Alan Smith Can Follow Duff’s Example – Keegan

We have no idea if Alan Smith is going to stay at the Tyneside club. but if he does Kevin Keegan thinks he can follow the example set by Damien Duff, to get himself back into the fans’ good books.


 Alan Smith – do a Damien Duff says Kevin

Kevin was still enthusing about Duff’s performance on Saturday, when he looked like a new player for Newcastle:

“He looked like he could run forever against Valencia and the goal he scored was probably not the sort of goal you associate with Damien Duff, a great towering header, really attacking the ball,”

“His fitness level is fantastic, he’s really, really trained hard and I’ve just said to him, ‘You’re now getting the reward for your training out on the pitch.”

“There’s a chance with two or three players here that if we get them back where they should be fitness-wise, we’ll have two or three new players within our squad.”

One of those players is probably Charles N’Zogbia, who has looked extremely good in pre-season – wonder who the others are?

Smith seems fit enough apart from an ankle that is apparently a bit sore, but it’s all in his mond, as with most confidence based problems:

“Under other circumstances you could be saying the same thing about Damien Duff at this point,”

“You’re just two or three games away from turning everything around in football. Duffer’s had a good pre-season, scored three goals at Hartlepool, another against Valencia and played very well.”  “The solution is always mainly in the player’s hands and the manager helps.”

“That’s what I’ll be doing with Alan Smith, as with any player who has had a problem with confidence or goes through a spell where they’ve not been playing much. That’s our job. We can do that.”

However, Keegan surprisingly refused to criticize the daft supporters who booed Smith when he came on for Oba Martins on Saturday:

“I’m not going to try and tell this crowd what to do,”

“It’s a very knowledgeable crowd. I’m not going to tell them what they should see. I know one thing – it’s my job to see the good things and there’s a lot of them.”

Keegan wants to keep Alan Smith, and as like any other player in his squad, he sees the challenge to somehow get the best out of the player, but it still looks like Alan could be on his way in the next 3 weeks.

Kevin continued:

“I definitely think there’s a lot more to come from Alan,” “He’s got a lot of desire. If he didn’t have any desire I’d say you’re wasting your time.”

“I’ve known lots of players turn themselves around, I know Alan will. Alan Smith is a Newcastle player and that’s it. What happens in the future, you’ll be the first to know.”

Kevin has said he is hoping for 3 players to come in this week, before the Man United game, but Coloccini, while still in Newcastle, hasn’t been announced as having joined the club yet.

One thing we have learned about the pending transfer since Saturday – Fabricio will not be getting a haircut.  Kevin likes it and even compares it to how he had his hair in the 70s.

But these transfers seem to move at a snail’s pace, don’t they?

Let’s keep our fingers crossed about this week.

Comments welcome.

41 comments so far

  • Will

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #1

    Sell Sell Sell

    “If he didn’t have any desire I’d say you’re wasting your time.” – LMAO

  • clinta

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #2

    KK’s not silly enough to openly criticise the toon faithful, but he surely must be thinking along similar lines to alot of us on here,

    that booing a newcastle player is not on, and not the way you support the team, hell i’m not a fan of barton really but if his wearing the black and white, I want to see only the best from the lad.

  • Born Again Geordie

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #3

    Duff last season was just injured – smith is just crap !!!

  • Ryan

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #4

    If Alan Smith ever turns out to be a gem. KK is the 1 who helps him

  • clarke~_19_rangers

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #5

    get rid now

  • roy morten79(norway)

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #6

    let him get some matches with the reserves. i think that when he starts to score again he will be the striker we need as backup for viduka. can`t see this as the end of his career.

  • The Entertainers

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #7

    Keegans right about Smith, if Duff can do it then Smith can. Firstly Duff has been terrible since joining us and in 2 years am struggling to think of too many good games.

    Smith IS a quality player and i can see why Kev wants to keep him, clearly believing he can transform him too.

    Smith has been demoralised by Big Sam and now unbelievabley being booed by ‘supporters’. He doesnt deserve any cheers or chants, but NEVER boo a Newcastle United player, without good cause (Dyer, refusal to play under Bobby).

