alan smith manchester united


A football academy has been opened in his name in Orlando, a project largely run by others, but some who know Smith liken him to David Batty: a man satisfied with his lot, happy out of the limelight and content without football in his life. He did well in the Championship in midfield earning the club promotion however, there was always a feeling that he wasnt a fully formed midfield presence and was sort of filling in. Did he ever really convince as a midfielder? He was in a privileged position., Smiths contract at Notts County ended in 2018 and he has drifted away from the sport. But if were talking about running a football club long-term, they werent up to it.. In Smith's final season with the club they were relegated and he signed for Arsenal for 850.000 in March 1987, but was then loaned back to Leicester for the rest of the season.[4][5].

He epitomises everything Leeds United is about, said former chief executive Trevor Birch. And the interview, the transfer, the implied betrayal has always been held against him. Looked like a right piece of work in his younger days. [3] He is currently a co-commentator, and sometimes studio pundit for Sky Sports. They were right. It was as simple as that, says Derry. It wasnt that he didnt reach his potential; he just didnt get the breaks. So while many might shrug and remember him as the sulky kid who booted people hard, others see someone who did a lot of hard yards and kept on keeping on often in adversity. Smith, who had been on the field for 13 minutes as a substitute, attempted to charge down a free-kick from John Arne Riise but caught the studs of his left boot in the turf as the ball struck him. Leeds were convinced for a while that Liverpool would table an offer in the region of 10 million for Smith. When he was young, Smiths passions were BMX and Moto GP and he was a national BMX champion in his primary school days. One thing that struck me about him was that he never drank. A real fans player. Goalkeeper Paul Robinson moved to Tottenham Hotspur for 1.5 million. The former Leeds United forward was attempting to block a John Arne Riise free-kick when he suffered the horror injury that almost ended his career. Eventually officials from both clubs, including Manchester Uniteds David Gill, met in a hotel in London to thrash out the terms. Manchester Uniteds opening offers for Smith were low. He has revealed that he never fully recovered from the injury over 12 years ago and that it changed him completely as a footballer. None of this made any difference to fans, who either didnt know or didnt care and they abused him terribly anyway. A proper tenacious, never give up attitude, capable of scoring some great goals. Vidukas switch to Middlesbrough says much about the state Leeds were in. Smith retired at the end of last season after four years with Notts County. Not until global warming properly kicks in, anyway. ", "Having the points on the board is massive.". When he went to Manchester United I remember being excited to see him in red, feeling he would be a great asset for them. A spell at MK Dons followed before a chance meeting with Shaun Derry saw him link up with Notts County, his final club, in 2014. Except two years later, Smith did. Liverpool identified Rafa Benitez as their next boss, but he knew too little about Smith to give any offer the green light. Frenkie de Jong prefers move to Chelsea as he 'doesn't like' Manchester. Smith was top scorer again when Arsenal claimed the title in 1991 and won his second Golden Boot. Smith joined on May 26 but did not appear with a Manchester United shirt or speak about the transfer until July 20, midway through Manchester Uniteds pre-season. The boy had become a man. If you look at Alan Smith the player, youd automatically assume hed want to be in football for the rest of his life but from what I saw in him, I can understand why he might choose not to be. Sheridan (2016). He wasnt at that level anymore and he wasnt fooling himself. Did Derry think Smith might change his mind before pre-season began? He liked what he liked, he kept himself to himself quite a lot and he seemed pretty happy in his own world. Leeds, though, were desperate for it. It doesnt seem long since those pouty, engorged dark red lips graced Elland Road. When Leeds were crying out for cash?

When we sat and chatted over a cup of tea afterwards, Id make notes about certain things, little anecdotes or pearls of wisdom from things hed seen and done. But at the same time he was being recognised as one of the best forwards in the league by one of the best club managers of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson. Rangers admired Smith and Smith, over time, had developed an affinity with that half of the Old Firm but Murray was not calling to do a deal. "I was probably a bit of annoyance to them because I wanted to learn and put myself against them in training. Everything would go through one intermediary, rather than a cast of thousands. National Football Teams without an confederation, Pages with non-numeric formatnum arguments.

