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Keegan Is Big Smith Fan – But Why?

One of our few disappointments with Kevin Keegan, since he took over as manager, is that he seems to have the same enthusiastic opinion about Alan Smith as Sam Allardyce did.


Kevin Keegan – big fan of Alan Smith

We know Alan works his socks off in games, and that’s very good, but does he have the skill to be a starter for Newcastle? We don’t think so.

Kevin Keegan talked today to the Newcastle Journal today about Alan:

“Alan Smith’s working his socks off. It’s a hard job playing up front when a team’s not getting a lot of good possession.” “It’s a great place to play if you’re like (John) Carew on Saturday and you’re getting the ball at the right pace and it’s got the right weight and in the right areas.”

“But our front two have had to fight and battle for scraps and I think the two of them have done well considering.”“Alan hasn’t scored goals and if you judge him by that you’d say he hasn’t done very well. But if you look at his work-rate, his enthusiasm, I thought first half, he was just about the best player on the park.”

“He got us a lot of possession which was probably 50:50 or 60:40 their favor. I like him, I like his character. Every club needs an Alan Smith around – bubbly, lively, bright and who cares.”

We think Alan is a very good squad player but should not start too many games. One of the problems we seemed to have on Saturday was that we didn’t have our strongest available team on the park.

Faye, Viduka, Enrique and Emre should have started and Butt, Cacapa, Carr and Smith should have been on the bench. Blind dedication to players is not healthy, especially when relegation potentially looms.

We seem to be in a bit of trouble on the relegation front, and what Newcastle fans have to do now, through the end of the season, is support the team big time, especially when we play our home games. Wins in those games will save us.

There’s no reason why we cannot register wins against Blackburn, Reading, Fulham, and Sunderland at St. James’ Park before the end of the season. If we can do that we’ll be safe enough with 40 points, even if we lose the other 8 games.

Kevin will then be given the go ahead to revitalize the team, and that’s got to be exciting in the summer for Newcastle fans everywhere. 😀

Comments very welcome.

43 comments so far

  • ObaFan2

    Feb 11, 2008 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #1

    Thank God Oba’s back and the Duke’s available.

    Smith is getting more chances than Shola and I don’t see why he deserves that!

    Smith when he gets the ball 9 times out of 10 passes it backwards, it’s like thats what he’s been told at some time in the past and he cannot now play in any other way.

    If I were to play as a forward my instinct would be to run at goal whenever possible or play towards goal, NOT look for another pass backwards!

    Above all other players I think Smith has been the biggest dissapointment, cannot keep the ball much, cannot create anything and cannot score to save his life!


    Feb 11, 2008 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #2

    I stupidly put Smiths name on he back of my shirt at the start of the season!

    I used to love him at leeds but i think he has lost everything but his stamina and passion with his broken leg and being played in the centre mid by ferguson and later on the right and centre by allardyce

  • willowtoon

    Feb 11, 2008 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #3

    This all goes back to Ashley having smith on his shirt and the transfer going through in les than 24 hours.

    He is Ashleys man and ashley wants him in the team. – Big Sam put him in midfield to accomodate Viduka.

    Kevin is sacrificing Viduka. – This is the reason why he is always playing.

    As Kevin said we don’t want the owner to get bored and sell up. – I want smith in so smith plays

    Unhealthly but thats the way it is.

  • Atrocious_Footwear

    Feb 11, 2008 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #4

    Alan Smith is teh suck . His only real use is as a back up corner flag.

  • Toon_Army

    Feb 11, 2008 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #5

    Ashley’s man? What a load of bull! He has his name on his shirt because he says he (Smith) eptomises Newcastle. Works hard etc. Smith isn’t exactly playing well, but what have the others done? Not much. We can’t start changing every game otherwise we will never get any rhythm. Also, Smith is one of the few who actually applauds the fans at the end when you make a massive journey. Not many of the players do when we get hammered but Smith always does.

  • ObaFan2

    Feb 11, 2008 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #6

    “His only real use is as a back up corner flag.” lol I’d say with his enthusiasm he’d be better @ ball boy 🙂

  • ObaFan2

    Feb 11, 2008 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #7

    Ok Toon Army, have him as chief cheer-leader then?

