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Committed Performance From Alan Smith Last Night

One of the positives of last night’s game was the play of Alan Smith, who was having his first start of the season,  and put in a lively and committed display in the engine room and played well alongside Geremi, who also had his best game for some time for the Magpies.


Alan Smith – excellent performance from this lad last night

Smith of course has been out with an Achilles injury but when he was replaced near the end the crowd gave the Leeds-born star a very well earned ovation.

Alan of course has never been at his best at Newcastle, but on the evidence of last night the lad is determined to get back to his best, and that has to be good news for Newcastle, since we need an in-form and committed Alan Smith in the side.

Alan of course was at Leeds United when they were relegated 5 years ago and he told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle today:

“You never want a relegation on your CV.” “And for me, you don’t want to have two on there.”

“It’s not nice. It’s horrible. And if there are people who need reminding of it, then I’m not one of them.”

“There are 10 games left and, hopefully, we can use last night’s display against Manchester United as a springboard to go to Hull a week on Saturday and get a good result.”

“We showed we have a great endeavor and belief.” “And now we need to continue that if we’re to beat the drop.”

Smith last started a Premier League game against Everton at Goodison Park on the final day of last season, and has been out since early September with his Achilles injury, but he looked very good last night playing against his former team mates.

And talking about his 82 minutes of action last night, before he was replaced by 18 year-old youngster LuaLua, Smith said:

“It’s been nine months since I started a competitive game.” “And there is no bigger game than Manchester United to do it in for me.”

“We’ve come out of it with a lot of pride and a lot of respect from their players.” “It’s just disappointing that we couldn’t come out of it with a point.”

“We all have to stand up and be counted now in the last 10 games. Everybody knows that.” “After that performance there are people scratching their heads wondering why we can’t play like that week-in, week-out.”

“It’s easy to say. We have to go out there and get good results.” “We’re in a relegation battle and we don’t have everybody fit, which is disappointing.”

“That’s been the case all season.” “When you look around at the players who were missing again last night, it’s a huge issue for Chris Hughton.”

“If you do have fresh legs then you can mix and match like Man United do.” “Chris probably wouldn’t have wanted to put me in because of match fitness and I was seeing stars after 60 minutes.”

“But he only had the option of bringing on Kazenga LuaLua, who isn’t a central midfielder.” “We’re down to the bare bones.”

“But when that is the case everybody has to dig in and show what they’re about.”

Good words from Alan, and of course there has never been any question at all about the character or guts of Alan Smith, just that he hasn’t played well while he’s been at Newcastle.

And he was adamant in January that he had no plans at all of leaving Newcastle, as he seems to love the atmosphere – football fanatacism – on Tyneside.   And with Joe Kinnear already coming out and saying he’s always admired the play of Smith, maybe the lad can still come good at Newcastle.

We have often been Alan’s biggest critic, but if the lad can come through big time for the team, like he began to demonstrate last night, we’ll be the first ones to hold up our hands to the former Leeds star.

Like any Newcastle fans, we want the lads to start finding their best form quickly, and if they put in fighting performances like they did last night, surely we’ll be safe by the end of the season?

We got absolutely nothing out of the game in terms of points, but the lads showed to anybody who was watching the game, that the pride and passion that is Newcastle United is still alive and well on Tyneside.

Nobody can come even close to the support the Newcastle fans at the game gave their team last night – nobody!

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

38 comments so far

  • Toon_Factor

    Mar 5, 2009 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #1

    Does anyone know where a picture is of that mistake by Ryan Taylor because all me friends reckon it was Steven Taylor

  • ObaFan2

    Mar 5, 2009 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #2

    IMO he’s lost his footballing brain (if he ever had 1) and tries to make up for it by his energy and battling.

    He did well yesterday (well battled ok) but I’m not singing his praises just yet!

    Funny, maybe his 2 best games, yesterday and against Arsenal have been when he’s been running around snapping at heals… just needs to keep good timing or he gives too many free kicks away and receives too many cards.

  • ObaFan2

    Mar 5, 2009 at 4:35 PM

    Comment #3

    Toon_Factor, if you mean the second goal it was S Taylor, instead of trying to be clever he should have stuck a boot through it and put it safe.

