the day we signed him was the worst day of my life as a NUFC fan…and then seeing ashley wearing his shirt…damn…but i’m a supporter and i’ll keep being one no matter what…

  • nufctj

    Feb 7, 2008 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #37

    never been a fan of Alan Smith, but isn’t he a shining example of the prototypical BSA player?

  • Stefan

    Feb 11, 2008 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #38

    Keegan is a gentleman who just wants to play good football.

    But bringing him back was a massive mistake. He is a tactical numpty and a quitter. I’m a Geordie meself and I know first hand what a hero the guy is to the region.

    Smith’s no good either but Keegan had no idea 12 years ago. He has even less now.


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