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Alan Smith – What Were You Thinking?

Alan SmithI’m not quite sure how Alan Smith had imagined his return to Old Trafford. Maybe he thought Newcastle would hold their own away to the Champions, sticking together on the pitch after all the disruption off it. Maybe he thought he could get his first goal for Newcastle against his former club, and celebrate in an understated manner, to show the respect he still had for United fans. Maybe he thought Newcastle could hold out for a draw, and he’d get subbed before the end and applaud the Stretford End.

I think it’s safe to say that however Smith imagined yesterday playing out, it didn’t go to plan.

Alan Smith caught Ronaldo outside the area at the start of the second half, conceding a freekick. Ronaldo hit the ball straight along the ground, Smith jumping over the ball, allowing it to creep in past Given. 1-0.

For the third goal, Carrick pinched the ball from Smith, played it through to Rooney, who laid off Tevez, who provided Ronaldo with the opportunity to show off his skill, and slot the ball away.

At 6-0, it appeared as though Smith’s return couldn’t get any worse. Then, he laid in to the referee, claiming that Tevez’s second and United’s sixth hadn’t actually crossed the line. Whether it had crossed or not, did it really make a difference Alan? Is 6-0 really so much worse than 5-0? Whilst United fans celebrated for the sixth time, Alan Smith started to make his way for the tunnel, sent off for crossed words with the ref.

Smithy was probably too angry, too embarrassed, to notice the reaction of the crowd. We applauded him off the park, singing his name, as he kept his head down, chunnering away to himself.

Before the match, Alan Smith reflected on his time at Old Trafford and what Saturday would mean to him. “The fans were brilliant with me and I had a great time there,” he said. “I never got a good chance to say goodbye to the fans. Hopefully I will get a chance on Saturday.”

It was hardly the dream send off for Alan Smith, but regardless, it was nice to have you back Smithy.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. jsos says:

    wasn’t there a foul on giggsy by him as well? he talked a fine story before the match on his respect for united and the fans, but his fouling and sending off left us with a “last memory” of smith that I wish could be erased. still think he was a great lad while we had him, just a shame this is how he said goodbye

  2. Anekin says:

    He is a nice lad. Just had a bad injury. I wish him a long career.

  3. Prasac says:

    I didn’t read this article to the end because all I can say about Smith is that I am very happy he is not United player any more

  4. Eddie says:

    If Alan was so desperate to get a standing ovation from the fans. he may have though that leaving the field in any way would be the only possible way. Stupid, but he got it.

  5. jimmy Bob says:

    Smith great attitiude but not good enough to be a united player.

    I hope he does well at newcastle but as a striker he doesn’t get enough goals and as a midfielder he doesn’t offer enough to the side.

  6. johnpanda says:

    fair play. smudger went down fighting – unlike most of the spineless newcastle side. as for his heavy tackling, surely you don’t expect him to stand back and allow united to walk over him just cos he used to play for us?! although he was never really good enough to hold down regular starting place at united, he was appreciated by the fans for his never-say-die attitude. good luck to him…

    ..he’ll need it if that muppet shearer takes the job!!

  7. jphilt1 says:

    No one can ever question Alan Smith’s commitment and graft which was so apparent at United as he tried to hold down a regular first team place. However, as a striker he is mediocre and will never be prolific. As a midfielder he was tried and tested and it didnt work out. Thanks for your service Alan, good luck for the future

  8. Mick says:

    I thought he was their best player in the first-half.

  9. Tom F says:

    He had the most touches out of all the Newcastle players during the game, he put in all the effort and was one of their only players trying to drive his team forward.

    He was no different in the game against us than he was when playing for us, playing with all his heart, trying to produce something so desperately that it never came off. He also did a lot of tough tackling and gave free-kicks away in dangerous positions. Good old Smithy. Wish the lad well, he didn’t shy away from the challenge of playing for United and I will always respect him and hope he does one day reach the potential he always shows promise of.


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