  • Toon_Factor

    Mar 5, 2009 at 4:36 PM

    Comment #4



  • Spitfire

    Mar 5, 2009 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #5

    I was there it happened in front of me : It was Ryan not Steve, but don’t hold it against him it was an awful ball to deal with

  • Ashley Hole

    Mar 5, 2009 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #6


    S Taylor Colo Bassong Enrique

    Nolan Smith


    Viduka Martins

    The tacklers…away form

  • Ross

    Mar 5, 2009 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #8

    how many times has this been debated!? lol christ man! It was Ryan Taylor who tried to chest the ball back to Harper. The easiest way is to just watch the highlights-Steven Taylor was wearing a short sleeved shirt, its a long sleeved shirt that made the mistake.
    Either way its over and done with now, we can say he should have put his boot through it or whatever but we now need to fully focus on Hull, because as far as im concerned if we dont beat them (and maybe even Stoke also), thats our premier league survival chances done for.

  • ObaMartins

    Mar 5, 2009 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #9

    I personally think we were Done for the day Ashley Got control of NUFC, its been one calamity after another, maybe he will sell when we go down and we can start again….better than having these IDIOTS in Control…

  • MarkO

    Mar 5, 2009 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #10

    It was R.Taylor that made the mistake, but there is no need to dwell on the past what we need to look at is the immediate future, which is saving ourselves from relegation.

    My team for Hull is:





  • dobinhood

    Mar 5, 2009 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #11

    Hull City 0-1 Newcastle United

    Newcastle United 1-1 Arsenal

    Newcastle United 0-1 Chelsea

    Stoke City 1-1 Newcastle United

    Tottenham 2-0 Newcastle United

    Newcastle 2-1 Portsmouth

    Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle United

    Newcastle United 1-0 Middlesbrough

    Newcastle United 2-0 Fulham

    Aston Villa 2-1 Newcastle United

    14 pts so we would finish on 42 andI believe clear.

  • Marty-Toon

    Mar 5, 2009 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #12

    Toon Factor and Oba Fan……….
    Anyone out there wanna see the Highlights of the 2nd goal go to http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=53509752

    I thought the same as some here that it was S.T but it wasn`t,it was clearly Ryan No.21 on his shirt so check it out

  • NUFCDavid

    Mar 5, 2009 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #13

    i dont want to get on chris hughton’s back and i know we didnt do badly last night but he has got 1point out of a possible 21 whilst he has been in charge this season. in my book that isnt good enough and could be why we’re where we are right now

  • Marty-Toon

    Mar 5, 2009 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #14

    I hope we score more goals in the winning games as we will need a good goal difference to make sure and the way we played last night i reckon we can.
    Jonas should get a few before the season end,Oba and Loven to cash in also along with Owen,Carroll,Nolan,Guthrie,R.Taylor and Duff
    Hope so anyway

  • Waldo P. Barnstormer

    Mar 5, 2009 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #15

    Sorry he did harry there players a lot but he was far to keen to go to the deck and looked very likely to give away fouls and get dismised from the field. reckless but is still gonna need to play against hull.

    Smith is not a 60k a week footballer

  • MarkO

    Mar 5, 2009 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #16

    Hull City 1-2 Newcastle United

    Newcastle United 1-1 Arsenal

    Newcastle United 1-3 Chelsea

    Stoke City 1-1 Newcastle United

    Tottenham 0-2 Newcastle United

    Newcastle 2-1 Portsmouth

    Liverpool 3-0 Newcastle United

    Newcastle United 2-1 Middlesbrough

    Newcastle United 1-1 Fulham

    Aston Villa 1-1 Newcastle United

  • Marty-Toon

    Mar 5, 2009 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #17

    MILNER gave away the penalty last night against CITY……
    He didn`t play well at all,No loss

  • Archie Brand

    Mar 5, 2009 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #18

    What a cracking game.

    I finally took to Guiterrez. He worked his nuts off.

    Not sure I agree with Ed. Smith was completely annonymous last night and always has been.

    I actually thought it was Smith who cocked up the second goal.
    It definitely wasnt Steven Taylor – you could see him on the replay facing the wing.

  • greatnavi

    Mar 5, 2009 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #19

    Ed Harrison didnt agree with yot at all man!!
    Smith was the culprit for Newcastle yesterday.He lost the ball too many times and in the middle of the park you simply cant do that.Was very slow and couldn’t do a tackle right.