    However it may be best for all parties if Smith moves on to pastures new as we need to be united on all fronts. Players and fans alike!

  • Toooooooooooooooooon

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #8

    duff = injured and take time to recover.

    smith=got all the chances not only as a midfielder but also a striker and never ever did well. (he never get much of the ball either). Ameobi is even better than him ( at least he can shoot and win header)

  • kajman

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #9

    morning ed and fellow blogers….we have to give smith a chance….kk first full we’ll have to wait and see…personaly i think he will be sold at the players request…but we ‘ll see…

  • nightfall

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #10

    smith can follow the likes of bowyer, dyer, etc. etc…out of st. james park…

    i mean…football club is not a therapy room…if you’re good you stay if not you leave..he’s got enough money to retire, but i won’t watch egoistic players who are in crisis trying to solve their personal problems at the club’s expences…

  • jarra-martins

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #11

    is collocini signing today or will it be wednesday beacose of the open training day at sjp


    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #12

    I think it’s now a matter of pride as far as KK and Smith are concerned. I believe that KK thinks he can turn a pigs ear into a silk purse. I will be amazed if he pulls it off, but he is the Messiah (at the moment) so you never know. I just hope he doesn’t become blinkered and keeps playing him just to try and prove he is right. Even though Smith’s current form seems to indicate he should not be anywhere near first choice in any position.

  • geordie jock

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #13

    Toon fans have always had a good name but i think it’s time they had a good look at themselves. Booing their own players is not on especially as Alan Smith never causes any problems, he always gives 100% , alright he isn’t having the best of times at the moment but he doesn’t deserve the treatment he is getting both at SJP and from so called supporters on this site. The time has come for everyone to get behind the club and hopefully enjoy the new season.

  • The Entertainers

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #14

    I remember a time when we as fans had more clear fans favourites than boo boys:


    Now theres a plethora of boo boys or mixed feelings:

    Thats a full team ! Ok i accept they havent exactly given us loads to cheer about in recent seasons. But lads please back the team / players when wearing the shirt.

    I always thought like Keegan we had some of the most knowledgable fans in the country with the likes of Liverpool.

    Well Liverpool are in a state of unbalance too and there fans appear to be acting with far more passion and support than we are.
    Demonstrations before and after matches and 110% support during the games.
    When a player like Guthrie leaves, who they clearly dont need (a bit like Shola or Smith at our club) do they slag him off ? No. Read there forums they wish him the best and many believe he could turn out to be like Gerrard.

    I often read this forum with shame, as fans we are entitled to critise the club when given cause. Yes players have let theirselves and the fans down in the past, the likes of Dyer and Bowyer come to to mind.

    But come on lads as the season nears we as fans need to back OUR club 110% again. Just like we can, just like we used to!

  • bowburnmag

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #15

    There must be two universal truths obvious to everyone and that we all agree on. Hell, Keegan and others have come out and and said it publicly. 1) Smith has not been good enough 2) Smith has always worked his knackers off. I was always brought up to be diplomatically mute in the presence of cr*p like Frank Pingel et al even if there was a resonant grumble of discord heard muttered under our breaths. But if we’ve come to a stage where we publically and vocally criticise one of our ‘tryers’ I’m not sure I can be so proud to call myself a Mag anymore.

  • joe

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #16

    I still think Smith could be a decent defensive midfielder. Cover for Butt. If we get 3m for him then champion, if he stays then the booing has to stop.

  • sas

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #17

    Well said geordie jock. What does singling out one of our players for abuse going to solve? Other than giving opposition defenders a boost and eroding the rapidly diminishing confidence of one our strikers.

  • Gorskino10

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #18

    Worst player I’ve seen in a NUFC shirt. Even worse than Luque+Boumsong+Vianna put together. Just cut our loses and buy Derdiyok for like 1 or 2 mill more atleast this guy will get goals, even Healy he is a pure goalscorer bit has been unlucky at Fulham maybe worth 2mill.

