Sam Allardyce signed Alan Smith for Newcastle in the summer of 1997 for £6M from Manchester United.
Alan Smith – Sam Allardyce interested
And he was a favorite player of the new manager, and Sam played Alan in most games, even out on the right wing, but of course Sam’s reign was short at Newcastle, and then new owner Mike Ashley sacked him in early January of 2008.
Alan has had a tough time of it at Newcastle in general, and especially since Newcastle were promoted back to the Premier Leagueabout eighteen m,onhts ago.
Over the last couple of seasons he’s made only 14 appearances for the club, with only one appearance this term.
The news today is that Sam Allardyce, now managing West Ham, is interested in getting him on loan at the London club in January, where he can again link up with another former Newcastle captain, Kevin Nolan.
Smith turned 31 last Friday, and he will not be offered any renewal of his five year contract, when it runs out next June.
His home town club Leeds United, as well as Doncaster Rovers, who are joint bottom of the Championship with Bristol City, have also expressed an interest in the player.
The problem with the loan deal is Alan Smith’s wages, which are around £60K/week, and we suppose if West Ham agree to pay those wagers, then a deal could be made with Newcastle.
Leon Best – 9 goals in 21 appearances for Newcastle this year
And on another front, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is just a little shocked that Leon Best was not called up for the provisional Ireland squad last week, for their play-off games with Estonia on November 11th and 15th.
Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni doesn’t think Best works hard enough, and he called up Shane Long in place of the suspended Kevin Doyle, but Long is said to be out six weeks with a knee injury – so go figure.
Leon Best has scored three goals in nine appearances for Newcastle so far this season, and 9 goals in 21 appearances since January, and Pardew had this to say yesterday:
“Leon has tonsillitis and he’s a doubt for Monday night at Stoke.” “But I was surprised he wasn’t in the Ireland squad. It’s been said he doesn’t work hard enough.”
“But he’s one of the most improved players in my ten months here.” “Is he good enough to be in the Ireland squad? Yeah.”
If Leon doesn’t make the game tomorrow night, it could mean another start for Ben Arfa, who had a bit of a disappointing game in midweek at Blackburn, when the lads were beaten 4-3 after extra time in the Carling Cup.
If we had won that game we would have been at Cardiff City in the quarter finals, with a decent chance of making the last four of that competition.