He left three years ago and is now apparently in Florida coaching at the XL Soccer World Academy, which sounds like nice work, certainly better than being booed by unforgiving Leeds fans. You wouldnt rule out a return to Leeds in some capacity, at some point, though swapping the sunshine of Florida for the cold, grey misery of Beeston would take some doing. united manchester famous mcilroy rory golfer golf he fans fred mick hucknall parades claret jug trafford backs glory premier league Alan Smith was a superb part of the Leeds United team that emerged in the early 2000s. Man United.. He left United after playing 93 games and scoring 12 goals and went to Newcastle for 6 million. Mind you, hes the one lad Id have backed to get over an injury like that.

On the Saturday before he passed his medical, the Yorkshire Evening Post mocked up an image of him in a Manchester United shirt and printed it on their front page. If he played today as he played the game in 2000 hed not last a minute. That really hurt him, says Matteo. I remember my first pre-season I would sit and talk to the best players, like Roy Keane. He left Newcastle for MK Dons in 2011 and finished his career with Notts County in League Two. A versatile player, manager David OLeary pushed him out to the right wing. In the end, they agreed to take Danny Pugh. People didnt think of him as being quick but he was quite deceptive. Stuart Harrison (@stuart10006) May 28, 2021. Were there other viable alternatives in front of him and could Smith have handled that transfer window differently, in a way that protected his reputation at Elland Road? "I loved it at Manchester United though, it was intense and I saw it as a great opportunity to learn from some of the best of the players," Smith said. One of them was Middlesbroughs insistence that Leeds, in return, sign Michael Ricketts, the one-time England international who had completely lost his way. That game, a 3-3 draw with Charlton Athletic on May 8, was Smiths last home match as a Leeds player and yielded his last goal.

Were Smith and Black concerned about the reaction in Leeds and the damage the transfer would do to his name within Leeds Uniteds support? When you get to know him on a different level, its obvious that hes got other interests, he says. A lot of stuff flies around and some of it can be a figment of peoples imagination. Hard to believe hes already 40, but time passes quickly. Future days These days hes doing coaching work with male and female youngsters at the XL Soccer World Academy which sounds like a blameless way to pass your days. Smiths intention, according to Black, was to find a club playing in the Champions League, in which he had played under David OLeary. Although discussions about Smith took place between the clubs, sources close to Liverpool at the time told The Athletic no formal bid was placed and that their interest ended once they moved to change manager. In the end the decision we had in front of us was go to Man United or stay at Leeds, which couldnt have happened anyway. Smiths Soccer AM interview is a warning to everyone: in football, never say never. His next appearance came seven months later and he was never the same player again. Was he naive or misunderstood? Alan was very much the fan on the pitch, which made their rejection of him all the worse. The local boy, the Leeds hero who promised never to join Manchester United and then sold everyone out. A clause in it stated that Smith would sign at Old Trafford without an immediate unveiling. Serve the public or serve his career, in a scenario where it was difficult to do both. The absence of official comment did not change that fact that Smith would be a Manchester United player. I just dont think he wanted to let the playing side go. Leeds were in debt to the tune of more than 100 million and their new owners, a consortium of Yorkshire businessmen, were facing up to the crippling loss of Premier League income. I speak as someone born in the county. "We were known as stab city, the butt of everything. But in the background, things were moving quickly. "I do like him. "Alan Smith came in from Leeds, and started really well. Derry is not altogether surprised. I know what Leeds are like as a club and I know what its like to leave. The Adulant Force consortium had taken control of Leeds through a 22 million takeover in late March but between the five new directors, headed by local insolvency practitioner Gerald Krasner, there was precious little knowledge of football and plenty of infighting. Yet he remained a popular player for his tireless work ethic and his commitment. I was gutted to leave the club and he was too. At Old Trafford, he went from playing as a centre-forward to playing in central midfield and was touted as a long-term replacement for Roy Keane. He thought it was important