The last of Newcastle United’s ‘disappointing generation’ nears the door

Words by Kevin Doocey on .

Alan Smith tells the team what tactic they should play

#### Smith - An extremely disappointing signing for NUFC to say the very least

I remember the day we signed Alan Smith quite well, the start of August 2007 - another ‘coup’ by Allardyce, or seemingly so. He arrived for £6m, a decent fee to pay for someone who was just returning from a serious injury. Pay for it we did. After signing a 5 and a half year deal at a modest £60,000 a week, Smith has never had a grip on the first team and at the end of June he will depart Newcastle United on a  free transfer. To really cap a fall from grace, Smith played the end of this season on loan at MK Dons of League 1. From playing Champions League football with Leeds United & Manchester United, to starting midfield for a team a whole two divisions below the Premier League - it was a heavy fall rather than a graceful one for Alan.

Above anyone else, I think Mike Ashley will the happiest to see Smith leave the club. Since he bought the club, Ashley has paid out millions to Alan, with almost nothing in return. Injuries hampered any chances he actually had of starting the team - while the sacking of Sam Allardyce didn’t do him any favours either.

When I say ‘disappointing generation’ I mean players in the last five or six years that have commanded high fees & wages from NUFC, and in return, brought the club into the mire. The likes of Viduka, Claudio Cacapa, Damien Duff all helped Newcastle United towards relegation and then abandoned the club when it’s league status was confirmed.

The only credit I can give Alan Smith is that he had a half-decent season in the Championship with us. He played quite a few games and helped us back into the Premier League at the first time of asking. However, as soon as we reached the PL, he didn’t see a lot of first team football for various reasons.

As passionate as Smith is, and as good an influence he is around the training ground & dressing-room; its time for him to leave Tyneside and look for a new club. Perhaps a newly promoted team will take him on purely for experience, Big Sam may well fancy signing him up for some unfinished business.

The good news is that we’ll now have almost £3.5m extra in wages to cover any incoming signings. Financially, NUFC is getting healthier all the time. Finishing 5th in the Premier League means a lot more cash than we managed last season too - the books are looking good.

What’s your opinion on Smudger?

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JB: ⏱ 20/05/2012

Greedy B*stard

Ilovethepub: ⏱ 20/05/2012

Definitely still a good player given the chance and the right position, Did a fantastic job for the MK Dons with coaching and inspiring the players. despite a past serious leg injury Alan Smith is not scared of going in for the tackle and gets in amongst it with out fear. very good in the air too at times especially at League one level, would love to see him stay at MK Dons, but that just isn't going to happen. I predict a move to at least a championship side but probably a Prem side. Alan Smith is not finished yet !!

Azds1492: ⏱ 20/05/2012

according to FM there could be as much as £110,000 a week being freed up by those leaving newcastle this season or £5.7million in wages. Eden Hazard it is then? ;)

mark: ⏱ 20/05/2012

I wish him luck wherever he ends up. Its definately a shame that he didnt play more games for us but he was seemingly professional throughout his time at St James. Reckon he would still do a job for a newly promoted prem side.

Exile: ⏱ 20/05/2012

Bought as a striker but never scored a goal. Moved to attacking midfield but without any pace or incisive passing ability. Did well in the championship as a defensive midfielder but when Tiote showed everyone how it should be done, we all realised that he was nothing but a bunch of yellow cards and free kicks given in bad areas. You can't say that Alan didn't try his best and was not passionate but he never recovered from his injury and after that was never more than a championship player. I wish him well because he always gave his all, but outside of the championship his all was never enough

Doocey: ⏱ 21/05/2012

Credible thoughts; great username! :-D

Ginkohro: ⏱ 21/05/2012

Good guy you want to have around but in term of football, he's not good as he ever be again so let him go.

Whoarya: ⏱ 21/05/2012

Smudger isn't good enough to get 50K a week wages from anyone surely? Proof absolute that Newcastle United are now on the right track. Bye bye Alan and good luck champ

Amcdonnel: ⏱ 21/05/2012

I think you're forgetting a certain Mr Xisco !

Doocey: ⏱ 21/05/2012

Well, Xisco's got another year left on his contract, so this time next year I'll be talking about him - unless he leaves this summer!