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.â€“But you have to analyze each player for what they are, how they get the ball and how what you get out of them.â€
“I was with him at Lilleshall, and I’ve known what he can do from a young age.â€
“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.â€
“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.