The Alan Smith return – The best way to derail a season TSS December 22, 2010 Leeds United 66 Comments Living the dream It’s said that every seven seconds a man thinks about sex, which is a theory I have no evidence to argue with. I do however, have to wonder where some Leeds United fans find the time to think about anything other than a possible return for Alan Smith, such is the magnitude of this unending rumour. It doesn’t seem to matter where I look online, whether it’s Twitter or Facebook or the other Leeds United sites and message boards, I’m never too far away from the next discussion on Alan Smith’s return. Even the occasional phone in I catch on Yorkshire Radio seems to feature this same discussion every time without fail. It’s a rumour that has been entirely fuelled by fan-fantasy. Neither Leeds United or Alan Smith have ever suggested a January move may be on, nor have any of the national rags or football rumour websites (to my knowledge), yet to speak to some Leeds United fans you could quite easily be convinced Alan Smith is already packing his things together. I realise the irony of writing a post about Alan Smith rumours only serves to fuel speculation further, but I honestly can’t see why anyone would want him back at Elland Road. I’m not one of the many Leeds United fans that refuse to forgive his move to Manchester United because that story was never as black and white as it originally appeared and I really do believe he thought he was helping the club by moving across the Pennines. However, what shouldn’t be ignored is that many Leeds United fans will never forgive him for that transfer, and it doesn’t matter which side of the fanbase is right and which is wrong, Alan Smith returning would unsettle the fans and create further divide at a time when we need solidarity and every Whites fan across the globe giving the lads their full support. I also think the return of Alan Smith would send the wrong message to the team. Imagine our players disgust when they’re dropped from the team in favour of an ageing player that was part of our ‘living the dream’ era. The players that have dragged us out of League One and to second place in the Championship shouldn’t be replaced by those that wish to return now we’re in a position they think is worthy of their time and expertise. The psychologist in me has always admired Howard Wilkinson for what he recognised when he first took over Leeds United. He saw a stadium full of reminders of the Revie era dominance and a team burdened by the expectation this brought. What he did, was to remove all reminders of this bygone era to allow his players to focus fully on writing their own history. Didn’t work out too badly either… Leeds United fans need to stop living in the past. Alan Smith may be Leeds born and bred and there is a slim chance his return could help us return to the Premier League. I think it’s much more likely however, that the negative influence his return would have would totally derail our season and make us live to regret it.