  • Edd Case

    Feb 11, 2008 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #8

    You can have all the enthusiasm in the world, run your socks off every game but without any real ability to actually play football, you’re about as much good as a top spec PC with no monitor.

    Smith is quite rightly in the smae class as Butt, Carr, Cacapa and Ameobi – just lacking the quality needed.

    No one can question Smith’s heart for the game but you need more than that – and he’s not got it.

    A Mark Viduka with Smith’s passion – that’d be something.

    Trouble is with this wretched club, we’ve got lots of similar mis-matches like that.

  • Toon_Army

    Feb 11, 2008 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #9

    I suppose you don’t travel anywhere to watch the toon then ObaFan2? The same as everyone else on this website.

  • valle

    Feb 11, 2008 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #10

    You ask why, yet you link KKø’s qoutes where he clearly tell why he rates Smith… I dont say that i rate him as high, but i understand his argument… The kind of player KK’s after seems to be a Berbatov or Henry type of player, a player who plays football rather than a physical player, but the summer will tell.


    Feb 11, 2008 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #11

    Agree with toon army if every one of our better players had smiths pride , enthusiasm and workrate matched with their superior ability we would be a lot higher in the league and the latter stages of the cups and by the way im a season ticket holder

  • Toon_Army

    Feb 11, 2008 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #12

    Exactly Craigg, that’s the point. Smith shows pride, Viduka is probably better …. on his day. But rather than get everyone going and geeing them up, he sits there with a sulky face and that doesn’t help no-one. We are in a relegation battle and what we need is battlers, sadly we are seriously lacking in that department.

  • Gordon

    Feb 11, 2008 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #13

    “We think Alan is a very good squad player” – NO WE F~*@ING WELL DON’T ED!!!!

  • ObaFan2

    Feb 11, 2008 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #14

    Toon_Army, If that’s your priority to be clapped at the end of the game then so be it, and you suppose wrong .


    Feb 11, 2008 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #15

    Obafan2 he doesnt want to be clapped at the end of games he wants the others to follow smiths lead and add his effort and passion with the talent most of them possess but dont apply

  • Bryan

    Feb 11, 2008 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #16

    Smith is a very average player in a very average team. They say the league table never lies, and that is very true. Every year there seems to be one team that is dragged in to the relegation battle who hasnt been there all season. Unfortunately we are that team this year. KK has a massive job on his hands trying to get this team to win games. We can only hope and pray that he can do it.
    I never thought I would be talking like this about NUFC. It really saddens me.
    KK has mentioned that he is looking for 4 quality players in the summer, well i am afraid if he thinks that 4 players are going to change this team for the better then he is mistaken. I would say he needs 2 centre backs, 1 left fullback, 2 creative central midfielders, 1 right winger & 1 striker.
    If a player like Woodgate with his obvious liking for NUFC turned us down, what chance have we of attracting the so called class players that KK is talking about. Kevin, were going to need all your charm and knowhow in the summer to attract these players. We all hope you can pull it off.
    P.S. What a tosser Big Fat Sam is after his comments at the weekend. NUFC not as big as him. Well your right Sam, if it is measured on the size of your arse.
    Thank god MA got rid of him.

  • Steve H

    Feb 11, 2008 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #17

    Alan Smith is good in the air, fearless in the tackle and plays with more enthusiasm and spirit than the rest of the team put together. However, he has not found his position, I think that as a Central Defender, with the remit to upset forwards and stop them getting through, he will be able to focus all that effort into one task. This will allow him to really excel. Put him at Centre Back.

  • Toon_Army

    Feb 11, 2008 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #18

    No ObaFan2 you probably watch games on sky or on live streaming or whatever it is. When you go to matches and you make a 300 mile round trip to watch your team get battered and they all trudge off and no acknowledges you, then you would get my drift. Who said anything about priorities? You should work in journalism.

  • ObaFan2

    Feb 11, 2008 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #19

    I don’t like picking on a player as I believe it’s a team game.

    The deffence can be better by the midfield playing better, ie. keeping the ball or creating space for other players to create something etc. This can happen all over the pitch, players playing as a team.