and he thought it would help Leeds. Football needs its grafters and its hard luck stories are as important as those about great triumph. I remember playing against him in a few practice games, and thinking, Yeah, he has a chance. But he never quite kicked on. Briefly that looked like it would be the case with a cracking goal scored against Arsenal in the Community Shield and against Norwich City in the league. It was a difficult four and a half seasons, with a stress fracture meaning he missed almost an entire season. But word soon came from Old Trafford that they were willing to put together a 7 million package, with the money paid in full. Neither side pretends that there was. His last of his 13 caps came when he replaced Lineker in the 2-1 defeat by Sweden in the 1992 European Championship.[16]. The club and their majority shareholder, Andrea Radrizzani, have spoken to Smith about an ambassador role but Smith isnt keen. His pressing of the back 4 and keeper completely unnerved them and set the tone for the game. Everybody LovesJames Milner|David Batty|Ruud van Nistelrooy|Paul Scholes|Roy Keane. Born in Rothwell, Leeds, he played initially as striker and later as a midfielder in a 20-year career which saw him play 605 games and score 72 goals. He looks and sounds young in the video, clean-faced with spiky blond hair. The transfer to Manchester United would be done and dusted before the end of the month. Why fans couldnt see and understand this, remains a mystery. Id watched him butcher Paolo Maldini in the Champions League. Met him at a charity match at Meadow Lane. And on day one of training, there he was., Derry says Smiths career with Notts County was 95 per cent playing, 5 per cent coaching. Kevin Blackwell, the Leeds manager, was perplexed by the signing but understood the rationale behind it. The move was controversial at the time. There were no borrowing facilities left to exploit and their only route to serious income was through a fire sale in the dressing room. Manchester United were the club he would never join, a club incompatible with his Leeds United roots. There was a lot of raw emotion. He has talent, he can finish, he has good feet and he likes a tackle. All in all Smith has been ranked at 27th within the club's listing of the 50 greatest Gunners of all time. Derry is a former Leeds player so understands the clubs antipathy towards Manchester United and the magnitude of what had happened in 2004. Everyone appreciates that from the financial side, the clubs side and from my point of view its time to move on.. United 7 Roma 1. But that doesnt disqualify him from our affections. The club was a fiscal basket case and he was one of their most valuable assets, so of course he got caught up in finance and politics beyond his control. This is Alan Smith to Manchester United, a transfer still waiting for forgiveness. Wed eat together a lot and spend a fair amount of time together. [7][8][9], His last goal for Arsenal came against Manchester City 12 December 1994 in a 2-1 win at Maine Road, and his last appearance for Arsenal came in the FA-cup third round, 7 January 1995 in a goalless draw against Millwall at The Den. Ive always said I wanted to stay here until it was no longer possible and I think thats the situation were approaching now, said Smith. I listened to Alans perspective on it. [20] He was also known for his hold-up play. [19] Though primarily left-footed, he scored a number of goals with his right foot. They have no time for Cantona or Ferdinand round here, but it is Smiths name that rouses most bitterness. Keane spoke highly of Smith in his second autobiography. Smith, he admits, was not just looking for any club. And who exactly would dictate the terms of his departure? There was talk of interest from sides lower down the division Newcastle United, Everton, West Ham but Black claims much of it was a figment of peoples imagination. But Leeds were in financial trouble and were relegated in 2004. There were no direct discussions between Liverpool and Smith. But nothing lasts forever. I got on well with Smudge. He shed tears at full-time and was the stand-out image for sports editors across the country as Sundays newspapers were laid out that evening. Smith came through the academy at Leeds, he was a fan favourite and had previously said he would never play for Man United. I was close to Smithy back then, says Matteo. Its genuinely the easiest deal Ive ever done: an hours conversation on the treadmill and then a shake of hands. We were getting called by clubs all the time but people forget that it wasnt just about clubs wanting Alan or having an interest in him. [3][14][15], Smith gained his first full England cap against Saudi Arabia 16 November 1988. You can talk about the ins and outs of the Man United move as much as you like but relegation