Smith Concerned About Lack Of First Team Options

Alan Smith seems worried, like the rest of us, about Newcastle United’s lack of depth ahead of this new crucial season.


Alan Smith – worried by lack of depth on Tyneside

Not only have we so far failed to recruit many new players, but Kevin Keegan’s preparations for next season have also been negatively impacted by the absence of a number of first-team players, for one reason or another.

Keegan has so far added Jonas Gutierrez from Real Mallorca, and Danny Guthrie from Liverpool to the squad, and it does now appear that we may land a couple of players this week – with Fabricio Collocini being the latest player we have bid for – so fingers crossed on that one – but the club has to move as quickly as possible to wrap that deal up.

Smith, has played in both Newcastle’s pre-season friendly games, and is concerned by the club’s current lack of first-team options with the new season less than 3 weeks away.

Smith told the Daily Express today:

“To see people missing in pre-season, that’s the biggest worry. But if we can get all those players fit, it will make a big difference.”

“Near the end of last season, we were fortunate to have just about all of our players fit and we put a decent run together. We need to get them right for the start of the season.”

“Realistically, for this club, the top half of the table is a must.”

“When you look around the dressing room the quality is there. But football now is more and more of a squad game, where the number of players at the club is important.”

“At the moment, we have not got that available.”

This is also going to be a key season for Smith, since he was less than impressive in his first year at the club.

But it’s now clear that Keegan will be keeping the former Leeds star, but we still think it will be difficult for him to get a game up front, once Owen, Martins and  Viduka return to full fitness and training.

But we’re also happy to be surprised by Smith this coming season, and if we are to do really well, we’ll need Alan and a few of our other fringe players to have really good seasons.

Certainly there has never been any doubts about Alan’s fighting qualities, character or determination, and from what we hear he’s a great lad to have in the dressing room.

Comments welcome.

23 comments so far

  • Jim

    Jul 28, 2008 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #1

    Taxi for Smith?
    Does Ameobi want a lift anywhere?

  • DanToon

    Jul 28, 2008 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #2

    Smith should shut the hell up coz if we make more signings it’s even less likely that he’s gunna play, coz he’s crap!

  • xfer

    Jul 28, 2008 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #3

    He should be the least worried. Any new players will walk right over his head.

  • adam

    Jul 28, 2008 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #4

    HAHAHAHAHA smith has a sense of humor

  • Patrick

    Jul 28, 2008 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #5

    Ed, I think it’s Coloccini, not Collocini (which would sound like Co’yo’cini)

    Hope Smith is doing well…. honestly.

  • Davies

    Jul 28, 2008 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #6

    I’m not going to slag Smith off for his lack of goals. He makes a good point here, even if he is say what we already know.

    I don’t care what anybody else says, if he is concerned, it’s because he cares, I’m sure he knows damn well that news signings will potentially take his place in the starting line up.

    Furthermore, if some of the other players gave the same commitment and effort on the pitch as Alan Smith does, we’d have finished a lot higher last season. I hope he finds his form.

    As for the reinforcements, we’ll just have to wait and see. Have a little faith in KK/MA/DW.

  • neeraj

    Jul 28, 2008 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #7

    ed.. you seem to be a big fan of smith
    2 articles in 10 mins……..

  • Ian

    Jul 28, 2008 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #8

    There is definately a coaching problem regarding scoring goals, Smith gets the brunt of it but the list has been:
    Emre hardly any yet an International
    Milner took ages to start scoring
    Carroll, doesnt seem to dare to let go in the first team,
    Nzogbia decent but looks like he could be deadly with development
    Chopra-then he went on to be better-why?
    Barton and so on

    It seems as if no-one is developing their extinct to go for goal, if a player arrives and starts scoring ie martins and owen, even Taylor, then no problem, if they have scored in the past but dont early onin our team they seem to lose confidence and goal awareness-why?

    Smith should be one to one with a goalkeeper and coach every training session until he is knocking them in over his head and from any angle/distance, they need to get a specialist in who makes it their natural reaction. The coaching is very poor on goal, it has improved with KK but he needs further assistance to improve it as he has to look at the overall picture and it needs to be a priority, all of these players are not crap they are not being coached properly in the art of goalscoring and not worrying if they miss, our attempts on goal are some of the lowest.

  • Danny

    Jul 28, 2008 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #9

    What really happened to Smith? He was vastly talented at Leeds, and has more than once showed his ability at Man Utd. He works very hard on the field, but his skill is just lacking…
    Any answers??