    However £6 mill for Smith and he doesn’t seem to be able to play well at all. Yes he has enthusiasm and puts 100% effort in to each game but he’s such a “headless chicken” and seems to have lost all his guile that he appeared to have whilst @ Leeds.

  • ObaFan2

    Feb 11, 2008 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #20

    Over many many yeays Toon Army I have seen the Toon home and away and also in Europe too ! Lol that was a long time ago.

    I understand exactly what you say as to the end of the game but the performance ( not even the result) is more important IMO.

  • James

    Feb 11, 2008 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #21

    The reason Smith is popular with Managers is because he is said to work harder in training than anyone else. Yes he is crap when out on the pitch but his effort in training always gets him picked.

    Viduka in training would be just as lazy as he is on the pitch.

  • Toon_Army

    Feb 11, 2008 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #22

    Fair enough ObaFan2. We need results right now though!

  • daiv

    Feb 11, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #23

    Keegan has lost the plot idf he thinks Alan Smith is one of our best players. He is the worst. He will continue to pick him and we will be relegated. keegan’s view on Smith has convinced me that he has gone mad and should be sacked. keegan is picking the same team as allardyse, the only differnce is that the team is playing much worse. Less chances on goal and conceding more. Keegan is having no effect on the team. We expected a lift and have got the opposite. We all know where we are heading under Keegan. he and the magic 3 of Butt Carr and Smith will take us down. Its all very well stating who should be in the team. We all know roughly the best team which would keep us up. If keegan keps picking Sam’s team, we are doomed. We cannot sit around and let it happen. terry McClown must be responsible.

  • ObaFan2

    Feb 11, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #24

    Ahh TA, yes I’ll contradict myself ! Yes we need results more than performances ha ha 🙂

  • daiv

    Feb 11, 2008 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #25

    Steve H
    We bought Smith as a forward/midfielder. Play him at centre back.? hes got no pace and is too small. We might as well play him in goal. The
    answrer is to sell him to hartlepool reserves for two bob. All he does is run around like a headless chicken and foul people. he cannot shoot never mind score.

  • iain

    Feb 11, 2008 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #26

    “Smith when he gets the ball 9 times out of 10 passes it backwards, it’s like thats what he’s been told at some time in the past and he cannot now play in any other way.”

    and if he passes to duff or butt its anyones guess whether the ball will go forwards or backwards or sqaure again from them, even forwards its a gamble it will reach another toon player.

  • Tooner

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #27

    to #17 – Alan Smith as CB? Haha. Do you see how many free kicks he gives away now as a forward? Can you imagine Alan Smith with more of a license to tackle, and in and near the box? Surely you must be joking.

    Also, you are doing the same thing Allardyce was – Playing Smith out of position just to accommodate Smith.

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #28

    Smith is shit. Im going to buy a rifle so i can pop his fkin head off, along with Butt.

    Any requests?

  • nightfall

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #29

    kevin..you’re a blind idiot! fcuk it…it’s true… oh and smith as CB? you’re even dumber…we’d lose 6-0 every match…smith would give away 3 penalties every match…

  • Ian

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #30

    Smith is a good grafter in midfield and one thing I can say about Allerdyce is he brought in our best central midfielder even though he was a striker!! It is unfair on Smith playing him as a striker as he doesnt score but he is involved in almist everything in the centre of the field and even defence.

  • Obafan

    Feb 11, 2008 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #31

    It looks like Smith will keep playing. Too bad cause he is the worst of them all. He is a fool, even a bigger one than Barton. And for that you have to be a huge fool 😉 .

    No, I hope KK his words are used in the same way as he did with the poor Emre. Emre is the player to open up a defence, and then he gets a place on the bench. So perhaps, Smith is really usefull so next game on the bench.

    I’m more thinking that KK has lost his capability of coaching a team in these football days. I really hope he proves me wrong, but I doubt that….

