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.

  • Robin

    Here here. There is too much living in the past with the songs about beating AC Milan, chants about Radebe and beating Man U etc. Yes, they were great things, but it’s time to focus on the present and get back to the big league.

    • stotty

      We don’t need to even go there. He won’t be coming to Leeds and does anyone really think he would take a staggering drop in his wages. Some of us remember when John Charles came back. Enough said!

  • Ash

    I really think that alan smith is the answer, I was listerning to 909 on the way home after the wot game this when I first heard the rumour, and the fella on the radio alan smiths last goal was for the scum against Roma in the champions league so I just think if we sign him it will upset the current players which is unwelcomed at this time when we are the form team

  • Rob

    Ash…. WHAT?!?

  • Ben Tomenson

    ill admit i was one who got slightly exited at the idea.at the time we looked weak in CM. Smith wasnt playing a lot. Seemed like the perfect signing to stop our problems at the time. Im on the same view that everything wasnt black and white and smith was “forced to join scum” yes some of the things he did / said at that time were hard to take. In the back of my head there is this dream that the prodigal son will return and take us to the promised land. as for the haters. A couple of games and some hard tackles they will all be singing his name again. As for the scum connection.. video of alex and kasper having a kick around in scum kits as youngsters ?

  • Paul C

    Absolutely…I am so sick and tired of all this nonsense around Alan Smith and anybody else who was part of that team and still playing.

    Please please please!!!!! can we move on. I will be glad when every single one of that squad have retired to their villas in portugal, dubai or wherever then our fans can finally move on.

    We have a new squad , new management who I would imagine just shrug their shoulders in despair whenever they read another crappy rant why Smith is so much better than them!

  • Elliott

    I disagree with you wholeheartedly on this one. Firstly, I was one of the fans who never thought he’d be able to forgive Alan for going to The Scum but then I heard the specifics of the transfer from Norman Hunter and Shaun Harvey first hand and I feel for Alan.

    That aside, the reason I disagree is that Smith, with his experience and ability, and of course his position in the NUFC midfield pecking order, would make a great logical target for anyone in our position. For the first time it isn’t about him being from Rothwell or “coming home” but it would make sense from a football and business perspective. The fact he’d want to come back should mean we’d be able to get him when otherwise we wouldn’t, exactly the sort of commercial advantage we need to be leveraging with our limited funds. Also, for the first time, he’d need us as much as we’d need him.

    I also think that, if our players baulk at a full England international with Champions League experience coming in to augment our promotion push then they show a massive lack of understanding about how things usually happen on the cusp of the Prem and the CCC. What would happen if we do go up? 3 or 4 new first teamers will come in for certain, so if the current crop are not willing to play for their positions this season, they shouldn’t be here. That is the reward for the hard work last season and the nature of football.

    There is an exact opposite to your Wilkinson anecdote; Liverpool, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Barcelona etc. all revel in and take strength from the successes of their past. And that isn’t working out too badly for them either.

    • Paul

      Elliot,I agree with you on everything you have just said there. he does need us as much as we need him and if it helps us get back in the prem then its good business, we haven’t got a central midfielder that does what smithy can. Kilkenny is way to soft for this division so he wouldn’t cope in the prem so let his contract expire or sell him in January because if we go up then we’re stuck with the soft aussie for upto 3 years!1

  • Elliott

    Also, I think a lot of this comes down to “Season Ticket Holder Snobbery” – people who go resent the outflux of fans after the Risdale era thus don’t want anything to remind them of this. The lads who go feel like the current team is more “theirs” than the CL side of a decade ago and I genuinely believe this colours the fans’ judgements.

    • TSS

      @elliot

      I’ve been accused of many things, but ‘season ticket snobbery’ is a new one. Almost refreshing! Am I supposed to apologise for retaining a season ticket for all the time we’ve been outside the Premier League?

      Not entirely sure how your point is valid either, as the majority of people creating this relentless rumour are season ticket holders.

      As for resenting those that walked away after relegation – to an extent, I perhaps do. Not because I think it makes them any less of a supporter, but there’s been numerous times when the lads who have regularly attended Leeds games since our demise can’t get a ticket for the “big” games (Manu, Wembley, Cardiff and Arsenal as examples) because the bandwagon suddenly refills and the clubs loyalty scheme is non-existent – that’s more of a problem with the club than the fans mind.

      I never really thought of it from your suggested theory, but maybe that’s what makes this rumour so unrelenting. Maybe those that jumped ship when Smith et al. left think that by re-signing them we can pick up where we left off?

