Alan Smith: Saint or Sinner? The Smudger Debate – by Rob Atkinson


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Smudger – one of our own?

It’s over nine years now since Alan Smith, the Rothwell lad with Leeds United in his DNA (although there are rumours that he was a Liverpool fan as a cherubic little boy), broke with an on-the-record vow and signed for Them.  From THERE.  It was impossible to believe, but it was true.  Smudger had sold his soul to the Devil.  Our Alan was a scummer.

Ever since then, the debate has raged off and on.  Is Smithy more sinned against than sinning?  What were his choices back in 2004?  Is he still our golden boy, famous for scoring with his first touch in front of the Anfield Kop, for putting Anderlecht’s formidable home record to the sword, for that Cruyff turn when he scored against Southampton at home?  Or is he the living embodiment of Judas Iscariot, selling himself and prostituting his talent for a few (million) pieces of silver?

There is evidence on both sides of the argument, and plenty of ill-informed, scurrilous comment as well.   No less an impeccable source than Peter Lorimer tells us that Smudge had little choice in the matter; that Man U was the only offer on the table that suited our dire financial predicament; that the lad even waived a rather large payment so that the Club could gain maximum advantage from the deal.  My own crib at the time was a TV interview immediately after relegation when Smith confirmed he’d be leaving as he was “not a first division player”.  Well excuse me, son – I brooded – but you are.  You’ve just earned that status by being part of a team that got relegated.  But it was all a long time ago.

So I thought I’d ask people to vote for how they see our former striker (38 goals in 172 appearances).  Is he a goodie or a baddie?  Saint or Sinner?  Is he Leeds, or is he not? Please give your view below.  We might as well do this now; the lad is way past his best and let’s face it – after all the years of rumours and sightings – he’s not coming back.  So let’s nail this one now.

Comments are equally welcome.  If you MUST insist on a democratic right to vote, even if you’re a Man U fan – then at least have the decency to admit it.  I could of course protect the integrity of the process by filtering out I.P. addresses in Devon – but what the hell.

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17 responses to “Alan Smith: Saint or Sinner? The Smudger Debate – by Rob Atkinson

  1. David Smith

    Alan Smith loved Leeds so much (and still does) that he made the decision to move across the Pennines to save Leeds United from financial meltdown. He made sure that any monies that would have gone to his agent (and other hangers-on) all went to Leeds United. (Are you listening Harry Kewell!!) He knew that M.U. were the only team who could pay cash and Alan hoped that his decision would help Leeds survive.
    How it must have hurt him to know that not only is he seen as a traitor but that also his best efforts to save the club he loves failed.
    I wonder if he had moved to any other club Alan might have been able to put his side of the argument forward and may be then it would have been listened to. All because his move was to THEM provides substance to ” There ‘s none so blind as those that will not see”

    MOT

    docsmith

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  2. Compo's Style Guru

    No I’m not about to come out as a closet glory hunting fan of a team near to but not quite in Manchesto but thought I would share this: Whilst away last week with work I picked up a copy of the local rag that featured messrs. Neville G and Giggs R telling of their new restaurant venture. Apparently a football themed affair with green coloured cake to represent grass and a version of pot noodle – I kid you not. Where is this high end eaterie that will surely have Gordon Ramsey quaking in his boots I here you ask, Manchesto or maybe Alderley Edge in Cheshire? No its in the Westfield shopping centre in a village called London and the esteemed journalistic organ? Why its the Evening Standard. No doubt the menu caters to the age, IQ and social standing of the best supported team in this or any other galaxy they care to invent.