    Jul 28, 2008 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #10

    post 6 – I agree.

    Even when Smith says exactly what all of us believe the majority of comments are anti-Smith. Unbelievable. There was a time, not too long ago, where attitude was considered important. Smith has the right attitude. If given a chance in his proper position, I’d back him to be a success. Keep the faith Alan.


    Jul 28, 2008 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #11

    Danny – post 9 – confidence (lack of)

  • dick

    Jul 28, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #12

    barton has been released may find out soon what is going on with his situation

  • Spot The Zebra

    Jul 28, 2008 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #13

    Smith should put up or shut up.By the way Bartons out.Anyone fancy a knuckle sandwich from McDonalds ?

  • VeryNorthernMag

    Jul 28, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #14

    MAG PIE Post 10:

    I totally agree. When Fat Sam had the team playing that ‘wonderful’ football of his and morale was down the pan, Smith was one of the few who looked like he could be bothered.

    Fair enough his goals tally is shocking, but at least he puts a bit of effort in when he plays and his attitude is very good.

    I think KK can get Smith back to where he used to be i.e. a very good player.

  • clinta

    Jul 28, 2008 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #15

    At least Alan’ll get a chance of a game with the small squad we have!

  • steve

    Jul 28, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #16

    I don’t think anyone has ever slagged off Smith for his lack of effort, however running round like a headless chicken and diving in constantly does not constitute being a premiership player.
    The reason he moved from Man Utd was his lack of games and the fact that when he did play Fergie stuck him in midfield.
    He likes to think his best position is as a striker but neither Ferguson at Man Utd or BSA/KK at the toon have seen much proof.
    In a head to head on stats with Ameobi he loses in almost every department as a striker!

  • ANON

    Jul 28, 2008 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #17

    Ian, that specialist will one day be shearer I hope

  • Michael

    Jul 28, 2008 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #18

    Many people seem to be under the illusion that Smith used to be good. He has never been better than an average striker, his best ever league goal tally is 11, and that is the only time he has ever reached double figures. He showed some potential when he was young, and has been living off that ever since.
    Keegan is a motivator, not a miracle worker.

  • Ian

    Jul 28, 2008 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #19

    anon yes, why isnt he brought in just for that part time or temporary role? That might work.

    Michael, no-one who has moved to Newcastle since Bobby Robson’s days has improved on goal, in fact virtually everyone has got worse.

    Keegan can not spend forever coaching people to score himself, I think someone needs bringing in on a temp0rary basis to improve them, or look back and see if Robson employed someone or did something that we havent since.

    Think back to all the players we have bought since Robson’s days who cant score regularly, only Martins, Owen and Taylor have been ok for their positions at scoring, none of those have broken any records.

  • Simen

    Jul 28, 2008 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #20

    Ahaha! Thought the headline said: Smith Concerned About Lack Of First Team Opportunities 😀

  • Total Flanker

    Jul 29, 2008 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #21

    Is the squad that thin though?

    Assuming we need 2 players for each position in the 1st team squad we’ve already got:

    GK – Given, Harper
    RB – Beye, Edgar
    CB – Taylor, Cacapa
    CB – Faye, Kadar
    LB – Enrique, Tozer
    RM – Jonas, Milner
    CM – Guthrie, Butt
    CM – Barton, Geremi
    LM – N’Zogbia, Duff
    CF – Owen, Smith
    CF – Martins, Viduka

    Admittedly we could do with at least one quality defender and one quality CM – but otherwise there’s a bit of depth there, especially when you add Krul, Forster, LuaLua, Zamblera and Carroll to the mix.

    Not a top 6 squad, admittedly, but definitely good enough for 7th/8th.

  • Ian

    Jul 29, 2008 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #22

    Total F, good point and you missed the first new signing off too.

    I wish he had bought a reliable striker in case Owen and Viduka throw a sicky, Cisse would have been my forst choice but Kitson would have done, I know we dont want to ‘park’ players as Keegan puts it, and I dont think we would be with Cisse, but Jason Roberts did a brilliant job at Blackburn last season as a fall back and I think if we arent going to buy someone like Cisse we could do worse than sign someone in their last two years, just in case.

    Keegan did it in the past with Barnes and it worked, I do not know why he has dropped the idea now. Sibieski would work too.

  • Cooper

    Jul 29, 2008 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #23

    If we had bigger squad like we all want full of players like alan smith we’d finsih below sunderland and be relegated


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