Hughton Could Use Smith And Guthrie At Bolton

It would be good to see Alan Smith in midfield for our game at Bolton this Sunday, and he could form a decent central midfield partnership with Nicky Butt.


Alan Smith – central midfield on Sunday?

Danny Guthrie may even be fit again to take over, until Kevin Nolan returns from a 3 game suspension he now must serve.

Alan has made a successful comeback from an ankle injury after playing three Reserve team games, and when he came on for the last minutes of the game on Sunday he looked good and anxious to do well.

That’s not surprising given that was Smith’s first appearance of the season for the Magpies. It could be that the England international could start at the Reebok Stadium, but Chris is not saying too much about what he’s thinking, and we don’t even know if Danny Guthrie will be fit for Sunday.

Hughton told the Evening Chronicle today:

“It’s three games, and it’s a problem for us, but these are the problems you have to overcome.”

“Where we’re fortunate is that we’ve got players who have come back from injury.”

“The bench was probably as strong, experience-wise, as we’ve had for some time. In these periods you need that.”

That sounds as though Guthrie may be ready for Bolton – we hope so, because Danny has hardly ever let the side down when he’s played, and while he’s still improving as a player, he could become another bargain buy for the club.

Hughton was at the KC Stadium with Colin Calderwood last night, as we mentioned in an earlier report, and saw  Tottenham get a vital 3 points when they beat Hull City 2-1, to go above Newcastle on goal difference.

Chris also says he could be tempted to start striker Oba Martins against Bolton on Sunday, after his substitute appearance against Everton.

Oba looked sharp and seems ready to start against Bolton, as the team must get on the goals track again – and a win against Bolton would be just terrific!

Chris continued:

“Obafemi Martins is a big player for us. He’s another option for us up front.”

“Andy Carroll’s been training, and he’ll push on this week.” “He should be available for the Bolton game.”

It will be interesting to see what news we get this week about the fitness of Danny Guthrie – that will be very good news if Danny can start against Bolton.

Chris could even start with Alan Smith and have Danny on the bench in reserve, and he could come on if needed.

Comments welcome.

40 comments so far

  • ObaFan2

    Feb 24, 2009 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #1

    Why so optimistic about Smith…. personally I’m not gonna hold my breath as he’s been rubbish in B&W so far.

    Didn’t he do an “air shot” after being on the pitch for a few minutes on Sunday when he had a real good chance?

  • TheToonKing

    Feb 24, 2009 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #2

    Guthrie i think is still a little while away so Smudger – Butt is all we got in midfield……pretty scary…. 🙁 …but should do against Bolton.

  • murphy

    Feb 24, 2009 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #3

    Good news, I’d love it if we had a full squad available i’d feel so much more confident of survival!!!

    Beye collo Bass Enrique
    S.Taylor Nolan Barton Jonas
    Martins Owen

    Caroll,duff,lovenkrands,taylor,guthrie,krull, ameobie.

    that’s a very strong squad!!! shame it’ll never happen! maybee that’ll be the line-up for aston villa?

  • Toon Graeme

    Feb 24, 2009 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #4

    Gutted that Danny got injured – On the training ground!

  • cashleyout

    Feb 24, 2009 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #5

    martins has to start ahead of ameobi

    but this is nufc remember so it’ll prob be shameobi and lovenkrands again. hope im wrong tho.

  • Corinthian

    Feb 24, 2009 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #6

    It most certainly would not be good to see Alan Smith in midfield or anywhere on the field against anyone.

  • Born Again Geordie

    Feb 24, 2009 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #7

    Is anybody familiar with the Guinness saying …………..

    ‘Not everything in Black and White makes sense’

    That is NUFC 😉

  • RyanToon

    Feb 24, 2009 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #8


    s.taylor coloccini bassong enrique

    r.taylor butt smith jonas

    martins lovenkrands

    my team for bolton

  • Whumpie

    Feb 24, 2009 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #9

    Smith is a battler, but he won’t have long to prove himself before we all have to conclude that he’s just not going to cut it in black and white. I hope he comes through – if he just had the performances to match the attitude he’d be quite an asset.

    I also don’t mind relying on some older players for now, when you look at the likes of Lua Lua and Donninger coming through the ranks. The re-signing of Butt makes a lot of sense from that point of view.

