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Alan Smith admits his days as a striker are over.

Posted on June 12th, 2010 | 29 Comments |

Smith - Not the player he once was.
Smith - Not the player he once was.
Alan Smith has today admitted something that most Newcastle fans have known for some time now – that his days of being a marauding striker are are over.

This will come as no surpirse at all to us fans who have watched him strut his stuff in midfield throughout the majority of his time with us, although now it appears that Smith himself has given up the ghost with regard to attacking play, with his preference now being to sit in front of the back four in a defensive role. That means that there is now less of a probability of notching his first goal for Newcastle, which is a shame really as I genuinely feel that he is one player the Newcastle fans would love to see scoring a goal, particulary at St James’ Park. It could still happen though, I mean Nicky Butt managed to score some goals for us whilst he was here so stranger things have happened.

“I’ve got absolutely no interest in going back up front,” Smith told The Journal. “Defensive midfielder is my position and I enjoy it, I really do. The season in the Championship has helped me a lot – I’ve developed new skills and I know a lot more about what is needed to play in that role in front of the back four.

Quite how far these ‘new skills’ will get him in the Premier League is a question that is waiting to be answered, but at least we know that Smithy won’t shirk a challenge, or put less than 100% effort into the team. The chances are that he wil probably be club captain next season, replacing the now departed Nicky Butt in that role, and if his effort and commitment can rub off on the other players then we won’t go far wrong in my opinion.

“You need a lot of discipline as you can’t just go dashing off after the ball, or push forward in search of a goal. It takes some sacrifice and spending the whole season there in the Championship has really helped me learn it properly.”

“It’s a difficult job, but it’s also a very satisfying one. You restrict yourself for the team, but when the team keeps a clean sheet it feels great. I thoroughly enjoy it, just as much as I did playing up front.”

As a former striker myself, I can say with my hand on my heart that Smith is probably not telling the whole truth. Nothing beats the feeling of scoring a goal, even at a lower league level such as I used to do. But then I guess that is my own selfish perspective on it, and I can also understand the point he made about making sacrifices for the team.

I am sure many will remember the nasty injury that Alan Smith suffered against Liverpool whilst playing for Manchester United, and that is a debatable point as whether it has contributed to him settling into the defensive midfield role that Alex Ferguson first championed him into.

I would say it has forced his hand somewhat, and perhaps it has made Smith lose that extra yard of pace he once had that enabled him to play up front years ago. I myself suffered a bad injury when playing football, which was ultimately the end of me playing football at a decent level. Smith has been lucky that he is also suited to playing in a holding role nowadays, something that has enabled to him to continue playing at a high level.

Stiil, as mantioned earlier, he is pretty much nailed on for the captaincy, and I have a sneaking suspicion that he will be a much more effective captain when compared to the captain we had when we last graced the top flight, altough admittedly that wouldn’t be a hard thing to beat.

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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29 Responses

  1. Who’s fixed for a sub? A day before the England match and I blow my money drinking with a bunch of Germans :(

  2. That’ll teach you. Hop on the train to Rugby. I’ll sort you some beer and a place to stay with some random fat munter if you wish?

  3. I’ll sort something out, supposed to be going up broad street to the sport cafe. I think selly oak and £2 a pint might be more likely :)

  4. Wow well done smudger…an enlightened comment.

    IMO he most definitely has an important part to play this season ON the pitch. I hope he has developed his positional awareness, because last season the games I saw he was bypassed on several occasions, and the PL is a lot faster than the Fizzy Pop league..

  5. Yes Munich (where they were from) and is was that the girls drank pints of lager instead of cocktails or I’d have less than £15 :)

  6. So we are going to need a right back for the start of the season now Simpson has been ruled out for the first month of the season. Or will one of the taylors play there?

  7. My brain says 3-1 England. We have massive problems in CD which plays to the England srength of Rooney, Lampard and Gerrard. I expect the US tp go for the result and bottle it up with an eye for the counter attack, which could mean 1-1.

  8. cheers toonsy… Münchner like there beer jay jay, as you found out to your cost. Give me a shout when you come over to visit them !

  9. My ex was German jay jay she used to stun me………a swift punch to the back of my heed used to do it ;-)

  10. I know jay jay…top totty mate…
    nice one richietoon ! Wor lass is from the Ruhrgebiet (FC Schalke 04 country). The hinnys there use stealth tactics to get their evil way, heed slapping has been banned by German Greenpeace since you left mate!

  11. I enjoyed Germany,keep meaning to go back one day for a Warsteiner or 2 and some apfelkorn……happy days :-)

  12. well now he is not striker he might score a goal for us before his contract runs out.
    Toight score……..2-1 england in what will be a low quality game. rooney both goals.. unless he headbutts the ref or something.. which would also be cool to watch.

  13. Smith was never a striker to begin with, not a natural goalscorer.

    Yeah it has a certain amount of glamor associated with the role, but it was always obvious he did`nt have the requirements.

    I always thought he would be better suited to the sweeper role in front of the back four and he`s done ok in that position.

    Having just watched the Argentina/Nigeria game, where Jonas played a pretty solid game as RB, perhaps like Smith he`s found his natural role and we wont have to look for a RB.
    Face it he`s been for the most part disappointing as a winger and we can always use Lovenkrands in that role , give us a bit more fire power.
    _____________Harper_____________

    Jonas_____Taylor___Colo____Enrique

    ______________Smith______________

    Routledge________________Lovenkrands

    ______________Joey_________________

    _______Carroll____Shola_____________

    That would give us the ability to stretch teams with two pacey wingers and wing backs who can also bring the ball forward with pace, a fast counter attack can be a devastating tactic.
    Of course this is with what we have, could be even better should we get some help, at least they are capable of playing entertaining football.

  14. Soh! off to watch the Engerland/US game, 71 and cloudy, perfect day for a win and i`m talking about for the US, are you afraid, you should be.
    Howay the USA, and a few Amstels certainly won`t hurt.

  15. Chuck – Jonas was awful at RB. He was rarely in his own half and when he was up front, no one passed to him as he shouldn’t have been there.

    Maradona will have seen him play for us and do a hell of a lot of tracking back and just assumed he can play defensively too. He can’t.

    He is a winger that defends a lot – but he is not a defender that attacks a lot. There is a difference.

  16. wickywoowoo

    On the contrary he had a good game at RB, before switching to the left wing (you did get that at least I hope)

    It seems those commenting on the game agree with me, that he had a good game, shure you were`nt watching the other long haired defender.

    And before you start second guessing Marradonna, he is known to have played as both RB and winger, in his career, much the same as a lot of wingers (Nobby) who have changed from defender to the winger role.

    Ok !

  17. agree with wickywoowoo
    i watched argentina game just to watch jonas and he clearly not having a good game.his positioning is awful

  18. Shearer also hammered Jonas after the match, calling him the weak link in the team.

    Hut hey, what would an ex-pro know?

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