  • Clarkeonenil

    This is very simple, no Smith £7m transfer to scum, no club in 2004-05. I personally judge people on Smith like I judge racists and homophobes. Any Leeds fan that would boo him now in a Leeds shirt is no Leeds fan.

    The next question is what would he bring, well cover in a department where its needed and potential to be played across positions, oh a 110% committment every game.

    I persoanlly think players coming back is always iffy, but not for the reasons TSS lays out (actual footballing reasons). Having said that if we are going to have any back lets go full hog and have Beckford, Sullivan and Kilgallon as well (at least all 4 then would potentially do a job), that way we can really risk undermining the promotion push! :-)

    • KohSamuiWhites

      What utter nonsense.No Smith transfer no Leeds United.Who made you the oracle of what people can or can,t have an opinion on and what constitutes a true Leeds fan.Climb out of your own arse for a minute.I read your bloggs and your not adverse to talking shite yourself sometimes pal.Smith is well past his best and would be a disruptive influence on the club as a whole.Your racist homophobic analogy is the daftest thing i,ve read for a while.

    • TheReaper08

      @clarkeonenil Why do you suppose it is that when people talk about Bates stepping in at Leeds to ‘save us’ it is summararily dismissed, usually under the premiss that others were interested so inevitably we would have been saved anyway.

      However talk about Smith going to Manure and he really did ‘save us’. Apparently if he hadn’t of been sold we would have gone out of existence.

  • richard

    Lets just continue as we are, onwards and upwards i say.

  • badras

    well if we lose johnson we may need a centre mid player who has already won promotion to prem league and who knows what its all about . im prety sure if smith came back to leeds and kept us solid im sure he would be forgiven . i think to bring another leeds fan to the squad would only make things stronger

  • Dubwhite

    Nope no nada! Smithy ain’t a natural defensive midfielder simples. It just don’t make sense on purely footballing terms I’d much rather see someone like Keith Andrews from Blackburn come in. Smithy got a lot of unfair stick from us but can he really improve the balance of the team? Ya know what I think.

  • Robflit

    Totally agree. Although I am with you and think that he thought that by going to the highest bidder he was helping us, some folks won’t forget him kissing the scum badge either.
    Last year for my birthday I had a tour of the stadium and our guide for the day (a long serving member of the backroom team at ER) stated his firm belief that Smith would return one day, in a Batty style. This probably doesn’t help quash the rumours.
    Don’t need any ghosts of Christmas pasts!

  • benleeds

    Lets bring back Harry Kewell while were at it ey!

  • Guest

    Smith never kissed the scum badge!

  • West Stand Rebel

    Not sure we need Killa and Sully back . Now Lennon and Milner you would be talking. Smithy? well I had my photo taken with him after he won man of the match against Everton and scored 2 goals. He was a great player then. Now I’m not so sure.
    One thing I do know, that there is no way on earth that Bates would pay for the kind of salary he would be asking which would be £40k a week at least, possibly more. That is 14 or 15 times what the PM gets which is the yardstick our fund manager is currently using.

  • Bill

    Looks like I am in the minority here suddenly, but if we need to replace Bradley/Killa and in the unlikely event a deal on wages can be done, I would drive to the Toooooooon and drive him to ER for his homecoming. I believe he could do a job and I also belive his return could add even more momentum.

    You can believe in Father Christmas or you can believe in Smudger! :-)

  • les irwin

    its time to put this to bed but it will not go away !!! smith went we know because he had no choice lufc needed the money he would have gone anyway in my opinion even if we didnt need it but we dont know that ?????? .
    we needed the money but right now what we dont need sadly is alan smith we are doing alright without him he will not improve the side alright he won’t make it worse .i dont think there will be much happen in jan maybe obrien to sign maybe johnson to leave faye to leave it will be as you are and that means no smith

  • Mark R

    Smith is not a midfielder, any kind of midfielder.
    He moved backwards from attsck due to the cruel injury he suffered and his record as a goal scorer.

    There are plenty of bone fide experienced midfielders who could improve our midfield depth.

    I wish him well whatever he does as he wore the shirt with pride back in the day, but the day has long gone.

    It’s a new dawn.

    MOT

  • Lowfields

    I’ll stick to a football argument:

    He’s not very good.

  • Elliott

    On a related point. I think we must bring in someone with Prem experience if we’re seriously mounting a challenge for automatic promotion. (Which, incidentally, I don’t think we are as SG doesn’t have the ambition for it this year). Who would you suggest it could be? Because, even though I advocated it above, it’s never going to be Smith, is it?

