The former Manchester United and Leeds star, Alan Smith, who has 19 England caps is still to score a goal for Newcastle United.
Alan Smith – staying at defensive midfield
Alan was signed by Sam Allardyce back in the summer of 2007 for £6M, from Manchester United, and at that time was a striker.
But slowly but surely Alan has made his position at Newcastle defensive midfield, which he first played when he was with the Red Devils.
Alan was one of the Newcastle players who wanted to stay following relegation a year ago, and his play in defensive midfield, especially in the first half of the season, was paramount in getting Newcastle promoted straight back to the Premiership, at the first time of asking.
Smith seems to have no wish at all to go back to a front role as he said today:
“I’ve got absolutely no interest in going back up front,”
“Defensive midfielder is my position and I enjoy it, I really do. The season in the Championship has helped me a lot – I’ve developed new skills and I know a lot more about what is needed to play in that role in front of the back four.”
“You need a lot of discipline as you can’t just go dashing off after the ball, or push forward in search of a goal. It takes some sacrifice and spending the whole season there in the Championship has really helped me learn it properly.”
“It’s a difficult job, but it’s also a very satisfying one. You restrict yourself for the team, but when the team keeps a clean sheet it feels great. I thoroughly enjoy it, just as much as I did playing up front.”
Smith easily has his best season for Newcastle last season, and he instantly became a firm favorite as he showed the rest of his team-mates how to fight and has always had a great will to win.
He epitomizes the new fight and spirit which is now at the Tyneside club, and it’s small wonder the lad is a big favorite with the fan base.
Chris Hughton will want to being in at least one central midfielder over the summer, probably a play-maker, so Alan will have a wonderful chance next season to make defensive midfield his own, now that Nicky Butt has left Newcastle.
Alan doesn’t have the mobility he once had because of his serious injuries, including his bad Achilles injury he sustained a couple of years ago, but he’s got huge experience and can read a game very well, and has used all of that to his advantage.
“We’ve got a lot of attacking players in midfield and I’m happy to let them do their stuff. I’ll just stick in front of the centre-backs and hopefully offer that extra protection for the defence.”
“We’re going to need that more than ever back in the Premier League, so many sides try to pick you off on the counter attack.”
We are hige admirers of Alan Smith, simply because he’s such a good lad, and has a huge and positive influence in the dressing room.
He also showed last year he can still play a bit too, and Smith will be hoping to have an even better season next term in the famous black and white stripes of Newcastle United.
He’s now at a club he was born to play at – if only because of his tremendous fighting spirit and positive attitude, which Newcastle fans love to see in their players.
Howay The Lads!!