Joe Kinnear is very happy to see Alan Smith back in the groove and itching for a first team spot, after being out with an Achilles injury since August.
Alan Smith – should be in the squad on Saturday at WBA
Alan is one of the players who has not been available to Joe since he took over as Newcastle manager in late September, and there’s only one other player he hasn’t seen in action.
That’s our Uruguayan loan signing Ignacio Gonzalez, but is he still at the club? Joe had said in early January they would probably send him back to Valencia, so we don’t know if he’s still at the club, and we would expect the Board to tell us something, if he has moved back to Spain – but we’ll not hold our breath.
Of course in January there was some confusion because Smith was reportedly offered to Middlesbrough during the winter market. Since Joe presumably didn’t know about that, was that Dennis Wise controlling things again?
As soon as Joe heard about it he put a stop to it, and Alan said he wanted to stay at Newcastle and prove himself.
Joe said today:
“I’ve been unable to pick Smithy since coming in as manager and I’m delighted to get the opportunity to do so now.”
“I’ve always rated Smithy very, very highly – and he’ll bring the battling qualities we need at the moment.”
“He wears his heart on his sleeve, and that’s what you need when you are up against it.”
There’s no doubt that Smith is a Kinnear type of player, who gives his all for the team, and never gives up – much like newly signed Kevin Nolan.
Whether Joe can get the best out of Alan remains to be seen, but if Joe can do that, he’s got a very good experienced player in the squad in Alan Smith.
We hope that happens.
What do you think about Alan Smith – can he get the job done for Newcastle this season?