hurt him. In short, Tell me hes not signing for Celtic. "I knew with the injury it would be touch and go whether I could carry on playing. I knew the transfer was a personal thing so I didnt want to make it any more difficult by trying to chat it over. [21], He scored in a number of important games for Arsenal, including the 199394 European Cup Winners' Cup final and scored one goal in Arsenal's decisive victory at Anfield in 1989. There was already a path between Elland Road and Old Trafford, trodden before in both directions. The chance to join Manchester United was put in front of him and Smith said yes. Such a talented player, his move from Leeds to Man Utd was quite naughty but he did okay, that awful injury he suffered was just harrowing, so glad he made the comeback, one of those players who deserved to win much more than he did. He never touched it, which is just how he was. But he played in the FA Cup success 1993, also against Sheffield Wednesday, when he was booked for the first and only time in his career. Smith said on Twitter "Yes, gutted not to be involved with @EASPORTSFIFA anymore. To say it was unreasonable is an understatement. It was best to leave it. He is homemade too, a kid from the academy, and the complete package. Leeds announced that Smith had waived a signing-on fee, to help with the financial mess at Elland Road. Date published: Monday 31st May 2021 8:00 - John Nicholson, Johnny Nic remembers the homegrown Loiner who swapped Leeds for Man Utd. When he left, we were honestly just as concerned about how the Man United fans would react to them signing him. He won the Premier League with United in 2007 and the Championship title with Newcastle United in 2010. Players would be sold. [6] Without service from the wings, Smith's had to feed off scraps in his first season, and although Perry Groves was trying manfully to form a partnership with the former Leicester forward, it wasn't until Paul Merson arrived on the scene that things started to click for Smith. His six seasons and 228 games for Leeds United cemented a reputation as a fierce and fearless player. Leeds falsely claimed to have finalised the sale of Milner to Newcastle (they would sell Milner to Newcastle for 5 million but not for another month and a half) in an effort to make it clear that they had no reason to let Smith go cheaply and for a short time Manchester United called their bluff. They got chatting and by the end of the conversation, Smith had agreed to come to Nottingham for the 2014-15 season.

Smith still had an eventful career after his injury. Smith is currently a regular co-commentator and sometime studio pundit for Sky Sports for the Premier League coverage. Its not easy to start off by singing the praises of one of their arch rivals.. Finally he dropped down two divisions to go on loan to MK Dons in January 2012 for whom he played 83 times before ending his career with five seasons at Notts County, latterly down in the boondocks, before hanging up his boots in 2017-18 after 108 games for County. smith england drop alan bbc leeds striker united What is undeniably true is that none of the other sides in Champions League-qualification positions champions Arsenal, Chelsea or Liverpool came forward with a bid. Knowing that business would be manic before the 2004 summer transfer window had even started, Leeds hired an agent, Philip Morrison of PML Sports Management, to oversee all of their deals and, in essence, sell their players. But thats hypothetical. Smithy was always a bit of a loner and always a bit different to your average footballer. With his bruised purple-red lips set in a sulky sort of pout, he was moody and passive aggressive. But then the goals dried up and he was battled with Kevin Campbell for the position alongside Ian Wright. Or the breaks he got injuries were the ones youd never want.". There was a lot of interest but nobody else agreed a deal, says Black. The turmoil there saw him be a player manager on and off for a while and even took charge for a game. Hed still have a late night with us, and a crack and a laugh. But I dont think hed want anyone feeling sorry for him over the reaction to it. I got the feeling he was as good as his word. Hated him at Leeds. In his first season at United, he scored ten goals but boss Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to turn him into the next Roy Keane, prowling the midfield, seeing the same fierce determination in Smith as in the Cork man. Not everyone in Leeds resented Smith for taking the plunge it is not in dispute that the club needed money fast that summer and it is clear that the situation presented him with a professional dilemma: take the best transfer on offer to him or limit his own potential, for the sake of upholding his name in Leeds. I was amazed he came back from that at all, says Matteo.