    As for Martins, I’m not so sure he looked that sharp on Sunday. On the couple of occasions when he had the ball he was fine – but he just wasn’t in the right place to get the ball in the first place for most of the time.

  • Whumpie

    Feb 24, 2009 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #10

    RyanToon – agree on that starting line-up. What I’d love to see is us being comfortable with half an hour to go, then switch to something a bit more goal-friendly like:


    —–r.taylor– smith– jonas

  • It Could Be Worse...We Could Be Spurs -DC-

    Feb 24, 2009 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #11

    we could be in trouble up against Muamba and that new signing Davies (?) they’ve looked good when I’ve watched them, well far better than Butt and Smith

  • Nick D

    Feb 24, 2009 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #12

    Corinthian you beat me to it.

    Ed you’ve got to stop spouting your particular feelings as gospel for the rest of us. Butt and Smith has to be as uncreative a midfield as you could ever get !!! I can’t believe we’ve given Butt yet another extension.

    Surely Lua Lua deserves a shout in midfield or one of the youngsters.

    Smith = no goals, no assists, just yellow and red cards.

  • lesh

    Feb 24, 2009 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #13

    Tell you what, looking at Enrique’s words from the Chron-
    “Enrique admits he was sad to see key stars like James Milner, Shay Given and Charles N’Zogbia quit the St James’s Park, but the £6m man says he is happy to commit his future to the black and whites.
    He told the Chronicle: “I want to stay here and fight for this club.
    “I have been angry this season because of the position we are in.
    “It has been difficult for everybody.
    “But we all want to move this club up the Premier League.”

    Jose’s showing a great attitude and if Smudge and the rest of the lads show this sort of spirit on the park, we’ll be ok this season.

    Fingers crossed!

  • batty

    Feb 24, 2009 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #14

    hughton and calderwood put in charge for the rest ov the season

  • LoonyToon @ graft

    Feb 24, 2009 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #15

    Whumpie // Feb 24, 2009 at 3:25 PM
    As for Martins, I’m not so sure he looked that sharp on Sunday. On the couple of occasions when he had the ball he was fine – but he just wasn’t in the right place to get the ball in the first place for most of the time.

    His positional sense is awful Whumpie….he is more of an “off the cuff” type of player ala Spurs couple of years ago…

    and Smithy….well he is always gonna have his doubters til he proves them wrong….People knocking the lad last Sunday….he has been out for the best part of 7 month….if you have played the game before and have had a serious injury (I have) it takes at least 5/6 games to get back into your stride….
    He doesnt get 20 minutes and he is being berated….one thing is for sure, on Sunday, if we have our backs against the wall, Smithy will be the 1st in the queue putting himself on the line….

    The lad is doing a job out of position and getting on with it….unlike some of our “former” superstars…

    He will recieve 100% of my backing….

  • LoonyToon @ graft

    Feb 24, 2009 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #16


    Enrique has shown signs of the quality full back he potentially could be….
    If he performs week in, week out like Sunday, he will be well looked after at the Toon

  • batty

    Feb 24, 2009 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #17

    sky news said it

  • lesh

    Feb 24, 2009 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #18

    LoonyToon @ graft // Feb 24, 2009 at 4:14 PM

    Enrique has shown signs of the quality full back he potentially could be….
    If he performs week in, week out like Sunday, he will be well looked after at the Toon

    It’s really up to him and we all know that translating the words into action doesn’t always happen.

    Let’s hope the players pick up his apparent enthusiasm and the fans give him and the lads all the support they need to encourage their self confidence to become the reincarnation of the Entertainers!

  • JJJ

    Feb 24, 2009 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #19

    Have to agree… Smith and Butt in midfield = no goals, and plenty freekick opportunities for Bolton around the box which is their strength…
    Know it sounds bad but I see Bolton cake walking this one… Maybe 3-1…
    Hope Im wrong…

  • Obafan

    Feb 24, 2009 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #20

    No to Smith. We were all crying for the injured players to come back ASAP, but Smith is useless.

    And Hughton has to put Martins in the team ans Shola out of the squad, he is such a waste of space.

    If Butt and Smith play in the middle, Bolton will have plenty of set peices and that is their biggest force. So NO NO NO!!!