  • Franks

    Not sure I agree with the Killa soft comments. Yes he is not a tackler, BUT, if you analyse the game he is almost always the only outlet for a player in trouble. He then gets the ball and keeps things moving. I actually think he is the type of player that will get better the higher the opposition.

  • Tim Wilsom

    Bring back Batty

  • michael

    I would rarther give Michael Johnson a go, and try and get Fabian Delph back on loan for the rest of the season. Alan Smith is in the past and its time to move on. Ken Bates would not splash the cash anyway on his wages.

  • paul n.ireland

    i think if we r first r second come january, alan smith would be a gamble worth taking, having played in the championship last season he has the experience of playing in it. if we brought in another prem player he would be droping down a league and would find it maybe harder to adjust than smith. smith only joined scum to save leeds. he will always be a hero to me. if anyone saw the paper after the bolton game when we were relegated they will see smith in tears he took that relegation like every other leeds supporter . he bleeds white ,yellow and blue . i would be over the moon if he came back.

  • Tommy

    Totally agree with franks. Killa is underated he plays the best forward passes in our team. Hes the player who spreads the ball out wide and does great through balls. He can be weak at times but hes more the creator. Smithy was forced out of the club to save us if he came back now hed bring grit and determination to defensive mid. So i wouldnt mind. He may have started a striker but he did a job for newcastle last year. I reckonhed be better than amdy faye aswell :p obv hed have to take a pay cut to come so if hes willing to take a cut then id deffo have no probs him comig back. Mot mot

  • Mario Buttigieg

    We are supposed to be marching forward not backwards.

    Let us stick to our current young team, that is performing magnificently.

    P.S. TSS always succeeds in coming up with excellent issues.

  • Thomas Hill

    We are linked with Smith every transfer window, I used to love him he tried he was a Leeds lad and then he joined Scum. I do think if he came back he would change the team and the crowd would welcome him back EVENTUALLY.
    I agree with TSS everyone loves the past and the memories and it’s what has made this club what it is today, but we have lost all the players and got relegated to League One.
    It is time to forge the past and create a new legacy under Grayson he is doing a fine job now so why change it by going back to the old days.
    I have also been told Smith is no longer up to scratch he needs injections all the time to play and is retiring but who knows.

  • Paul South Wales

    The past is the past, we didn’t need Smith to get us out of league one, and he hasn’t got us into second place at present. We have a good squad, and if we do need to replace BJ there are far better players out there than him. He’s well past his best, i’d rather a younger up and coming Premier league fringe player, we have the pulling power now!

  • Craig

    So many ifs in the posts above..,. if Newcastle want to loan him, he wants to come back, if he takes a drop in wages, if the fans would accept him, if he gets us promoted, if… if… if… – trouble is we’s have to take him on in order to find out whether they are true and in my books most of them are long shots. We stand to lose far more than we gain by bringing Smith back and I agree with those who prefer to look for the next Alan Smith than the one we used to have.

  • Raph

    Mmm, i can see both sides of the argument, i am leaning slightly towards it being an exciting deal if he came back, unless he was on fire though it would be only proper to make him work for his place as the crop are doing the biz at the minute. That would cause a massive disruption if he could just walk into the team because of his name and what he was part of eight years ago

  • Marc Butterworth

    @clarkeonenil…. You are such a pompous arse….. Who the fuck do you think you are that you can decide what opinions other people are allowed to have???

    Your obviously one of these liberal muppets who think anyone who dares to have any sort of opinion on immigration must be a racist….. Anyone who has any sort of opinion one sexuality must be a Homophobe…

    Come down of your self built pedestal and take your arse out of your head.

    TSS presents a good point (even if you dont agree with them). Wether right or wrong, a lot of Leeds fans hate Smith for going to the scum and this means his return would cause discontent among that section of fans. Wether or not that is right or wrong, it is simply something we want to avoid while we are plying high.

    Oh, and your notion that any fan who would boo Smith is not a real fan, is just laughable and just makes you look like a knobhead.

    Idiot…

    • TheReaper08

      @sirquej I have to insist that in your next point you make more of an effort to get your point across. It’s not totally clear from the above just what you think of clarkeonenil or how highly you regard his opinon. ;)

  • Mike

    The past is the past and speclation on how he could help us is pointless, it is pefectly summed up in this little extract from TSS’s article
    “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.”
    Please lets not rock the bloody boat, we are doing perfect, lets just maintain the momentum.

