Alan Smith was Steve Coppell’s long time assistant at Crystal Palace, and then when Palace were relegated in 1993, Smith took over and he got the London side promoted back to the Premier League, but lasted just one more season before he was sacked and Steve Coppell came back.
Alan Smith – while at Crystal Palace
And during his spell as Coppell’s assistant, Alan Pardew was at the club from 1987 through 1991, and the now 67 year-old Smith has talked about his former player – who is now serving a seven game ban for headbutting Hull City player David Meyler – which unfortunately for Newcastle United and Pardew – was news around the sporting world.
Alan Smith has talked today in the Express about Alan Pardew:
“Like anyone, I was surprised by that incident but it is not in Alan’s nature to back down to anyone or anything,” “When Alan came to Palace he had to prove himself.”
“I liked him. He was no fool, thought a lot about the game, and he was a tenacious player. Alan was never an outstanding talent but he had a decent pair of legs on him.”
“I can see Alan being very honest with his players and not taking any b******t. What you see is what you get with Alan.”
“He is the type who will tell the players straight to their faces what he thinks and I suspect the majority of players like that.”
“He obviously has ability as a manager and that comes from his character, which is clever, fast and intelligent.” “It’s a terrible shame because Alan has been a good manager for many years now.”
“But the incident at Hull will undoubtedly follow him for the rest of his footballing career. It won’t go away and that’s pretty sad.”
“What he has got in his favor is the fact that he is a fighter, always has been. He had to fight for everything he got as a player and the same is true now as a manager.”
“Alan has developed a pretty decent side there, even without Yohan Cabaye.” “You listen to the grapevine and you never hear of ex-players slagging off Alan Pardew and that shows he is doing something right.”
“The players seem to respect him and some might even like him. That’s to his credit and, although the Meyler incident will always be there, Alan will fight back. He always has.”
Alan Pardew has a lot to prove once again on Tyneside after almost being fired because of his stupid Meyler confrontation, which came at a time when we were winning the game rather comfortably.
And this summer will be a busy time for the Newcastle manager, as the club try to rebuild and create a decent side again, with a number of their current players expected to leave the club in the summer.