Alan Smith Will Have To 'Button It'!

Last updated : 22 January 2008 By Footy Mad - Editor

Allardyce had a frustrating eight months trying to curb Smith's coments to referees, and his idea of making him skipper was thought to be a way around the problem.

The captain has the right to question a referee's decision, but it only encouraged Smith to make his feelings felt.

The England international has been booked nine times this season, almost all of them for being vocal, and Keegan takes a tough line on what he describes as "needless bookings".

We all know of Owen's attack on Keegan's tenure as England manager in his book, and that is probably a way of calming down an explosive situation with the England star.

Keegan: 'I think we'll leave it with him at the moment, and if he comes to me and says he enjoys it, then we can look at it longer term.

'I looked at the players I had got, and I honestly believed Michael was the most experienced player on the pitch, along with Shay Given.

'I told Shay I would like Michael to lead it from the front, and he said, "Fine - I fully understand. I've got no problems with that".'