"The manager might have been looking at him as an eventual replacement of me, but I never felt my place was under threat from him. Did tribal expectations of him miss the point? Hes a Leeds fan whos just seen his club go down being offered the chance to go to one of the biggest clubs in Europe but a club who people in Leeds have no time for. worst injuries football alan smith leg injury broken ever ankle sports break legs dislocated liverpool till history nairaland recent manchester I tried not to get into it with him because I could tell how difficult it was going to be. As Riise stood over that free kick, Alan, who had rarely been injured to this point, could have had no idea how what would happen next would change his life. This is an attitude that anyone born in Yorkshire knows comes with your mothers milk and is worn like a winter overcoat, in order to keep the world at arms length. He was introduced at the same time as Liam Miller, who had come south from Celtic. Black says the figure ran to hundreds of thousands of pounds. Smith would be leaving. "[17], Tall and slim, Alan Smith was well known for his headers,[18] but during his career he demonstrated all round skills, including a deft first touch and the ability to chest the ball down or head it on for teammates to run onto. The purchase of winger Brian Marwood in March 1988 also proved to be a significant turning point for Smith and Arsenal. Matteo left for Blackburn Rovers. But by the final weeks of the term, and as the crowd ran to him up at the end of the draw with Charlton, there was no longer any pretence on his part. newcastle tudor john united fks "It would have been easier to walk away and people remember you as a top Premier League player. Your love of it makes you go through the pain barrier. To say the fans didnt take well to his transfer to Manchester United was an understatement, however, the fact was Leeds couldnt pay his wages, only United offered the money and the club would only sell him to United, so in effect, he had little choice but to go or to put Leeds under, despite once saying hed not play for their close rivals. When Smith was spotted in Glasgow, Murray was ringing Black to check that he wasnt about to be ambushed by the club across the city. He broke through the Leeds United youth ranks to the first team at a great time in the clubs history, in the 1998-99 season. In reality, there was no chance at all of high-profile footballers putting their next move in the hands of a man they didnt know. It was obvious what the reaction would be. Gerard Houllier was keen but the Frenchman was on thin ice at Anfield.

There is a world of context to his 7 million transfer the disarray of the team he was quitting, the appeal of the team for which he signed, his personal ambition and the reality of the offer itself but the deal cast him as the biblical figure who occupies a certain place in footballs vocabulary: Judas. There was a conversation about whether Leeds might sign winger Luke Chadwick as part of the agreement. Why the love? And thats a shame, Seeing Smithy cleaning out someone was, like seeing David Batty who he played alongside, do likewise, was one of the things worth paying money to see. Leeds and Richmond tried to warn Smith about the likely fall-out in Leeds but at that stage there was nothing comparable to dangle in front of him, no other Champions League opportunity. I was there and he was devastated, basically inconsolable. For his first Premier League game, he came off the bench and scored with his first touch within three minutes. He was always the pace-setter in training, always the guy out in front. But Smith would prove his worth in the long term, and topped their scoring charts in four of his first five seasons. His name was mentioned briefly when Leeds discussed the possibility of making a domestic addition to the coaching team Marcelo Bielsa brought with him two years ago but Bielsas preference was to promote Carlos Corberan from the academy. I never got him to wear it once, Derry jokes. A move was unavoidable, for a variety of reasons. - Kevin Walsh picks match-ups for Galway v Kerry All-Ireland final, Pat Spillane recalls the incident when he was "punched by Donegal supporters", All-Ireland Football Final is here, can Galway beat the odds against Kerry, & Anna Galvin interview, How a last-minute phone call stopped Ronaldinho joining Man United, Man United full-backs offer promising glimpse of new-look attack under Erik ten Haag, Erik ten Hag responds to video footage of him criticising Jadon Sancho in training, Atletico Madrid interested in signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Man United, Wayne Rooney ready to 'rescue' Phil Jones from Manchester United with DC United transfer offer, Australian TV star loses it over 'embarrassing' AFL photo of Marcus Rashford. Two of Leeds most influential signings Johnny Giles and Gordon Strachan