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  3. IVE HERD ALL THE OPINIONS HE COULD HAVE GONE TO ANY CLUB WHY MAN U
    THE INLAND REVENUE WANTED THERE £7.5 MILLION ELSE THE CLUB WOULD HAVE BEEN WOUND UP SO SMITHY WENT TO MAN U & HE DIDNT TAKE HIS SIGNING ON FEE
    SMITHY SAVED LEEDS FROM GOING THE SAME WAY AS COMET
    AC MILAN OR THE KINGS ARMS OLD BOYS 11 DIDNT PUT IN A £60 MILLION BID FOR HIM
    QUESTION FOR ALL LEEDS FANS IF YOU HAD BEEN HIM WOULD YOU HAVE GONE TO LIVERPOOL FOR £3-£3.5 MILLION & SEE YOUR HOME TOWN CLUB WOUND UP ELLAND ROAD SITE SOLD TO HIGHEST BIDDER EG ASDA WALMART SITE NEAR MOTORWAY BUILDING 4 MILLION SQUARE FT NORTH OF ENGLAND DISTRIBUTION CENTER & LEEDS CITY AFC PLAYING IN THE WOODEN SPOON LEAGUE AT SOUTH LEEDS STADIUM IF LIVERPOOL HAD BEEN IN THAT POSITION STEVIE G WOULD HAVE GONE TO MAN U TOO TO SAVE HIS HOME TOWN CLUB LOVE IS TUFF
    WHEN THE TAXMAN COMES YOU CANT PAY IT OFF AT A FIVER A WEEK CAN YOU
    WHEN THE ELLAND ROAD SITE IS A SELLABLE ASSET NUFF SAID!!!!!!

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  4. my hero when i was a kid.limited as a player,determination brought him england caps and to the top of the english game.what a guy

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  5. John hayes

    Hi, I’m a Leeds fan for 40 yrs plus. In regards to Alan Smith, I have met him several times andi Smudger is Leeds through and through. He went to the scum because he didn’t have a choice and he was trying to save our club when we had nothing.

    I don’t care what other Leeds fans say about Smudger, but that guy to me is a legend. Put him against Kewell, who would you prefer.

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  6. Think you’ll find there’s more Leeds fans than scrum fans in Devon. The YEovil game is going to be fun!!

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  7. Smithy is a Legend who did what he thought was best for Leeds United maybe Ill advised but it’s done, look at what he did for Leeds he was never the same player after leaving when you have not got the passion like he had for Leeds his talent was not quite there.

    He saved us with the money coming in and would rather see him back at Elland Road than that Aussie Kewell
    Enough said MOT

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  8. i’d have nothing to say to the guy if he came out and said i wanted to win something – but we know what the guy did and we should respect him for it. i think we were all hurting at the time and smithy brought the brunt of it, one thing is he gave us some memories that were pure class.

    if i was ever to meet him i’d shake his hand, just a shame too many fans are childish and will even say doesnt matter how much money we got he shouldnt and gone to them; with that i just shake my head.

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  9. 2 points…My mate a non-footie cameraman was filming AS at a big hotel outside Leeds where I think he lived for a time. It was for a football focus piece in Feb/March-time(I think) before relegation and Alan was asked off camera about rumours of him joining scum, he tried to duck the question but he did not deny it. Plus my girlfriend, at the time, worked at the BBC in Manc and was also at the scummers training facility on a regular basis. She was told by a senior youth management figure there that AS had already visited the place, and was a definite signing for them at the end of the season, regardless of relegation. As I remember, it, whilst it was our worst nightmare, it was an open secret, and later on the supposed Juventus interest was just fog to cloud what was already a done-deal. Whilst I know Alan still attends ER for the odd game and the money from his sale etc….goodie or baddie? For me, BADDIE!

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  10. sydney-leeds

    as an aussie your right kewel in my eyes is a dog i never knew what smithey done for our club and i take my hat of to him long live leeds united

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  11. Peter Hill

    The treatment Smithy has received from many Leeds fans absolutely appals me. So much has been made about his “I would never join Man U” comments, but I remember that interview, and he was only a kid when made, he was put on the spot with the question, and didn’t have the maturity or experience to evade the question. He answered with what he knew the fans of Leeds would hope to hear, and has had to suffer for it ever since. Smithy loved this club, did his best for the club after he was forced out by the board, and gave up his cut of the transfer fee to help out Leeds United. It’s a disgrace he can’t even show his face in the crowd for a game….. is this really how we treat our heroes?

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  12. patrick hogan

    As far as I know, apart from not taking his cut of the transfer fee at the time, Smithy and Dom Matteo also refused to take the half of their yearly salary that Trevor Birch had persuaded them to defer. Not the actions of rats leaving a sinking ship. Matteo is on record as saying that he didn’t want to leave but did so to help the club. I’d like to think that Smithy felt the same.

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  13. I think it’s fair to say Smiffy was Leeds as I never saw him have a decent game for anyone but yourselves!! NUFC.

    Like

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