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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Alan Smith’s Newcastle Future Is Unclear

10:09 am, Friday, December 3rd, 2010 by Ed Harrison · 15 Comments

With the terrific game Cheick Tiote put in for Newcastle United last Sunday in defensive midfield against top side Chelsea, it will be hard for his back-up to get many games this season.

Alan Smith - happy on Tyneside

And of course the other defensive midfielder we have at the club is Alan Smith, who did a great job for Newcastle last season, when he often captained the side in Nicky Butt’s absence.

Chris Hughton was rightly full of praise for Smith before he returned to the team for the Bolton defeat, when he was stepping in for the suspended Ivory Coast International, but unfortunately defensively,  Newcastle didn’t turn up for that game and were subsequently thrashed 5-1.

And Tiote replaced Smith on Sunday, and it was clear to see that Tiote is becoming a huge player for the club in this – his very first season.

The fact that Alan will not get too many games this season in all likelihood, has raised some doubts about Alan’s future at the club, but he still seems to love it at Newcastle, and he is said to want to stay on Tyneside, and still fight for his place.

Alan is just a wonderful lad, who showed where his heart was 16 months ago, when he became one of the senior players who led the reformation of the club under new manager Chris Hughton, and his exploits to get Newcastle promoted will never be forgotten by Newcastle fans – whatever happens to him in the future.

A source close to Smith told The Newcastle Journal this morning:

“Alan doesn’t want to move anywhere. I think he’d prefer to be playing – which is obvious – but he is happy at Newcastle United and is just desperate to get his place back as soon as possible.”

A good squad needs players like Alan in it – good players who are not the starters, and that;s almost the definition of a good squad, because only 11 players can start a game, and Newcatsle’s squad has looked much improved this season, with players like Andy Carroll, Danny Simpson and Mike Williamson having improved from last season.

And Alan is on around £3M a year at Newcastle, on a five year deal, which still has another 18 months to run, so he will probably want to stay through the summer of 2012.

Certainly Chris Hughton and the Newcastle fans will not mind at all if Alan stays on Tyneside, but if he ever wanted to leave, many clubs would line up for him.

And probably Sam Allardyce at Blackburn, who brought him to Newcastle for £6M from Man United in the summer of 2007, would be first in line.

Comments are always welcome.



Tags: Alan Smith · Cheick Tiote · Newcastle News





15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Indian Magpie // Dec 3, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    How is it unclear. for me it is clear he must be moved on. Frankly it will be better for him. for us it will free up 60k a week to be given elsewhere

  • 2 Rotonda heights // Dec 3, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    The Bolton game showed us all what we all already knew.

  • 3 RichK // Dec 3, 2010 at 10:35 AM

    Smudger has been a great servant to us and stuck by us through everything when others were jumping ship! He’s a hardworking and committed player but unfortunately not good enough at the top level anymore. While he’s a good squad player, I would try and sell him at the end of the season and get his £50k a week off the wage bill and put that to use elsewhere. We already have Gosling and Barton who can play in DM as well as Tiote so we don’t have a real need for him as direct back up either!

    I think CH needs to assess the squad closely at the end of the season and ship out the following too:

    Best
    Lovenkrands
    R.Taylor
    Xisco
    Perch (this he won’t do though)

    This would thin the squad out as well as getting about £175k (including smith) off the wage bill. We could then bring in 2/3 quality players (cover for full back – ideally both left/right, sign Ben Arfa permanantly and another Striker!

  • 4 Newcastle Rock // Dec 3, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    Wake up @Rick , pls let me pinch you.
    Okay now back to reality , as far as Alan Shit is concerned , the name speaks itself .

    good point in permenent signing of Hatem Ben Arfa.

  • 5 DrunkenSteve // Dec 3, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    What RichK said.

  • 6 RichK // Dec 3, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    Which bit of “he’s not good enough” didn’t you see me write @Newcastle Rock. Let’s be honest though no one can fault his commitment and work ethic when he plays!

  • 7 Charlietoon // Dec 3, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    What trash. No one wants him here. He is only here as no one can match his wages.

  • 8 BeeGuy // Dec 3, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    Smith is past his prime. So loan him out for whatever you can get for him. He is not the only one at NUFC with “great attitude”, I’ll bet there are plenty of others just as committed, and have better futures. It is not like he is another Sol Campbell who is nearly a player-coach, Smudge is as lunch pail guy who can’t make the grade anymore. Give him a break and let him be the next Robbie Savage in the Championship.

  • 9 Jamma // Dec 3, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    PLAY HIM UPFRONT.

    Better than Shola and we’d have one of the most hardworking frontlines in the prem – someone who would actually work hard to get on the end of a Carroll knockdown and even if he doesn’t have pace, he has steel. Finishing might need some touching up mind..

  • 10 Rafael // Dec 3, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    With you on that Jamma. He or Ranger would do a much better job than that lazy slug upfront.

  • 11 davis_toons // Dec 3, 2010 at 6:37 PM

    CH: Before anyone comes in, nobody is going out.

    Smith is still a very useful and good player to us for now.

  • 12 lewman // Dec 3, 2010 at 11:10 PM

    offer him a reduced contract, if he doesnt accept, ship him out

  • 13 Sav // Dec 4, 2010 at 1:20 AM

    The fact is, Smith never was a Premier League defensive midfielder. It is a job that has been found for him after a tragic injury ruined him as a forward. It is testament to his tenacity and character that he has made any kind of fist of it, but truthfully, he never had it. It has enabled him to continue a playing career and enabled ManU to surprisingly recoup a lot of the fee they paid out for him as a forward in the first place.
    Smith seems a really good lad and very committed. But the terraces are full of them every game.
    On that sort of money he is effectively on gardening leave. But I can’t get dewy-eyed over any twenty-something who is on a year’s salary every week. It would do him and Newcastle a favour to let him play out his career at Championship level and make way for the next ‘good lad’, we will hopefully sign in Smudger’s place.

  • 14 Brutooon // Dec 4, 2010 at 1:30 AM

    i agreed with Sav – he was never a defensive midfield. Sir Alex suppose to replace Roy Keane with smudge – but failed

    His commitment and leadership was excellent- no doubt about that.

    But sadly he:
    -not good enough
    -29 years old
    -high wages
    -and we got TIOTE :)

  • 15 Ali G // Dec 4, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    Peddle him




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