  • beye the great

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #19

    smith is a good player i cant believe people dont recognise that yeah he is having a bad time with confidence bur he will come good a lot of can ant 1 remember when crouch could nt get his first liverpool goal or duff last season we gave duff 2 seasons to sort him self out and he has done that smith should not have been booed it is not right even if he sint doing that well he does his best and shows a good attitude and keeps trying despite his confidence being the way it is and being jeered is not helping him you should only ever boo a player for a bad attitude and that is something smith does not have

    i will eat my hat if smth does nt come good

  • Derdi4Toon

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #20

    at their respective primes Smith might be half the player Duff was. good to see Duff has recovered in his form a bit (still not sure if he can carry this into the new season tho), but seriously dun think we should waste any more time in Smith. he’s probably the only EPL player who doesnt know what he shld do nor where he shld be on the pitch. ManU and Sir Alex has simply ruined his career. we r just daft to pick up a rotten player from a cunning old man. it’s time to cut loss. ship him to the toffees.

  • Magpie Neil

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #21

    He had plenty of chances to prove his worth last season. He is living off his past “glory”. Time to get rid of this loser. If he ever puts on a Newcastle top again I will be very embarrassed.

    If people want to boo bad players let them. I didnt read any comments on this blog from people complaining about the booing of Shola at Hartlepool, and he has done more for the club than Smith ever has.

    Sometimes I think Keegan is too sentimental. Smith is a lost cause and no amount of Keegan motivation and coaching is going to resurrect his career……….. JUST GET RID KEEGAN!!

  • Ryan

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #22

    How come we still have not announced Bassong officially, maybe 2 of the 3 KK wants is Bassong and Collocini.


    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #23

    Another reason why I feel KK is defending Smith so strongly is the strong rumours that MA wants to ship him out. There may may be a battle of wills going on behind the scenes.

    It is highly probable that MA reads or at least monitors this blog (and others) and is listening to the opinions of the majority of the (true) fans, including the boo boys. Even the most ardent of Smith supporters must realise that he has shown nothing in his game (so far) to justify his continued presence in the team. MA possibly feels the same way and reasons, why continue to pay high wages to a non performer, it is poor financial and poor football sense.

  • 9 Shearer

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #24

    smith should no second chances. I was with KK for the support of Barton but not for Smith. Barton is class. Smith had the whole season to impress but he didnt.

    Barton, Duff,Owen and Viduka got injuried and when they got match fitness you saw what happened Class. Owen, Barton and Viduka saved us relegation and Duff has put a smile on our faces all pre-season.

    Smith ah ah …….. noything, he should leave.

  • Danish_Magpie

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #25


    Or he may be trying to push the price up.
    Or he may actually mean what he is saying.

    Point is, we don’t know, and we will just have to wait and see.

    I don’t think there is a battle between Keegan and Ashley going on. They seem to have gotten on the same page.

    When the hell will Coloccini be presented!?

  • Dan13

    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #26

    good point magpie Neil
    I’m sick of people going on about the booing
    I’m going to admit it….
    i’m sick of Alan Smith coming on almost every match and ruining the rythm or what rythm we have left by giving away simple passes or pathetic little shots as he did at valencia.
    If fans want to boo, by all means boo
    I won’t tho 🙂


    Aug 11, 2008 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #27

    The Entertainers, what you have to remember is that the players you cite as being more cheered than booed, is that they played in a period of relative success. The latter (booed) players have been playing in one of the worst periods for the Toon.
    Yes it is better to get behind the team, but you have to appreciate that there is a lot of frustration from the last two (very poor) seasons and the only way for the fans to show their displeasure is to vent their rancour at the players who do not seem to be putting in the effort or performances.
    Get a good season and I guaruntee the boos will become a distant memeory.

  • geordie jock

    Aug 11, 2008 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #28

    Half of you morons make me ashamed to be a toon supporter. Yes everyone is entitled to their opinions but the critisism of Alan Smith and Shola Ameobi to name but two is nothing short of disgraceful. At a time when everyone should be pulling in the same direction you are making us a laughing stock. We should all be looking forward too the new season not bickering among ourselves. Come on toon fans GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER.