  • richard

    I`d love smudger back but i think it would be a backward move, but then a again who knows until/if it were to happen.

  • Colin

    Kilkenny,Johnson or Smith ….I know who I would rather have.

    • timm

      @Colin Me too mate. Kilkenny any day of the week. There’s no place for scum loving overpaid donkeys in our exciting team. Onwards & upwards eh!

  • Jim Barnett

    @colin….Kilkenny?

    Here’s my January transfer window predictions:

    O’Brien to sign permanently
    McCartney to sign permanently
    Kilkenny to sign contract
    Faye to leave
    Morrison to sign

    The only thing that needs resolving is Johnson. I don’t know where I stand with him…he has ability but lacks consistency. Still, i’d like him to sign up, because stability is the way forward.

    As for Smithy, it’s clear to see that the jury is still out…surely though, getting back Fabian Delph on loan would be the better option??

    Also…I know he’s been brilliant in the attacking quartet, but anyone for Howson dropping back a bit…McCormack could be huge for us if given the opportunity to start behind Becchio??

  • Nasty Jim

    Cant see it happening – dont think it would be good for us as i am sure it will cause a divide amongst our fans.
    Wouldnt mind delph back on loan till the end of the season though.

  • Stuart Charlesworth

    F that I would love to see Alan Smith back at Elland Rd and as much fuel as you want to throw into the fire we all know that his move to Manchester was one of financial gain for us…. Call it as you want to but i think you are wrong

  • Simonfire1

    Dont think he would make the squad at moment let alone first eleven, I always understood his reasons for going to …. (cant even write the name but you know who) and its simple – they were giving leeds more money than any of the other teams at the auctions and they also did deal without agents involved so Leeds got every cent – so he (however misguided) thought it would make us happy – that said he’s well past it now so onwards with what we have !! (good article by the way)

  • Max.

    TSS – I think you’re wrong on this one.

    On the fantasy element – Ashley is still/always keen to cut costs at NUFC, and having an expensive Smith in the reserves isn’t great. In a 3-way discussion between Smith, NUFC and a buying club on cutting/sharing wages, Smith is more likely to provide some give (for family as much as sentimental reasons) to play at Leeds. So it has some logic.

    As to the players’ reaction – there have been 10 new players since last season and there will be more in January. Bringing in someone who has been there and done it at a higher level is absolutely typical in team building and has been a keystone of any decent Leeds team before – Revie, Giles, Strachan, Batty, etc.

    For the fans, this is the fanbase which forgave McAllister only a couple of years ago, and which tolerated the unspeakable Wise. You can argue the difference between McAllister and Smith, but Wise?

    These days he’s a holding midfield player, which is what we want. My only issue would be whether he’d last in terms of fitness and pace if we went back into the Premiership, and we’d in turn be stuck with a high paying contract for a reserve player.

    Anyway, I’d love to see him back.

    PS: @jimbob0802 – I think the predictions are broadly right (plus nunez to go, and grella, michalik, crowe all out on loan for rest of season). No idea about Morrison. Bessone or Parker to go out on loan as well, if McCartney stays. Would much rather Johnson was replaced as I think he’s the weakest player in the first team.

  • Will

    Please God NO!

    Simple reasoned answer to the Smith question. ‘nough said.

  • sveifors

    I think a return for Alan Smith would be wonderful. Play him in as a defensiv midfielder. That will give our team the iron we need. We have a young team, and Smith with his experience will balance it nicely.

  • Colin

    The only thing I can add to the list of comments is that the only reason Smith would be considered by Grayson as a loan, would be if SG is concerned that Leeds may have another blip where form goes out of the window, like when Beckford went off the boil last season and the goals dried up.

    Smith would be the catalyst that could ensure that the team didn’t take their foot off the gas. We were poor last Feb/Mar/April, but a lunatic like Smith would inject fire into the belly.

    Using my brain, it seems farcical to think Smith would come back, or that Newcastle would let him go, but then again it’s Mike Ashley in charge together with Pardew – anything’s possible.

    But the heart says that sometimes a team needs a spark, or perhaps, someone who takes the pressure off the other players – maybe Smith could do that??

    • Craig

      @colin

      Are you really suggesting the team needs a spark at present?

