Owen Praises Smith’s Efforts at Newcastle

Michael Owen is supporting his team mate Alan Smith today.His last league goal came almost 16 month’s ago.
Owen talked today to Miles Starforth of the Shields Gazette.


Alan Smith – no goals for Newcastle United

Michael told the Shields Gazette today:

“With Alan, he’s in the team to contribute goals,” “Obviously as a striker, he needs to chip in with goals.”“But you have to analyze each player for what they are, how they get the ball and how what you get out of them.”

“I was with him at Lilleshall, and I’ve known what he can do from a young age.”

“When he’s confident, he’ll score goals. The problem of confidence is throughout the team when you’re struggling. It’s infectious, but nobody’s working as hard as Alan.”

“He just shrugs things off after every game. Invariably, he’s coming off dripping with sweat, blood and whatever else you get on your shirt during a football game. He’d run through a brick wall for anybody.”

We have absolutely no problem with Alan’s commitment to Newcastle, none at all. And that’s not true with some of our other players currently in the side. But once Kevin said he thought Alan was a striker, and he has yet to score a goal for Newcastle, it doesn’t make sense to keep starting Smith. It’s only keeping some other player out, who could put the ball in the net. Oba Martins is one example.

And let’s not think it’s a success if Keegan sticks with Smith, and Alan eventually score a goal in the last 9 games. It would break his duck, but that can hardly be termed a success. On the other hand if Alan scores 5 or more goals in the last 9 games – we will stand corrected.

In fact with the way Butt has been playing, we think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to give Smith a run-out as a defensive midfielder. We know the boy will give everything he has, and Alan played well for a time in that role at Manchester United. It may be good having a fighter like Alan in the side – but not as a striker.

When you have players like Martins, Viduka and Carroll, just waiting for their chance, it’s hard to justify that Smith is being given a consistent start as a striker.

If Keegan starts Smith and Owen up front, we believe a lot of fans will be furious at the team selection – including us.

Comments welcome.

26 comments so far


    Mar 15, 2008 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #1

    Oh dear youve poked your finger into a wasps nest with this one Mikey.

  • ObaFan2

    Mar 15, 2008 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #2

    MO must be happy with Smith on the pitch cos it makes MO look better?

    Smith as defensive midfielder! With his poor reading of the play, badly timed challenges, giving away free-kicks in bad positions(if not penalties) and poor distribution!!!!!!!!

    Wow, must be the first player on the team sheet every week NOT!

    Drop the useless ****** .

    Yes if he scores 5 in the next nine games but imo he shouldn’t even be on the pitch to get any chances, not even worthy of being on the bench.

  • Leo

    Mar 15, 2008 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #3

    how can you say he contributes to goals when we havent been scoring. i dont think he is good enough and hope viduka carroll or martins starts instead of him

  • whitey

    Mar 15, 2008 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #4

    smith is useless, i think hes had 1 or 2 good games for the toon since he signed. waste of money. if keegan does not drop him for the birm game it shows he cant make that key decision in the best interest of the team. smith contributes very little .i watch him at st james and if a goal could be awarded for everytime he moans at an official, he would be top scorer in the prem and we would be sitting pretty at least in a european spot. hes overated and needs to warm those nice leather seats we have in the dugout

  • Newcastle United.

    Mar 15, 2008 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #5

    No doubt he trys his arse off, But thats not good enough at the end of the day.

  • UTD111

    Mar 15, 2008 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #6

    Its wrong to judge Smithy at the moment – he’s playing in a team that is struggling. Even Michael Owen is finding it hard to score. If everybody in the team put as much effort into their shift as he does we might not be where we are.
    You don’t become a bad player overnight, and if he was good enough to get into Manure’s team – he’s not a bad player.

  • Andreas

    Mar 15, 2008 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #7

    Smith will play RM , Vid and MO strikers and Oba will be on the bench against Brum. Sad but I really don’t think KK will drop MO and play Oba with Vid (who I do think will start – if fit). With Milner out Smith gets he’s automatic start in that position.

  • Rafael

    Mar 15, 2008 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #8

    guys if u review the first half games this season, u will find smith contributing most of the goals in the beginning.
    and no one does well currently,it’s of no rationality to judge a teams performance to simply one player, any player

  • scott9

    Mar 15, 2008 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #9

    yes bu owen that aint enough at his level

  • Walter Tibbs

    Mar 15, 2008 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #10

    His last league goal was scored in November 2005: nearly THIRTY months ago.

    Not Premiership standard anymore – just like poor Mikey Bridges whose career was derailed by injury.

    It’s sad for the player, but this is a relegation scrap. We cannot afford highly paid passengers playing on name recognition only.

  • daiv

    Mar 15, 2008 at 7:21 PM

    Comment #11

    KK knows what he is doing and if he picks Smith and Owen again, then it will be for the benefit of the team. Get off Smith’s back and he will score a load of goals.