  • Joseph

    Mar 5, 2009 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #20

    smith did alright last night but his lack of fitness told in the second half. Geremi well don’t agree with ed there

  • mcvicar

    Mar 5, 2009 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #21

    i wish i could feel confident in the players taking the positives from last nights game ín to the rest of the games of the season but we will hear the usual patter from the players about how they will put in the same commitment at hull etc but how many times have we heard that after a good performance and been let down

  • Hugh de Payen

    Mar 5, 2009 at 6:19 PM

    Comment #22

    I think the Hull game is a bit of a decider for us.

    It’s followed by two home games I think we’ll get nothing from and we have to interrupt this losing streak at Hull in my opinion.

    If we lose at Hull I’d say we’re very, very likely to go down.

  • Stuart79

    Mar 5, 2009 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #23

    Best game Smith and Geremi have played for the club!

  • Marty-Toon

    Mar 5, 2009 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #24

    Cattermole tackle was disgusting again but Noble should have been sent off for a bad late tackle too

  • greatnavi

    Mar 5, 2009 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #25

    Joseph i think its vice versa.Geremi was a lot better then Smith!!

  • big boomer

    Mar 5, 2009 at 6:31 PM

    Comment #26

    To say Geremi had his best game for a while is the same as saying it is going to get dark tonight,
    Still nowhere near good enough. Smith you have sympathy for despite everything. If every player had his work ethic we wouldn’t be in a mess. He looked rusty last night two or three times on the edge of their box he hesitated and lost posession which nearly cost us beacuse of their counter attacking skills. If he would take a pay cut I would be tempted to keep him.

  • roscoe

    Mar 5, 2009 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #27

    Anyone else notice how dirty Vidic was last night? Never seen that before but he deserved a red for that tackle on Oba and was continually blatantly dirty on a number of other occasions!

    Just something i picked up during the game…

  • big boomer

    Mar 5, 2009 at 6:47 PM

    Comment #28

    Vidic has always been like that. No frills. A stopper. Gets away with it because manure have the refs in their pockets. They all want to be friends with them

  • Doocey

    Mar 5, 2009 at 6:50 PM

    Comment #29

    True, United have their refs on their side unfortunately.
    Although a penalty could’ve been given against Bassong for a blatant handball, of course he couldn’t get it out of the way but on another day it would’ve been a penalty

    Check out me new articles on my sites lads, click the name and more importantly.

  • LooneyToon

    Mar 5, 2009 at 8:37 PM

    Comment #30

    Smithy grafted his bollards off last night and at times was slightly over commited….ie when he went straight through one of there players and caught Jonas…

    He put in a right shift and for a lad coming back after such a long time out, did well….

    has no one mentioned the megs on Rooney?…hope Smithy called it….

  • Sav

    Mar 5, 2009 at 11:13 PM

    Comment #31

    Newcastle has 10 games to avoid the drop.

    Smith has 10 games to prove why he should be kept on Tyneside.

    He battled last night but when he is fully fit, we need to see more than just total commitment.

    But credit the lad. He has played a couple of full 90 minute games for the stiffs to get his fitness and his timing back. Its really not too much to ask a 60k a week footballer to do, but that doesn’t mean there’s not plenty prima donnas who are not prepared to do it. I think Barton may be one.

  • valle

    Mar 6, 2009 at 12:28 AM

    Comment #32

    Look at Smiths stats from last night… He hardly made a bad pass!!!… I know he can do nothing right in allot of you guys eyes, but give some credit where its due.

  • valle

    Mar 6, 2009 at 12:51 AM

    Comment #33

    As to our remaining games… The ones against Hull, Stoke, Boro and Pompey are vital, we cant afford to lose those… If we just win those 4, i feel we will be safe tho.

  • sohica17

    Mar 6, 2009 at 1:00 AM

    Comment #34

    agree valle,
    does anyone feel smith passed in a very “elegant” way last game?

  • StanHardy

    Mar 6, 2009 at 8:48 AM

    Comment #35

    For those posters that have Portsmouth marked as a home win Toon record in respect of getting a double when the away win comes first is very very poor. It hardly ever happens.Still lets hope this is the exception

  • Darling27

    Mar 6, 2009 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #36

    dobinhood i think your spot on with those predictions mate.

  • coyote

    Mar 6, 2009 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #37

    I did the BBC’s predictor and tried to be as objective as I could and not let my heart rule my head and put in realistic results which I think you have only I put us fo an away win at Stoke but my results were remarkably similar to yours and put us safe with blackburn smoggies and baggies going down
    ……………….I wish it was that easy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    any up the TOON

  • Tom_Toon

    Mar 6, 2009 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #38


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