    What I hate the most; is that flair players like Viduka, who is often injured but who scores at least have to sit on the bench for a (like Obafan2) mentionned perfectly, a headless chicken. It starts me thinking of how KK wants us to play. Remember Ferdinand, Shearer and Asprilla. Now Smith; he is just not the type KK would have bought at any means… Strange, strange, …

  • Andreas

    Feb 11, 2008 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #32

    Faye, Viduka, Enrique and Emre should have started and Butt, TAYLOR, Carr and Smith should have been on the bench. Ed, blind dedication to players is not healthy, especially when relegation potentially looms.

  • valle

    Feb 11, 2008 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #33

    Toon_Army… Dont try to make yourself sound like a better supporter because you go to matches. Get your point through by using facts or state your opinion if you should so choose, but spare us the kindergarden attitude of “I go to more matches than you” and “My dad is stronger than your dad”

  • Leo*

    Feb 11, 2008 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #34

    smiths shit
    butts very shit
    carrs very shit

    the sooner that kk realises this the better

  • scottyt

    Feb 11, 2008 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #35

    Toon_Army u say like everyone else on this doesnt go to home nd away games etc. well i for one try to and i am pretty sure most people on this site would go to our matches if they could but like i said yesterday when i was at villa yesterday support was great no one cared about the awful team we have atm we just carried on supporting the team singing away and tbh we should try and do more of this at home games

    for example there were no boos from our end of the stadium after a quite shockin 2nd half and even a few of us decided to start a disco lol and to relate this to the topic smith imo isnt good enough to play in any of his supposed positions but yeah he does show passion and him and stevie taylor were the only ones that came and applauded us fans at full time at villa

    we really do need to start playing emre i like him as a player and i also think barton should be put in jail and left there hes had too many chances and is just an overall thug why not try zog and emre in the middle least its attacking

  • Baker

    Feb 11, 2008 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #36

    I see why they love Smith!
    He is a fighter and has a great spirit about him. But the Dukes seems to be the most mis understood player in the league. He has that magic touch you need to score goals. His fitness is his biggest negative so if he is fit PLAY HIM!

  • daiv

    Feb 11, 2008 at 7:11 PM

    Comment #37

    Everybody knows Smith Butt and Carr are rubbish except the manager. What does that say about the manager? You are past your sell by date Kevin. Could you imagine Smith playing in the 1996 team and now Keegan is saying he is irreplacable. Crazy Kev…time to go and let Al take over before its too late.

  • stuthu

    Feb 11, 2008 at 10:47 PM

    Comment #38

    What people dont understand bout viduka is that yes, he is a lazy player, but if you give the ball to him at his feet, he’ll create magic for you. Similar to someone like Ruud Van Nistlerooy, you might not see him for 85 minutes but if he gets the service he’ll still bang you in a couple of goals in the 5 minutes you see him.

  • Toooooooooooooooooon

    Feb 11, 2008 at 11:54 PM

    Comment #39

    i think he is choosen because of he is handsome. remember christiano ronaldo’s girlfriend cheat and go outs with Alan Smith hehe

  • cupiddstunt

    Feb 12, 2008 at 3:32 AM

    Comment #40

    Far too many morons on here to answer individually but I will respond to one yes I have a request tom_toon.

    When you buy it it will need testing so put one up the spout look down the muzzle just to check it’s all clear like, stick a toe on the trigger and press, instantly one less brainless tosspot to worry about.

    As for the other 50% plus on this site, while at Leeds Smith was twice voted the supporters player of the year, the only player in the clubs history to achieve this and Leeds have had some absolute class players in their ranks.

    Ferguson rated him Keegan rates him but who are they ??? only highly respected managers so they know nothing. But you lot who are such highly talented football managers, I don’t quite know just why you are still on the dole, sweeping streets, laying bricks, delivering milk need I go on?????

    Just go back to your xbox, ps2 or whatever else you play PSM on and stop wasting forum time with your crap.

    How would Verruca create a little magic and score a goal without the grafters on the park to get the ball for him, he never tries to get it himself

    Rooney is ten times the goal scorer than Verruca and he isn’t that big headed that he will not hunt his own ball, he runs as hard as Smith. Verruca is too lazy to fight for his place so too lazy to get a starter spot.

    Play Smith in his right position and give him some service and he will give you the performances, good players don’t just go bad they just get played out of position so you do not get the best out of them.


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