  • Shot Bru

    Feb 24, 2009 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #21

    Not a great deal of choice Obafan unless we play Colo in there with Butt which = no pace. Hughton in his infinite wisdom will probably play Cacapa next to Butt…

  • ThaiMag

    Feb 24, 2009 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #22

    My team against Bolton

    S.Taylor Coloccini Bassong Enrique
    Lovenkrands R.Taylor Butt Jonas
    Martins Carroll

    Sub. Krul, Cacapa, Geremi, Duff, Smith, Viduka, Ameobi


    Feb 24, 2009 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #23

    come on smith show us why you’re on 60k a week!!!


    Feb 24, 2009 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #24

    seriously though smith is better than ameobi like

  • Duffman

    Feb 24, 2009 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #25

    Rather see Geremi than Smith

  • nufc_houlty

    Feb 24, 2009 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #26

    amobi is shocking sell him to accrington stanley, he will go, hu are they, exactly!!!!

  • Rortonjibes

    Feb 24, 2009 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #27

    Butt, Smith, Guthrie?! Hardly players that will set the world alight. You need to stop bumming our very average midfielders and realise that these players are not good enough to move us forward.
    Its a sad indictment of the state our club is in if people are excited about the return of Smith and/or Guthrie.
    We need pace, strength, stamina and goals to drive our team on and none of our centre midfielders possess those skills.


    Feb 24, 2009 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #28

    abit off topic but is anyone curious about what next seasons strip will look like


    Feb 24, 2009 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #29

    Smith can defo do a job in centre midfield. His battling skills are what is required at the moment.

    CM Nolan
    CM Butt
    CM Barton
    CM Guthrie
    CM Smith

    Good options in our fight against relegation.

  • Rortonjibes

    Feb 24, 2009 at 7:11 PM

    Comment #30

    Geordie, no doubting that all 5 of those players will battle, work hard and put in a shift but long term we aren’t going to get anywhere unless we bring in midfielders who possess stamina, pace and a touch more flair.
    The premiership is evolving all of the time and teams at the top end all have these all-action midfield players who contribute in all areas of the field.
    Often our midfields look devoid of ideas and struggle to get to grips wth oppositon midfielders who are younger, fitter, stronger and have an eye for goal.
    The current crop may save us from relegation, just, but where to from there?

  • Stuart79

    Feb 24, 2009 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #31

    Oh the creativity!

    Can’t wait!

  • AussieToon

    Feb 24, 2009 at 9:11 PM

    Comment #32

    I would play Lua Lua, he surely deserves his chance and may provide the creative we need to score some goals.

  • Brutooon

    Feb 25, 2009 at 12:29 AM

    Comment #33

    WTF smith play central midfield? Ryan Taylor replace Nolan when he was send off and was doing a great job. Ryan Taylor is 10 times better playing at central midfield than Alan Smith!

    Alan Smith can’t even run that well.. I rather had a useless Ameobi than Smith any time any day.

    Nicky Butt and Ryan Taylor for Bolton Match
    other choices:

    Butt and Coloccini
    Butt and Duff (duff as attacking mid)

  • chuck

    Feb 25, 2009 at 12:39 AM

    Comment #34

    Allways thought Smith was wasted as a striker, his natural aggressive attitude lends itself to the DM role, plus he has the pace and stamina to cover a lot of ground.
    As long as he is`nt overly aggressive he could be ok.
    Does anyone agree ?
    As for Guthrie, dont really know what to do with him he does`nt do anything particularly well.

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 25, 2009 at 2:16 AM

    Comment #35

    chuck – Taggart ruined Smith by playing him in midfield.

    Raylor and Butt as a CM combo for me. Dont mind Smith there aginst BOLTON but not many other teams.

    Barton-Guthrie = Our best possible CM pairing IMO.

  • Nick D

    Feb 25, 2009 at 7:55 AM

    Comment #36


  • Zangwill_Ho

    Feb 25, 2009 at 8:47 AM

    Comment #37

    please don’ us Butt, the ball always misses on his foot or passing……

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #38

    I’d play Lualua in place of Duff but not in the centre, especially v Bolton.

  • DJG

    Feb 25, 2009 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #39

    ‘It would be good to see Alan Smith in midfield’

    No it wouldn’t.

    LuaLua or Guthrie 🙂

  • DJG

    Feb 25, 2009 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #40

    Guthrie is IMO better than Barton, Smith, Butt and Nolan in CM looking at this seasons form. We have little movement and accurate cross field passing when he is out.


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