  • Mucker

    This is a bit of a heart versus the head topic for me. On the one hand my heart says it’d be great for the prodigal son to return, right the wrongs of the past and help us return to the Premiership. We still clearly lack a defensive midfielder and at times a team does need a player who relies on effort as much as ability (Vinnie Jones anyone?). He might not always play due to competition for places, fitness and injuries but he could be a calming and motivating influence on the squad in much the same way David Batty was when he came back. Seeing us get back to the Premier League with Smithy in the squad would be a fitting way to end our exile in the football league wilderness and, in a way, would bring closure to the “Live the Dream” era. If he could come in on a contract that fits within our wage structure and doesn’t go beyond the end of next season then the heart says sign him up.
    On the other hand the head is telling me that he’s not the player he was, he’s not a natural defensive midfielder and that with his injuries and the fact he left to play for the unwashed scum from t’other side t’Pennines (despite mitigating circumstances) he’s too much of a risk. It’s possible that if we signed him he could turn out to be a bit of a white elephant that rarely if ever plays and drainson our finances as well as squad and fan morale.
    Personally, if Grayson can see value in signing him, then I would welcome Smudger back with open arms and give him a chance to write himself into our history as a true legend. If it doesn’t work out then it doesn’t work out but I’d prefer Leeds to have a try and possibly fail attitude than one that leads us to fail to try.

  • Lowfields

    Please don’t compare McAllister with Smith… and certainly not with Wise.

    McAllister was one of the most creative, elegant and inspirational midfielders in our history – perhaps only Johnny Giles was consistently better – who helped us win the league and skippered us to our only major Wembley final outside the Revie era.

    He only left in 1996 because the club wanted rid of him; after turning down repeated offers for him, Fotherby/Wilkinson accepted one from Coventry believing his best days, at nearly 32, were behind him – having given 6 immaculate seasons of service. I honestly never understood the hostile reaction from the fans to him going, so what was there to “forgive”?

    Alan Smith, however, was never more than our third best striker, who only once in his entire career registered double figures in a season – outscored in every Leeds season by either Viduka, Kewell, Bridges, Keane or Fowler. He was then shunted back to midfield in a failed attempt by Fergie to replace the fire of Roy Keane.

    If anyone wants to go for the “he’d die for the shirt” crap, then so would I… but I doubt it would do the team much good.

  • Lowfields

    Sorry, forgot to add that our legendary striker was also outscored in 2001/02 by our left back….

    Of course, I’d welcome him back at Elland Road…. if he has a book signing or something.

  • Max.

    @lowfields – that wasn’t my point (and get off your high horse). I could never understand the fans’ issue with him either (and I blamed Carlton Palmer and his dressing room faction for pushing him out), but I did sit at Elland Road with a bunch of them chanting Judas at McAllister when he was playing for Coventry. It’s not at issue whether he was a better player than Smith (of course he was). But I think the issues with him leaving were completely irrational, and my point is that if the fans can even accept Wise they can get over anything.

    As for whether Smith was any good or not, he was asked to play the supporting striker role behind Viduka, Keane, Bridges. I don’t think he was the finished article when he left and I think he was better played in midfield. The issue wasn’t talent so much as the injury he took at Man U; if you saw him for Newcastle last season though he can do the holding midfield job in the Championship very well. I think there are question marks about whether he’s got enough pace/stamina for the Premier League.

  • Lowfields

    @Max

    High horse? Probably guilty…. it just seems that we invest so much misplaced emotion in Alan Smith – anger when he left, schoolgirl desire for his return – simply because his birth certificate carries a Leeds postcode.

    He was far from messianic when he was at his peak, as I’ve pointed out, and he has even less contribution to make now he’s an aging midfielder. And remember, he started less than half of Newcastle’s games in the second half of the last season…

    Our team is looking just fine right now… but if we are going to invest in a defensive midfielder, let’s find someone who can be a part of our future, and not simply offer a former friend an extended curtain call.

    • TheReaper08

      @Lowfields Some great posts there and I am in complete agreement, for me the passion from some of the fans does indeed stem from the LS postcode. What he did have as a player which in my opinon was not much even at his peak has long since gone.

      For the final point look at the games this season where Smith has started for Newcastle, they are all the games where they ahve taken a pasting, defensive midfielder you say…….

    • timm

      @lowfields Perfectly put. It’s difficult for me to talk about Smith without flying into a rage, so i’d just like to throw my weight behind your comment & that of Reapers earlier. Smith would bring nothing to our team,& anyone who thinks he’s played any part in the revival of Newcastle is well & truly mistaken. That has been down to Kevin Nolan. Give it 6 or 7 years & we’ll be debating whether we should have Milner & Lennon back! The LS postcode thing just seems to turn some people weak at the knees in admiration of some pretty ordinary players. Do we need Alan Smith coming back for a last payday? Do we hell.

