Alan Smith Shows The Right Stuff At Newcastle

Alan Smith showed up to play against Manchester United last Wednesday in his first start of the season, and both Alan and Geremi put in a courageous and strong performance to match the great Manchester United midfield, in which Wallsend-born Michael Carrick looked terrific.


Alan Smith – excellent play against Man United

Alan played in defensive midfield against Man United, where he switched there for the Red Devils a few seasons back, and at one point looked like he may become a regular there for the Manchester club.

Chris Hughton believes Smith has the right character to have around the place, as Newcastle fight desperately to stay in the Premier League, for the third successive season.

We are in 5th bottom place, with Portsmouth and Blackburn beneath us, but those two clubs both have a game in hand on us, so we are in the unenviable position of having to catch up other teams, as far as points go.

Reflecting on Smith’s efforts against Man United, Hughton said:

“Coming into a game of that magnitude speaks volumes for him.”

“Alan is a player who can play off the front – of course, originally he was a forward player – but we have used him as a midfielder.”

“He can give us a fit and enthusiastic body that’s good around the place, and he also gives us valuable options.”

“And that’s at a time when we’re going to need as many players fit and available as possible.”

Before he started against his former club, Smith had three Reserve team games and then a 10-minute first-team substitute role in the 0-0 draw with Everton, in which Alan looked lively.

While it will take a few games to get fully match fit Alan did just great last Wednesday, and he put in a good 82 minutes on the night, before he tired.

Hughton added:

“We got a bit longer out of him than we actually thought we would do. I think probably the type of game that it was – with that extra support from the fans – probably got him going.

“To get 75 minutes or whatever it was out of him, I think we were fortunate to do that “And I thought he did really well considering it was his first start of the season.”

“He’s been involved in three reserve games, but the amount of football he’s played, and the amount of training he has done, hasn’t been what he would have liked.”

We have yet to see Alan at his best in the Newcastle colors, but his play last Wednesday was really encouraging and he played so well.

And of course Alan has been a fighter his whole career, and those are some of the characteristics the rest of the lads need to show quickly, if we are going to get the necessary points to survive.

It looks like 12 points and 4 wins could do it for us, but we’d like to see the team go on a decent run of results like they did last year, and not go right down to the last few games, down to the wire,  before we are safe.

That wouldn’t be good on Geordie nerves – that’s for sure – in fact it’s not too good right now.   😀

That’s the very least the Newcastle fans deserve after sticking so well with the team under just ridiculous circumstances off the pitch.

The Geordie people have once again shown they are the very best in the land.

Comments welcome.

12 comments so far

  • Toon Sweden77

    Mar 9, 2009 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #1

    Hope to see the same team against Hull that played against Man United – If they play like they did then = 3 points!

  • Bill F

    Mar 9, 2009 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #2

    This is my first comment about the ManU match as I have been offline for the last month. I know it’s easy to be negative about players but I have to say I thought Harper looked very slow in his reactions and not up to the job. Time for the young blood to step in?
    The rest of the team were magnificient, more than matching the best team in the league. The only difference was the goalkeeping quality. If we had had Van De Saar (or Given) we would have won. We could yet rue letting Given go so easily.

  • apanzhafran

    Mar 9, 2009 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #3

    bill f,
    first goal was a deflection, i reckon u dont play as a goalkeeper, reflection wise given would or wouldnt save that also, same with the harper save on the line againts the line, if he is so slow he wouldnt be able to save that, and van der sar makes the same mistake that day,he rush out on time to save us couple of time and his long throw really help us in counter, somethin given didnt have, given is great but harper is a great goalkeeper as well, he did his job pretty well and prob one of the best gk england have now, so u better analyze before making any remarks, our defenders didnt protect harper as well as they should, letting rooney have a shot right in the middle of our defence and harper was jumping on the right spot until taylor deflects it,and 2nd goal, we all saw it

  • apanzhafran

    Mar 9, 2009 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #4

    *same with the harper save on the line againts the line againts everton*

  • richyg01

    Mar 9, 2009 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #5

    I personally feel that Krul is the true No.1 for us

  • pubcat

    Mar 9, 2009 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #6

    Last night I had a bizarre dream that Big Sam was re-appointed! Even in my dream I was appalled!!

