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Smith to return? What would it mean?

By Andy Baggott
July 13 2011

For weeks now there have been rumours of Alan Smith returning.  Told by Newcastle he was free to find a new club, stories were rife that the ex number 17 was going to come back.  

Today those rumours have gathered pace as the bookies have dropped their odds dramatically – some even refusing to take bets.  The club are keeping quiet, but the Internet is awash with people ‘in the know’ who ‘guarantee’ he’ll be back.  Whilst the majority of these are people taking a punt, the saying ‘there is no smoke without fire’ couldn’t be truer.

 

IF, and it is still a big if, Smith returns, it will divide opinion like no other transfer in recent memory.  ‘Smudger’ was the local boy done good, the Rothwell kid who wore the Leeds badge like a coat of arms.  Strong in the tackle (sometimes a little bit too much), a decent scoring record, and the heart of a Lion.  He kissed the badge, he loved the club – genuine tears poured sown his face when we were relegated.  But then what?  The ultimate betrayal?  He signed for ‘them’ on the wrong side of the Pennines.  Leeds fans were shocked.  Claims and counter claims flew about – Smith held out for this move, compared to ‘it was the only offer on the table’ – Smith waived a huge amount of money to sign for them, which helped with Leeds’ crippling debts at the time.  He was hated by the same fans who used to adore him.  A broken leg against Liverpool effectively put an end to his career there – he moved on to Newcastle, but was never the same player.  He had been turned into a tough tackling central midfielder, and at Newcastle didn’t score a goal – unbelievable for a player who represented England as a striker….

So what now?  Too young to be on the scrap heap, and interest in him will be high.  His next move is likely to be his last, and will it be an ‘emotional’ homecoming?  Some fans will continue to hate, some would welcome him back with open arms – like the prodigal son..

Me?  I’ve seen too  much over the last few years to let anything surprise me anymore.  I honestly don’t care about his past anymore – in my younger days I would, and I understand why some will continue to.  However, for me now, it’s what he does on the pitch – the club is more important to me that any one player (unless we ever signed Gary Neville!!).  Is he good enough for us?  Will he improve us?  I honestly don’t know.  The Smith of old would be a stunning signing at this level – the Smith of Newcastle days would disappoint.  Maybe the challenge of being back here, and proving a point (any maybe righting a very big wrong) would rejuvenate a player who’s career has gone stale.  The next few days are likely to show if we’re after him…

Still – will probably sign for Leicester – everyone else has!!!

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13 Jul, 2011 17:21 Report
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Smith to return? What would it mean?
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13 Jul, 2011 17:27 Report
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Re: Smith to return? What would it mean?
Hit the nail on the head Andy!

If he signs it will be all about what he does on the pitch.

We can debate the merits of his worth, as we have done for so long, but ultimately if he dons the famous white shirt again, we will all see his true value.

For me, I would love to see him return and I would love to see him prove he is worthy of the worship once given to him and which will be afforded him once again!

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13 Jul, 2011 17:34 Report
Rhino White (IP Logged)
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Re: Smith to return? What would it mean?
All that matters to me is LUFC so although i wouldn't want him back in any capacity IF he returns and wears the famous White shirt he'll get my support.
He certainly won't be the "homecoming hero" many will make him out to be but this club is bigger than ANY 1 individual and especially this individual.
I still hope it's another "Hooper" to Leeds story but if true like the song says M.O.T

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13 Jul, 2011 17:36 Report
reviecallister (IP Logged)
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Re: Smith to return? What would it mean?
Hes not a greedy money grabbing twaat everyone thought thats what it would mean and he loves leeds.

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13 Jul, 2011 17:53 Report
Leodesian (IP Logged)
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Re: Smith to return? What would it mean?
With the signing of Brown, I think Smith is a potentially very expensive risk.

Why sign 2 players as a potential midfield pairing when the ability of both to withstand the rigours of a full season is in doubt?

If we're wanting to go with a DCM pairing & Clayton isn't ready to step up, why aren't we looking for a younger player to bring in? I thought the blend of youth & experience is what SG is after.



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13 Jul, 2011 18:00 Report
lengle white (IP Logged)
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Re: Smith to return? What would it mean?
As I've said on other threads I'd prefer jones now we have a DCM but a fit Alan smith would be great, but is that wot were gonna get? Either way I'd support the lad despite the past, wot matters is here and now and the season ahead and if Alan smith can help us back to where we belong then I think any doubters will back the lad and get behind him. At the same time u can't blame some for doubting, I do however think that smith n brown midfield can get us promoted no doubt.