  • bowburnmag

    Aug 11, 2008 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #29

    Dan13 et al – surely you can see the flaws in your logic? Smith is a 100%er. He puts the graft in, does his job and doesn’t complain. If a manager plays him, it’s their error not his if he’s not up to scratch. Keegan is limited in his choices or dare I say it, he’d be nowhere near the first team but booing players never helped anyone and makes us seem like w***ers.

  • Ian

    Aug 11, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #30

    If due to injury we were down to one main striker, either Martins or Owen, I would still rather have Smith alongside them rather than Carroll, while Smith may or may not ever get back to his scoring ways he looks much more likely to get in there and knock on a header or get the ball to the main striker than Carroll does. Carroll looks slow and lazy, not as if he as a new young player has a chance to show his worth.

    Unless we get some other good strikers in I can understand Keegan wanting to keep him, plus he will play anywhere on the pitch, put 100% in and not complain about it.

    The team we have at the moment, I would rather he stayed.

    I would love him to start finding the net, but we can all dream!

    Unless there are injuries Smith may never play at all next season.

  • Dan13

    Aug 11, 2008 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #31

    Did i say i booed him?!
    I have faith in him, yes he tries
    but at the end of the day…
    He’s SHITE!

  • Dan13

    Aug 11, 2008 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #32

    that would be good

  • The Entertainers

    Aug 11, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #33

    @ Bill F

    I completely accept your point of view and understand many fans taking that same stance and i made a slight reference to that point.

    However its the fickle nature of only cheering when your winning i cant stomach. I believe the best fans are the ones who raise the roof when the players are down.
    We use to do that, the roar at SJP was as famous as the club its self. That unfortunatley has gone. Other clubs are getting more recognition for there fans and that hurts me as a Newcastle fan.

    I know success is lean at the moment, but as fans we can be the best again, so lets do it.

  • Smith scores!

    Aug 11, 2008 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #34


  • ehssi

    Aug 11, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #35

    remember when evrybody hated butt….please give smith one more season 🙂

  • bowburnmag

    Aug 11, 2008 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #36

    The Entertainers – “success is lean at the moment”?? Some of us have had years to get used to it. Other have been spoiled by ‘relative’ success of the Keegan and Robson eras. And conversely sickened by other’s reigns. At any of those stages, the occasional collective grumble of discord at the entire farce is front of you is understandable. But to single out individuals is alienating and unhelpful particularly if that player is giving his all.

  • Ian

    Aug 11, 2008 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #37

    I think that the main point about Smith was he was brought in as a midfielder, he shouldnt get criticism as a striker when filling a different role.

    Smith was criticised more than Emre and Duff in midfield, which doesnt seem right when Emre is an international midfielder and supposed to be top man alongside Duff and Gerami also both internationals.

    Smith now is getting criticised for the striker situation when really we have the old Michael Owen situation of him being unwell yet again yet Owen is the top paid player in the team, the Viduka being unfit situation (but he was on the cheap and isnt young), the Carroll being unfit still (we presume) and the Shola who couldnt seem to play his socks off and try to make us all think maybe we should be keeping him and selling someone else.

    It really makes us wonder if we shouldnt have shipped Owen out, bought someone more reliable and then no-one else would be an issue at the front. This may be a sign of what is to happen yet again.

    Our season long problem could be Owen yet again but Smith may get the focus of that frustration.

    Smith seems to be getting the blame for everything.

  • The Entertainers

    Aug 11, 2008 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #38

    @ Bowburnmag

    i think we’re singing from the same hymn sheet mate.

  • bowburnmag

    Aug 11, 2008 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #39

    The Entertainers – absolutely. I was just adding to your points but also found it amusing when you said “at the moment”. My sense of humour has been reinforced by years of despondency.

  • Obafan

    Aug 11, 2008 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #40

    Would be glad if he went this week, but only if we have a replacement lined up; and I think the 3rd player we will get will be Eren Derdiyok so Smith can go.


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