    Anyway, that aside, I think that if we get the right result against Hull we’ll probably be okay, if not it could be dicey.

    This is premature, but out of our current team/squad, who do fans think would stay and who leave should the worst case scenario hapoen? Be realistic – not everyone is gonna jump ship! Here is my guess:

    HARPER – stay
    Steve TAYLOR – stay
    Ryan TAYLOR – stay
    ENRIQUE – not sure
    COLO – stay (at least for one season)
    BASSONG – probably leave
    CACAPA – contract not renewed
    EDGAR – stay
    BEYE – stay
    BUTT – stay
    NOLAN – stay
    GUTHRIE – stay
    JONAS – stay
    SMITH – probably leave
    GEREMI – stay
    DUFF – stay
    BARTON – stay
    MARTINS – leave
    OWEN – leave
    VIDUKA – contract not renewed
    CARROLL – stay
    AMOEBI – stay
    XISCO – stay
    LOVENKRANDS – stay

    Etc….who have I forgotten? And then we have the youngsters/fringe players which would be our saving grace.

    Anyway, I’m still looking on the optimistic side re- staying up!!

  • Whumpie

    Mar 9, 2009 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #7

    I saw the highlights from the Manure game last night, and was pretty impressed with some of our movement. There was creativity and determination from many players, and it gave me a lot of hope for the run-in.

    Smith showed what he’s known for: character and grit. I just hope he can now cement a place because it’s commitment like his that we need as much as anything else right now. At 28 he should be at his peak, and on his wages he needs to show it.

  • BigLish

    Mar 9, 2009 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #8

    pubcat – can you see that team getting us back up at the 1st time of asking? I can’t – and I would expect a couple of others to be away ie Barton & Duff (couldnt afford them).

    Just think that if the worst happens then we will be down there for a couple of seasons while we rebuild.

  • Bill F

    Mar 9, 2009 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #9

    apanzhafran, you’re correct I don’t play as a GK although I have played in goal and certainly not to EPL standards. I am not saying he is a bad goalie and I certainly acknowledge that the defence has to back up the goalie. The 2nd goal was a defensive howler with Collo doing a Titus. (although as an aside, I can see him being in the England frame on his current form, Titus that is). It was other aspects of his play that worried me where he seemed to be reacting after the ball had gone past him on missed MU shots. I can’t help feeling that he may be past his best. I can guess that someone will say that GKs mature with age but reactions do definately degrade with age as well. Hope I’m wrong but I have a feeling I’m not.

  • apanzhafran

    Mar 9, 2009 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #10

    If missed shot that your worried about, i somehow agree but i think his experience enough to have those instinct that say the ball is out, doesnt mean every ball that your opponent shot you must react, but i think i get your point, but judging based on that its not really fair to say his a slow goalkeeper, he came off the line pretty quickly , he read the game very well, i think he is having that confident level that would make him better in time to come, i dont think we have to worry about our gk dept as we have krul in store, but in defence, we certainly do

  • workyticket

    Mar 9, 2009 at 9:16 PM

    Comment #11

    Bill F // Mar 9, 2009 at 2:40 PM

    “This is my first comment about the ManU match as I have been offline for the last month. I know it’s easy to be negative about players but I have to say I thought Harper looked very slow in his reactions and not up to the job. Time for the young blood to step in?”

    Er, no, nothing much wrong with Harper’s reactions agains Man United Bill F. His kicking wasn’t exactly brilliant, then again, that wasn’t exactly Shay’s strong point either. Overall, a decent enough game for him IMO.

  • workyticket

    Mar 9, 2009 at 9:26 PM

    Comment #12

    Harper was good at dealing with crosses too.


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