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Big Sam: Smith is the key


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Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce believes Alan Smith's versatility can make his job much easier this season.

 

The £6million signing from Manchester United can play up front or across the midfield, giving Allardyce options during the current crop of injuries.

 

Smith's ability to play a number of roles will also come in handy early next year, when Newcastle will lose a number of players to the African Cup of Nations.

 

Smith is again a likely starter for Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with West Ham at St James' Park as the Magpies attempt to bounce back from the disappointment of Monday's 1-0 defeat at Derby.

 

Adapting

 

But asked how he sees the player's long-term role, Allardyce said: "Versatile. There is nothing better than somebody who is capable of adapting to a number of positions and playing with their heart on their sleeve like Alan does, going out there and giving his all.

 

"There will be a number of occasions when we are short on numbers like we are now. In the last two games we have been short on squad numbers because of all the injuries.

 

"He is able to fill in in midfield, up front and in the wide position for us, so he is a crucial part of the make-up of a successful side."

 

Smith made his name as a striker at hometown Leeds before being converted into a midfielder at Old Trafford.

 

With Newcastle already boasting four frontline hitmen - Michael Owen, Mark Viduka, Obafemi Martins and Shola Ameobi - he may have to continue in the middle of the park as Allardyce searches for his best XI and the most effective system under which they can operate.

 

Poor display

 

That is a process which he freely admits could take some time to complete.

 

Asked when he might reach that point, he said: "Next season - if we are lucky."

 

Newcastle welcome the Hammers having surrendered their unbeaten start to the season in a poor display at Pride Park.

 

The club's fans have since made their feelings known with Ameobi, who started his first league game of the season, coming in for particular criticism.

 

Allardyce, however, was quick to leap to the 25-year-old's defence.

 

He said: "I don't know why just him because he was no worse than a lot of the others. I don't know why he was singled out for it.

 

"It's a shame because he could have turned that into being the hero if he had put in the chance he had.

 

"Like everybody else, it is down to the service sometimes and your other team-mates clicking all together and unfortunately, too many of us did not click on the night.

 

"It's a little unfair to point all the criticism at him when there was a lot of players on the pitch that night below their best."

 

Owen has recovered from the groin injury which forced his premature departure at Derby, while Viduka is also fit after a hamstring strain.

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The bit about Ameobi is very true, though I'm a bit confused he says Smith is the key when he was actually worse than Ameobi. I know he has played in midfield, but in my opinion he isn't exactly versatile seeing as he's average in the centre and shocking on the wing.

 

 

"Actually" is a very matter of fact statement, I think you'll find thats a matter of some disagreement.

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The bit about Ameobi is very true, though I'm a bit confused he says Smith is the key when he was actually worse than Ameobi. I know he has played in midfield, but in my opinion he isn't exactly versatile seeing as he's average in the centre and shocking on the wing.

 

 

"Actually" is a very matter of fact statement, I think you'll find thats a matter of some disagreement.

 

shola was bad the other night. smith was worse

Edited by Dr Gloom
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The bit about Ameobi is very true, though I'm a bit confused he says Smith is the key when he was actually worse than Ameobi. I know he has played in midfield, but in my opinion he isn't exactly versatile seeing as he's average in the centre and shocking on the wing.

 

 

"Actually" is a very matter of fact statement, I think you'll find thats a matter of some disagreement.

Terribly sorry. Must remember the "in my opinion" bit beforehand. You never see anyone stating opinions as fact after all. Wouldn't want to make that mistake again.

Edited by TheInspiration
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The bit about Ameobi is very true, though I'm a bit confused he says Smith is the key when he was actually worse than Ameobi. I know he has played in midfield, but in my opinion he isn't exactly versatile seeing as he's average in the centre and shocking on the wing.

 

 

"Actually" is a very matter of fact statement, I think you'll find thats a matter of some disagreement.

Terribly sorry. Must remember the "in my opinion" bit beforehand. You never see anyone stating opinions as fact after all. Wouldn't want to make that mistake again.

 

 

Good, glad we've cleared that up. :huh:

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The bit about Ameobi is very true, though I'm a bit confused he says Smith is the key when he was actually worse than Ameobi. I know he has played in midfield, but in my opinion he isn't exactly versatile seeing as he's average in the centre and shocking on the wing.

 

 

"Actually" is a very matter of fact statement, I think you'll find thats a matter of some disagreement.

Terribly sorry. Must remember the "in my opinion" bit beforehand. You never see anyone stating opinions as fact after all. Wouldn't want to make that mistake again.

 

 

Good, glad we've cleared that up. :huh:

In my opinion, Smith was actually worse than Ameobi.

 

And I'm glad we've got that cleared up. ;)

Edited by TheInspiration
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I thought Smith was worse aswell tbh.

 

I do take a little hope from that article that when all are fit Smith will have to settle for the bench.

Smith is a decent player who is being shunted around at present. Shola is a player who hasn't had enough football after a long term injury. Several others like Geremi, Milner, and Butt were shite but I can't really make an excuse for them.

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I thought Smith was worse aswell tbh.

 

I do take a little hope from that article that when all are fit Smith will have to settle for the bench.

Smith is a decent player who is being shunted around at present. Shola is a player who hasn't had enough football after a long term injury. Several others like Geremi, Milner, and Butt were shite but I can't really make an excuse for them.

 

 

Smith is a decent player up front, don't really rate him anywhere else. Certainly not on the wing.

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The bit about Ameobi is very true, though I'm a bit confused he says Smith is the key when he was actually worse than Ameobi. I know he has played in midfield, but in my opinion he isn't exactly versatile seeing as he's average in the centre and shocking on the wing.

 

Exactly why I started a thread on it which unfortunately turned into a flog Ameobi contest.

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