Smith And Viduka Pressing For Places Tomorrow At Bolton

It’s a fact that Mark Viduka just hasn’t played enough games for Newcastle in his 18 months at the club, and Alan Smith has been nowhere near his best form during the same time period.


Mark Viduka – pressing for place at Bolton tomorrow

Newcastle Assistant Manager Chris Hughton talked about the now fit Mark Viduka today:

“He hasn’t played the amount of games we or he would have liked but we know what Mark’s strengths are,”

“The contract issues are done at a different level to myself but I always expect to see players motivated and Mark has been a good player here.”

“When I arrived last season he served the club very well right through to the end of the season.”

“Unfortunately for him he has missed a lot of this season through injury and I would have thought he would be doubly determined to do well from now through to the end of the campaign.”

“With Mark there are two issues. He has the contract to sort out, but probably a bigger problem than that is that he has missed a lot of football.”

“When that happens you become desperate to play, and that is where I see him at the moment.”

Way back in the 2002-03 season Mark Viduka and Alan Smith formed more than a decent strike partnership at Leeds United, but in the last several years Mark has had a number of different injuries and has missed lots of games at both Middlesbrough and Newcastle.

His latest injury of many, was his groin problem, and that had followed his almost 6 months out with an Achilles problem he had from last May, and it failed to heal, as expected, during the summer months.

Mark has had 22 starts and 11 substitute appearances (33 total appearances) at Newcastle, and Smith has had 30 starts and 8 substitute appearances (38 total appearances) since they were signed in the summer of 2007. Hardly a good record for either player.

Smith, a striker, is still looking for his first league goal in more than three years, and only last week he made his first appearance of the season, as a substitute in last Sunday’s goalless draw with Everton.

The 28-year-old, who was a £6M signing from Manchester United, has played in a variety of positions, and Hughton may start him in central midfield for tomorrow’s important game at Bolton, in place of the suspended Kevin Nolan.

Chris continued:

“Alan is doing is everything possible to re-capture the form that he showed down at Leeds,”

“He hasn’t suffered from a lack of confidence, it’s more to do with frustration.”

“But that’s normal when you’ve got a whole-hearted player like him and he’s prepared to do everything right in his preparation and training to get back in there.”

“It’s been frustrating for him that he hasn’t been able to spend as much time on the pitch as he would have liked.”

“But once he’s out on the training pitch he’s not someone that lacks confidence and he’s a good personality to have around, certainly at a time like this when we know it is still going to be fight through to the end of the season.”

Mark Viduka must also be in contention to start at Bolton, as Shola Ameobi did not look good last week against Everton, and it would be good to see a Martins-Viduka strike force tomorrow.

There is likely to be quite a clear-out this summer at Newcastle, and we would really be surprised if either Alan or Mark are still at the club come September, because they are just not worth the high wages Newcastle are paying them.

It’s as simple as that.

Comments welcome.

20 comments so far

  • Antti

    Feb 28, 2009 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #1


  • Tom

    Feb 28, 2009 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #2

    Rather see a Carroll-Martins strike force than Viduka. And Taylor in the middle rather than Smith.

  • Marty-Toon

    Feb 28, 2009 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #3

    Carrolll n OBA plaese………Viduka can manage the last 5mins minutes i would say

  • Marty-Toon

    Feb 28, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #4

    Thought Taylor did really well in CM last game.
    Smith would probably get a red card before Half-Time if he played so safer to go with Ryan.
    GEREMI is a No No then we would have no pace in midfield…….Imagine this BUTT GEREMI
    If you were Bolton you would just love that.
    Lua Lua before Geremi i reckon

  • Marty-Toon

    Feb 28, 2009 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #5

    TOM ha ha ha i think i was readin your mind there as i typed my comment

  • Twiz

    Feb 28, 2009 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #6

    Can’t believe anyone would select Smith. He is very willing but basically rubbish.

    I live for the day when we replace the one paced plodder that is Nicky Butt. Miles off the pace and disappears for the last 30 mins of every game.

    TV giving him MoM against Everton was hilarious. Could they not see Bassong??

  • LooneyToon

    Feb 28, 2009 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #7

    Personally I would go with The Duke and Oba up top….you cannot deny that the Duke has quality…he just hasnt spent as much time as we would have liked on the pitch…

    Smith centre mid for me with Taylor wide right and Jonas wide left….Alans got his critics however what we will get is a committed perfromance from the lad….and that is needed at this point of the season…

  • Ashley Hole

    Feb 28, 2009 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #8


    S.Taylor Colo Bassong Enrique

    Duff R.Taylor Smith Jonas

    Viduka Martins


  • Ashley Hole

    Feb 28, 2009 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #9


    S.Taylor Colo Bassong Enrique

    R.Taylor Butt Smith Jonas

    Viduka Martins


  • Prince Bassong

    Feb 28, 2009 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #10

    I’d have Carroll start instead of Viduka in Ashley’s second selection to have a team that can batter Bolton as much as they batter us.

  • Johno Toon

    Feb 28, 2009 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #11

    I would certainly give smith a run out , maybe smith and oba up front, i dont think he can do much worse the shola up front

  • Toon_Factor

    Feb 28, 2009 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #12

    Rediscover his Leeds form, what Leeds form????
    Play Martins-Viduka on Sunday

  • messi_is_king

    Feb 28, 2009 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #13

    please play martins n gutierez!!!!!!

  • DanToon

    Feb 28, 2009 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #14

    v Bolton…
    S.Taylor – Coloccini – Bassong – Enrique
    ………R.Taylor —- Butt —– Jonas
    …………..Carroll —- Martins

    Subs: Krul, Viduka, Smith, Duff, Cacapa, Ameobi, Edgar.

  • pavel01

    Feb 28, 2009 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #15

    just thought it would be interesting to see what the team was when we thrashed bolton last year, 1st game of the season…:
    Harper, Carr, Taylor, Rozehnal, N’Zogbia, Butt, Geremi, Smith, Martins, Viduka, Milner

    weve got a better defence now imo and the midfield and attack wouldnt be far off if smith and viduka played…just a thought

  • skiptoon

    Feb 28, 2009 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #16

    Tomorrows team…

    R.Taylor – Coloccini – Bassong – Enrique
    ..….Jonas ———- Butt ——— Duff
    ……………..Ameobi—- Martins

    Subs: Krul, Viduka, Lovenkrands, S.Taylor, Cacapa, Carroll, Edgar

    S.Taylor isn’t a RB, let’s use R.Taylor until Beye is fit again. When the Duke is fitter, he’ll replace Ameobi. Everyelse looks good except attacking CM. Even when Guthrie is fit, he should be 2nd choice.

  • sohica17

    Feb 28, 2009 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #17

    Smith is just the scapegoat.
    the illusion is that newcastle united looks competitive,
    the fact is
    the qualities are injured,
    most of the rests are either old or immature.

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 28, 2009 at 9:53 PM

    Comment #18

    I’;d play Smith anywhere but central midfield. It is pure suicide when he plays there. He holds up the ball well upfront.

  • Graeme

    Mar 1, 2009 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #19

    Smith is a striker, who cant score goals, therefore useless in his position. Viduka can hold the ball up for others to play off, but is too fat, too slow and injury prone. They should both have been shipped out at least 18 months ago.

    Geremi is even more past his sell-by date than Duke. He is a waste of space, but has superb consistancy in his ability to hit the first defender, every time!!!! Time he was retired.

    Not one of these three deserve the money they are getting and all 3 should be removed from SJP this year.

  • Tom_Toon

    Mar 1, 2009 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #20


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