  • Orangina

    I can’t reveal my source but Alan has long wanted to return to Leeds and Grayson was keen. This was one of the reasons he came to a few games last season. However, Bates is reluctant and Smith is aware that many fans still hate his guts. The jury’s out. Given that I’ve got to know him personally over the last ten years or so I am completely biased so I’m not going to say either way on whether it should, shouldn’t, couldn’t or won’t happen.
    Either way, Grayson’s doing a fab job and whoever he brings in, be it a new or familiar face, he’s done a fantastic job so far so I will back him (Grayson) 100 per cent.

  • White Stuff

    At the start of the season I was all for Smithy’s return, especially after watching the Derby game and seeing how easily they went through our midfield. Then we went on a good run and it papered over the fact we still needed that holding midfield role filling. We then hit a poor patch and it seemed glaringly obvious again. We are now in our best form for some time and it is hard to see past that, but I am sure at somepoint we will need that bit of bite in midfield we all thought we needed before the season started. Is Smithy the answer? Well I doubt anyone can argue he would give his all for us and he does have many qualities, but would it be better to have someone with no previous connections? If so who, because I have seen some of the players linked with us for that role before and with the exception of McArthur non of them exactly stood out or for me appeared a better option than Smithy. Eustace? Monty? Faye? The guy from Cardiff? I noticed Keith Andrews mentioned above and if you think Smithy is a step backward then you would be in for a shock with Keith. You ask any Hull City fan about him and they will tell you how they could never believe he played in the Premierleague. I’m undecided on Smudge, but he will always be a hero to me and if Grayson thought he would be good for our squad then so be it, because I trust Grayson.

  • Lowfields

    General comment….

    Has any player done better in a second spell with Leeds than the first…? We’ve had Batty (no), Sellars (no), Baird (not really), Lorimer (no), Deane (no), Chapman (hell no), Charles (no, and he’s the greatest player we’ve ever had)…

    The only one I can think of is Lukic, and there’s an argument to say he was worse but the team was considerably better.

    Am I missing anyone obvious?

  • Lowfields

    Oh, David Harvey (no)…. Frank Gray (hmmmm, probably not)

  • Anthony Lewis

    He’s a traitor and a shadow of his former Leeds self. He has gone majorly downhill since going to the land of no return and to be honest i wouldn’t pick him if i was boss. I would like cover in central midfield but we should look elsewhere and not dwell on the past.

  • mike howell

    We support the team, if SG decides he wants him and Bates goes along then we should side with him. That’s what SG is paid to do.
    If SG believes he can bring something good to LUFC then he’ll get my vote, simple.
    MOT

  • Matt BB

    I cant believe the amount of negativity around Alan Smith, and for once i am in total agreement with Clarkeonenil.

    He has a point to prove, but for ridsdales mess he would never have been forced to leave us for Man United, and whilst hes no longer a fleet footed 21 year old striker, we need a good passer of the ball in midfield who is good in the 50/50 situations. He did that for Newcastle last year so would do a job for us.

    I’d say that Richard Naylor, and Andy O’Brien have done ok for us on their `second spells’ by the way, and that Batty was a useful part of the rebuilding job when he came back, easily forgotten, but he and Dacourt were the spine of our midfield, and when Batty went out injured we began to struggle, playing the likes of Burns and McPhail with Dacourt.

    Is this a non-story? I dont think so actually, as there is still a huge amount of interest from fans and player, who we often see at Leeds games, he clearly loves the club, and being the sort of character he is he must have asked about coming back.

    I dont think this is a dwelling on the past type issue, but if it is then its not a criminal offence to `put right’ something that went wrong long ago, Smithy deserves to be remebered in a positive light for Leeds, and coming back would give him the opportunity to do that.

  • Irving08

    I am in the ‘No’ camp. As I have suggested elsewhere on this site, Alan Smith is one of those youth fottbalers who peaked in his lagte teens and has progressively gone backwards, in his case literally..He is one-paced;, has a Scholes-like inability to tackle'; shows no particular heading ability and has no obvious power in either feet. Admittedly he shows a lot of commitment and is an intelligent player, but otherwise he strikes me as quite ordinary. If Johnson goes in January, Abdu of Milwall woud be a far better signing.

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