Alan Smith - The Poor Man's Craig Bellamy!

Last updated : 06 August 2008 By Footy Mad - Editor
Goal-scoring has been Newcastle United's biggest weakness in pre-season as injuries and absenteeism have taken their toll.

But this was the ideal time to let Smith show us some sort of glimpse of what he was capable of four or five years ago.

He lit up Elland Road ... and for a while Old Trafford ... but he is a player who doesn't know his best position, and striker is certainly not one of them!

The Magpies have not scored since Damien Duff's hat-trick in a 3-0 victory over Hartlepool United in their opening game, losing 1-0 in each of the three matches since then.

As the only striker to have played in all four games - starting on every occasion - Smith has come in for the most criticism.

He is as vocal as Craig Bellamy, with that arrogant attitude, but as Sir Bobby Robson said of the Welsh international: "At times you want to throttle him, but he never lets me down on the pitch".

Smith, on the other hand, has been hussle and bussle and nothing more.

The Yorkshireman is yet to score for United since joining for £6m last summer (barring a pre-season fixture LAST year) - 37 games and hardly a strike at goal.

Keegan: "Alan's confidence is okay but he will always work hard.

"But we haven't done a lot of finishing yet, not much work with the strikers. Now we will be able to do that.

"Michael Owen will be back with us, hopefully on the bench.

"We are down to one forward and have also lost the underbelly of it with (Andy) Carroll out for a month and (Kazenga) LuaLua, who would strengthen your bench. We don't have many youngsters at the club. Some of the kids we have really are kids."