Spirited Effective Display By Captain Alan Smith On Saturday

Alan Smith had one of his best games for the Tyneside club on Saturday at WBA as he put in a tireless display in central midfield.


Alan Smith – excellent display in midfield for Newcastle

And Smith was more than happy with both the display and the result on Saturday against one of the clubs fancied for promotion this season from the Championship.

Nobody has ever doubted Alan’s commitment to the Newcastle club, and he has been a leading figure in the Magpies’ dressing room this summer, and has helped Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood enormously during the pre-season.

It’s Alan’s form and where to play him, which has been a problem since he was brought in from Manchester United for £6M two years ago.

We were very pleased with Alan’s performance on Saturday, and as the captain for the day he epitomized the fight and spirit of the Saturday’s fighting Magpies – and we have to hope we’ll see a lot more of this during this season.

Certainly it was one aspect of our play last season that caused us to be relegated – we just didn’t fight hard enough against the less skillful sides in the Premier League – and we got what we deserved, quite honestly.

Alan Smith told the Evening Chronicle today:

“We played some good football at times.” “But I’m not going to lie and say that it was easy.”  “We have lost some good players, we lost Sebastien and Habib last week and we wish them all the best on their travels.”

“But the main thing is that the lads who are still here want to be here and I think they proved that at West Brom.”

“I haven’t enjoyed a game like that for some time – I felt like I was 10 again.” “People watching on TV must have seen that we all enjoyed that game.”

“It was played in the right spirit and there were tackles going in everywhere.” “There were 50-50 challenges all over the place and a couple of goals.”

“The referee did very well and it was a good game all round.” “It was difficult to come to West Brom to start our season.”

“But it was a good performance and we have to build on that.”

And Smith feels that Newcastle could easily have picked up the maximum haul of three points, and so do we as we were the classier side in the second half and needed just that little bit of luck, which we didn’t get on the day.

Of course we also know that young Tim Krul made a string of fine saves too.

Smith continued:

“We could have won it.”  “We have lost bodies and when then happens you lose a bit of continuity and how we are set up from set-plays.

“If you are losing people day to day, what you have set up to do is more difficult.”  “Everybody understands that.”

“On the other hand from the set plays at the other end, Kevin Nolan had a header that was close and we looked dangerous.”

“We looked good going forward and bring the ball out.”  “That sums up Newcastle and the fans want to see us going forward.”

“It was end to end and it was a good day all round.”

If it is true that we will need a lot of fight in the side to get promoted then we hope Alan stays at the club, because he is showing just the right attitude that we want to see from our players, and to be sure, he would make a decent captain for this season too.

There’s no sign that Alan wants to leave the club and miss what will be a terrific fight ahead.

Good for you Alan!

Comments welcome.

21 comments so far

  • Toon_Army

    Aug 10, 2009 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #1

    Best Performance he has made since leaving Man Utd… He had a Stormer…

  • NUFC-0809-Oh Dear

    Aug 10, 2009 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #2

    I think Smudger is a good grafter for the team and I have no quarms at all about him being one of the first names on the team sheet.

    Hopefully this season he will get his eye for goal back and press forward a bit more!

    Good Game Smudger and keep it up.
    Captain for me!

  • ginkoh

    Aug 10, 2009 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #3

    Deserved to get credit after showed his one of the best game in Black and White (Or yellow?). Hope he can keep this standard for the game against Reading.

  • Alex

    Aug 10, 2009 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #4

    He has to be made permanent captain after such a display . Thier can be no room now for Nicky Butt with Smith ,Barton , Guthrie and even Nolan now ahead of him . Maybe we should look for a couple of swap deals to get Butt , Geremi and Colo out and a couple of new faces in .

  • Fostino

    Aug 10, 2009 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #6

    smith has totally redeemed himself in my eyes…he has the right attitude for the championship and maybe himself and barton could form a formiddable midfield

  • Fostino

    Aug 10, 2009 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #7

    smith, guthrie, barton, butt, geremi, nolan = (all good earners bar guthrie)

    sell the worst three for whatever price possible, in my opinion they are butt, GEREMI & nolan

    them three alone are probably adding up to a 100,000 a week in wages

    replace these three players with a cretive midfielder of 25,000 wages max would be sweet

  • premier

    Aug 10, 2009 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #8

    £6m fee, £60k a week worth every penny?
    A Striker with how many goals?

  • NUFC-0809-Oh Dear

    Aug 10, 2009 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #9

    Alan and Tim both staked their claims for first team action on Saturday.

    For me Smith needs to be a permanent fixture.

    Dump Butt and Geremi and get some young blood through!

  • Whumpie

    Aug 10, 2009 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #10

    We’re a fickle lot!

    But I too think Smith was the key man on Saturday. We just need a young, quick midfielder to take it from him and set up some goals. Kaz should be that person in my opinion.

    I also think we should be a little more honest about Ameobi. While he still seems to have some issues over where barn doors are, he (not Carroll, whom I rate) was the one getting into the good positions on Saturday. He also provided the perfect pass through to Nolan to set up that goal.

    Credit where it’s due – I thought Shola caused more problems for the WBA defence than anyone on Saturday. Shame he didn’t have a small, quick striker to play it on to.

  • Monster

    Aug 10, 2009 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #11

    Whumpie – do you honestly think Shola had a good game?

  • NUFC-0809-Oh Dear

    Aug 10, 2009 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #12


    i would like to see Smith playing back upfront where he belongs with Guthrie and Barton in the middle of the park.

  • Whumpie

    Aug 10, 2009 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #13

    Nope, I think Ferguson ‘converted’ Smith to midfield for good reason, and we saw that on Saturday. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Besides, he’s getting the ball within a few yards of goal and in a few weeks he may start bagging a few 🙂

    And yes, I honestly thought that amongst the usual mistakes, Shola was the one of the two strikers who was getting in the right places and causing problems for the defence. I really rate Carroll, but he was nowhere most of the time.

  • Whumpie

    Aug 10, 2009 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #14

    The only way I want to see Barton in the middle of the park is sleeping on a bench under a pile of newspapers after too much meths.

    People in Newcastle may not realise it, but elsewhere, if you’re watching the Toon you almost want to be invisible when Barton comes on. He’s a disgrace to the badge.

  • RyanToon

    Aug 10, 2009 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #15

    i have slaughtered smith in the past but he proved me wrong on saturday! more of the same smudge 😉

  • Whumpie

    Aug 10, 2009 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #16

    I’m thinking, for Saturday:

    ————-Harps (if fit)
    R.Taylor – S.Taylor – Kadar – Enrique
    —Guthrie — Smith — Duff
    ———– Lua Lua
    —— Shola — Ranger

  • bowburnmag

    Aug 10, 2009 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #17

    I’m off to get SMITH on the back of my new yellow change strip.

  • Whumpie

    Aug 10, 2009 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #18

    Anyone got any good suggestions for the right wing?? Or left wing? Or Right-back??

    Ooh, eck – we could be in trouble…


    Aug 10, 2009 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #19

    His tackles were amazing. I feel like he played better in the first half. He was moving around less (fatigue?) in the second half and made less of an effort to create space and get open.

    -but overall it was a thrilling performance.

  • bowburnmag

    Aug 10, 2009 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #20

    I’d put Bungle at right-back, Zippy on the right and George on the left.

    Keep Rod, Jane and Freddy on the bench for maximum inpact if we need them.

  • Newcastle USA

    Aug 10, 2009 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #21

    guthrie can play with smith in the middle. he posses the ball very well and plays some very good balls around the field. hes our best midfielder IMO.


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