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.