came from Manchester United at the outset of Leeds greatest eras. It was horrific and its the sort of injury that would have made other players pack it in. If I were at home, Id ask Dad to dig out the photo of us down at Windy Hill watching Leeds train prior to the match at Colonial Stadium against Colo Colo. Alan Smith (and all the players) signed jerseys and football cards and kicked the ball around with the kids in the park. Everyone appreciates that from the financial side, the clubs side and from my point of view its time to move on., Smith kissed the Leeds badge on the day they were relegated from the Premier League in 2004 (Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images), Matteo and Smith were close at Leeds but the striker could be a loner off the pitch (Photo: Phil Cole/Allsport via Getty Images), Smith finished his career at Notts County as player-coach alongside Derry (Photo: Mike Egerton/Empics via Getty Images). But I didnt want that, because I loved playing football. We've all got fond memories of *that* #UCL night against Roma, But none more so than the star of our latest UTD Podcast, Alan Smith #MUFC pic.twitter.com/OCEAuQY7lk, Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 7, 2020. Smith is philosophical and unapologetic about the call he made but speak to people involved in 2004 and one thought hits you: rather his decision than yours. I couldnt compete at a level I felt I could easily before. (Top photo: John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images), Ive always said I wanted to stay here until it was no longer possible and I think thats the situation were approaching now, said Smith. Smiths aims, dreams and expectations of a five-year contract at Manchester United were destroyed by an injury he suffered at Anfield during an FA Cup tie against Liverpool in 2006. Goes in the pot marked hate him because he plays for Leeds/Man Utd but wish our players were a bit more like him. A former school friend of his, who asked not to be named, said he remembered Smith oozing self-confidence, someone who wanted to play for the best regardless of who that team was. Smith joined Man United from Leeds in 2004, costing 7m following Leeds's relegation from the Premier League. Is it fair that one of Englands most promising forwards was castigated for shaking the hand of the Premier Leagues most successful club and manager? Ouch. ", Erik ten Hag unleashes sweary rant at David De Gea during pre-season friendly. And in the cases of Jordan and Ferdinand, leaving for record transfer fees. Houllier was sacked on May 24, two days before Smith completed his move to Manchester United. Derry liked his coaches to wear a different kit in training but Smith resisted it for as long as Derry was in charge. Feisty little fellow wasnt he! Smith received an invitation to Octobers centenary dinner at Elland Road but he spends much of his time in the States and was unable to attend. It remains to be seen if professional coaching sucks him back in. The club had been amassing debts and liabilities for several years and were running out of lives. Shortly after he landed, Black received a phone call from David Murray, then a major shareholder at Rangers. Thered be a coaching role involved and he fancied it. He must have much advice to pass on about how to survive adversity and career threatening injuries. I know this for sure: going to Man United wouldnt have been about money or not for him. But both were surplus in Manchester and over the years it was the defections from Yorkshire that caused resentment: Joe Jordan, Gordon McQueen, Eric Cantona, Rio Ferdinand. Then came Smith and, in the eyes of many, the ultimate act of disloyalty. Anyone who watched him could tell by the way he played and the aggression in his game that he was in it for the football. He scored some great goals but injury, and circumstance, robbed him of the stellar career he surely wouldve had. What strikes you first about Alan Smiths answer is the brevity of it. 2007. But then, they make em tough in Leeds. Penguinoftruth (@Penguinoftruth1) May 27, 2021. Leeds used their official website on May 18 to announce that they had rejected immediately bids of 3.5 million and 5.5 million, describing them as substantially undervaluing the 23-year-old. It was bittersweet for him, really.

Administration was one option but the board were not sure if they would be able to fund the process so they took to flogging anything of value from their senior squad. His finest in a United shirt. The first season ended with a Littlewoods Cup final appearance at Wembley where he scored in a 3-2 defeat by Luton. They had players in the academy, some of whom were a mile from the first team, receiving weekly salaries of 10,000. Opinions on his transfer to Old Trafford remain polarised. Hed played at a very high level, but by then hed come to terms with the fact that the injury had changed things.