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13 Jul, 2011 18:04 Report
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Re: Smith to return? What would it mean?
Rhino

He will be the Homecoming Hero!!!!

(Sm151)

Just as another Smith would be if he came back from Warrington!!

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13 Jul, 2011 18:08 Report
rab (IP Logged)
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Re: Smith to return? What would it mean?
He had no choice but to leave, didnt take the money out of the club by refusing loyalty money, Has he ever scored against you? if he had I bet he put his head down and walk back to the centre circle. He is leeds through and through but inst the player he once was.

In the 2nd division yes I am that old he played well and was a star he would do the same for you.

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13 Jul, 2011 18:22 Report
carlowasinbrazil (IP Logged)
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Re: Smith to return? What would it mean?
have him back in a flash,just the buzz from the crowd with him there back on the pitch to give his all again would give Leeds that lift it has needed for many years.

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13 Jul, 2011 18:35 Report
Willow (IP Logged)
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Re: Smith to return? What would it mean?
In answer to the question Andy, I would hope, first and foremost,that it would put an end to all these fecking Smith threads. That said, I am with Rhino.

Have no animosity towards the lad at all in respect of his move across the Pennines.

But purely from a football point of view, he would not be anywhere near the sort of names I was hoping we would be trying to attract this season - especially when money is apparently such an issue. Agree with RAB. Never been the same player post Anfield for me.

He gave his all every week - but as for homecoming hero? We must be getting desperate. IMO

Will support the lad though - and hope if true it turns out well - for both club and player.

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13 Jul, 2011 18:43 Report
Sir Rob of Vegetable (IP Logged)
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Re: Smith to return? What would it mean?
It would mean the death of this board....

There would be nothing else to talk about...



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13 Jul, 2011 18:49 Report
Camellard (IP Logged)
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Re: Smith to return? What would it mean?
will lift the club and the fans. I think the "Newcastle" smith wouldn't disappoint as long as he plays. Newcastle walked the division with Smith at the heart of the side.

For me he his signing has a ring of Strachan about him.

I also can't see him going elsewhere as he has an affection for the club rarely seen in players these days.

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13 Jul, 2011 18:51 Report
t1og (IP Logged)
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Re: Smith to return? What would it mean?
I think it would mean we would have a player that more than any other would do all he could to put us back in the prem
Of course this is my opinion I dont expect every one to agree with it
But I still think he would cut hes balls of to captain us back to were we come from

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13 Jul, 2011 18:55 Report
Sir Rob of Vegetable (IP Logged)
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Re: Smith to return? What would it mean?
Refuse to believe it until it happens.

Would love it to, though.

For now, i'll bury my head in the sand.



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13 Jul, 2011 18:56 Report
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Re: Smith to return? What would it mean?
IMO SG will be going 4-4-2 more than 4-5-1 this season.

Ross & Becchio up top with Smith and Brown rotating as a DCm to partner Homegrown Hero Hoswon.

Dont think he'll be starting too many games with both Smith and Brown as the 2 CMs.

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13 Jul, 2011 19:00 Report
Sir Rob of Vegetable (IP Logged)
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Re: Smith to return? What would it mean?
Quote:
BB
IMO SG will be going 4-4-2 more than 4-5-1 this season.
Ross & Becchio up top with Smith and Brown rotating as a DCm to partner Homegrown Hero Hoswon.

Dont think he'll be starting too many games with both Smith and Brown as the 2 CMs.

Agree - it's very plausible - and certainly something the fans would love if they saw it... but are we really gonna land Smith?

I doubt it....



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13 Jul, 2011 19:06 Report
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Re: Smith to return? What would it mean?
Oh Sir Rob!!

If it happens I hope you will shed your guise as "Doubting Thomas"

Sometimes you just need blind faith.

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13 Jul, 2011 20:08 Report
BAC White (IP Logged)
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Re: Smith to return? What would it mean?
Hope so. always like any player that put it in for their team. That said whats the odds that if he did that he'd get so many bookings/dismissals trying too hard to win back fans



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13 Jul, 2011 20:12 Report
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Re: Smith to return? What would it mean?
For me and this is only a personal opinion, it would mean that the club had to spend a great deal of money on a player who is in the twilight of his career with massive questions mark over his fitness.

Smithy was a great player and the memory of him in the white shirt will live for ever but what's gone has gone and the club should be looking forward not back.



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