  • Leo

    Mar 15, 2008 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #12

    what gives you that impression daiv? loads of goals… dont get too far ahead of yourself.

  • Andreas

    Mar 15, 2008 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #13

    Leo, I am quite sure daiv was sarcastic.

  • JJ

    Mar 15, 2008 at 8:16 PM

    Comment #14

    Daiv, are you skitso? you bitch about Kev Keegan all the time now you say he must play Smith when Oba if fit?
    I dont beleive he will play Smith up front and Im quite sure it will we Oba Viduka and Owen in the starting line-up.
    Milner is injured so Barton Smith and butt unfortunately will probably play in midfield with duff of Nzog. I would like Geremi in Smiths place and Emre for butt if he is fit.
    Regardiong the article:
    Owen has not been fantastic on the goal scoring department himself having played more than Oba and scored less.
    So he can bond with Smith on the subs bench if they so close and Oba can play up front with Viduka or Carrol for me.

  • richie

    Mar 15, 2008 at 8:35 PM

    Comment #15

    3 up front hopefully vid owen and martins

  • daiv

    Mar 15, 2008 at 11:33 PM

    Comment #16

    Not skitso..just trying to be positive. I would never select Smudger but KK will. Hes getting paid £5M to select players I would not. I am just getting behind any team KK selects and hoping for the best.

  • Reb

    Mar 16, 2008 at 4:30 AM

    Comment #17

    Owen seems to have adopted Keegan’s style of late — praise everyone, because slagging them off certainly won’t help the dire confidence they all seem to possess at the moment. Remember Owen’s strongest criticism of Keegan as England manager was that “Kevin Keegan never told me I was good at anything” — he’s not likely to repeat that mistake himself. And actually, this is sort of damning with faint praise — ‘oh, Smith, he works hard he’d run through a brick wall but he needs to score’ — precisely, Michael lad. He needs to score. Good of you to notice, now will Keegan?

  • UTD111

    Mar 16, 2008 at 7:18 AM

    Comment #18

    Don’t know how Keegan and Owen can be so wrong about Smithy – lets face it they know nowt about football when set against some of the fantastic football experts in here……..you lot are wasted sitting in front of a computer…. :o)

  • Nobby!

    Mar 16, 2008 at 8:12 AM

    Comment #19

    Alan Smith’s effort?! What effort?

    I thought he was gon’ be a great buy for NUFC, seein’ as his he didn’t get much time in Man Ure. Then again, I guess now we now why Ferguson didn’t give him time!

  • TooooooN

    Mar 16, 2008 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #20

    If its not effective – in any situation in the world = we need to change! drop smith play viduka or caroll or martin or even any unknown striker from our under 19 or under 17

  • hanzemre

    Mar 16, 2008 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #21

    yeah Smith ought to go & play for the reserve only after he starts scoring regularly there KK’d consider to pick him up! Give way to Martins, Carroll to shine.

  • Hamabi

    Mar 16, 2008 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #22

    Manchester United fan in peace. It seems that Smith is good at winning the ball in the air for you lot but he’s winning it in the wrong place. If he needs to win the ball it needs to be ahead of Owen – Smith only seems to be winning the ball aerially in midfield – but what for? There are other ways to win the ball rather than out-jumping midfielders and then trying to get Butt/Barton to control the header (doesn’t work).

    I do think, however, that starting Smith sends out the wrong message to the team. For a team that is fighting relegation, you should be sending out your best strikers. Giving Martins and Owen a shot together, playing as traditional centre-forwards, with perhaps N’Zogbia being the creative midfielder behind them, is a positive attacking formation and one Keegan should consider, amongst others.

    Smith really needs to sort out his role and his scoring. Otherwise he does need to be dropped for good reason. Other than winning headers, he only seems to foul players in stupid positions and pass to wrong players which is an overall negative on his performance as a whole.

  • dragoner

    Mar 16, 2008 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #23

    if KK continues to pick the same useless team selection until the end of the season leaving players like martins out of the squad, i will no longer refer to him as KK, it will become TFI (The F****N Idiot!)

  • dragoner

    Mar 16, 2008 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #24

    richie i would like 3 up front also, however owen has been poor and should be dropped. i would even prefer smith over owen, even though he cant score to save his life, he fights for the ball and will help get the attention off of martins and viduka

  • dragoner

    Mar 16, 2008 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #25

    owen is too one dimensional, defenders have been finding it easy to get him out of the game, all they have to do is keep tight to him as he has no pace or strength to shrug them off. Add to that he will hardly ever win the ball in the air when challenged…so why does he play!? he is not clinical in front of goal like torres, eduardo, drogba etc so why do we play him!?

  • Leo

    Mar 16, 2008 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #26

    hamabi your not far off there, even though ur a manchester fan. smith does win headers but always in useless places…

    and everyone knows what he is like at giving away senseless freekicks in really bad positions.


You must log in to post a comment.