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Name Alan Smith
Gender Male
Ethnic English
Job English Football Coach
Desc Alan Smith was the prototype for the modern target man. Although he had a respectable goalscoring record, his main attribute was his ability to bring others into play. Smith worked tirelessly for the Arsenal cause, sacrificing his body to provide a platform for more technically gifted players to cause damage. Such selflessness endeared him to the Arsenal fans forever

Affiliation

Org England National Team
Club as Coach Crystal Palace
Club as Player Arsenal FC

2003 08 13 Retrieve

[Arsenal Forward Alan Smith after Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires sign new deals] I’m sure Arsenal would have loved to have got this out of the way before pre-season started. There was an air of uncertainty about the place

2015 01 22 Retrieve

[Alan Smith talks about Eric Cantona’s kung-fu kick] What distinctly hit me was that they played in all black that night. None of them had shaved and they looked a pretty ferocious team. I was thinking ‘this is going to be a long evening’

[Alan Smith talks about Palace centre-back Richard Shaw who was given the job of man-marking Cantona] Shawsie had this sort of bubbly, curly hair. He put a load of grease on. He used to put a lot of Vaseline around his face and mouth. He was the most charming, gentle guy you could ever meet but he looked pretty ferocious on the field. I think he was really up for marking Cantona

[Cantona is the subject of a series of hefty challenges, from Shaw in particular] If you want to say ‘gave him one’, Shawsie certainly went in. I don’t have a lot of sympathy with Cantona. He is a big man, carries himself well, and he had given a fair amount out. Shawsie just thought ‘it’s on the halfway line, it’s in front of the dug-out - I’ll go for it’

Afterwards, I saw Sir Alex and he shook hands and said, ‘What the bloody hell was wrong with that then?’ I said ‘Alex, that’s an everyday occurrence in Putney High Street’. Because of his tunnel vision for everything, he was even trying to put a case that Cantona had been badly treated. I just sort of said, ‘No Alex, totally agree, nothing wrong with it. Everyday occurrence’

2015 08 20 Retrieve

[Alan Smith on Thierry Henry] I spoke to a number of pros and they all said they hadn’t seen anything like it (Thierry Henry’s performance against Liverpool in a 4-2 Premier League win at Highbury in April 2004. Henry scored a hat-trick). On his day, he had become unplayable, and more and more since then it has been his day. I have to say I haven’t seen a player like him. He’s an athlete with great technical ability and a tremendous desire to be the best

2015 11 28 Retrieve

[on Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira] He had everything. He could score goals, tackle, was a leader and a fearsome player in his pomp

2016 02 03 Retrieve

[On Dennis Bergkamp] [. . .] he saw the picture so quickly, adjusted to any sort of strikers in front, whether Wright, Henry or Anelka, or others. Such a clever player, who scored brilliant goals, and had a steel about him too

2016 02 17 Retrieve

[on Tony Adams] [. . .] he was a captain, an inspirational leader, a reformed character and one of those players you want alongside you in a battle.

2016 02 18 Retrieve

[Quote on Ashley Cole] He was the archetypal modern-day footballer in terms of getting up and down the pitch, a very tough defender and a great competitor

2016 03 24 Retrieve

[on Alan Shearer] A jack-of-all-trades who, in defiance of the proverb, has mastered them all

2016 09 14 Retrieve

[Quotes on Luis Suarez] An incredible talent with a magnificent work ethic. Inspired everyone around him at Liverpool, even only briefly, and now showing his class at Barcelona

2017 03 08 Retrieve

[Quotes on John Terry] He has been around forever and his consistency has been amazing. (A) natural leader and a very good player positionally

2017 03 09 Retrieve

[Quotes on Didier Drogba] A beast of a centre-forward who would mercilessly bully defenders. Even better, he scored in big games

2017 03 10 Retrieve

[Quotes on Didier Drogba] The all-round centre forward, somebody that at his peak any centre-half would have nightmares trying to tame. Strong as an ox, quick and also a great finisher who worked the channels and held the ball up really well

2017 03 11 Retrieve

[Quotes on Frank Lampard] His longevity and the number of goals he scored from midfield was amazing. He is a fantastic professional as well

2019 12 21 Retrieve

[Alan Smith feels that Mikel Arteta will be a ruthless coach of Arsenal and will not be disturbed by the reputation of the players] I think they have made the right decision. I am really delighted and excited about the decision. I think Arsenal needs this type of coach in the situation, which is going to kick some butts, it will be clear and concise about what he wants from Players and the team

Your main body of work will be on the training ground, and that’s where it excels, I think. It’s a bold decision, but I think it’s the right decision. First, you should choose the players that you think can get a tune. outside, and I think he will be ruthless in that regard, and he won’t worry about reputation and who is earning what. In the long term, you will want to eliminate those who you think are not the right kind. I think there are some in that Arsenal locker room that don’t have the right attitude

I think we will quickly see his influence on a game day, I hope to see a little more organization, and we will see what he is trying to do with the team. It is a calculated bet, but I think he will become a superior manager. If not out with Arsenal, they would be kicking

I think he has the presence and authority to go to that dressing room and demand respect. The club has drifted aimlessly in recent years, but I think they will be anxious now

The success that comes in May is not so much about the classification of the league, I can not see them in the top four, so you have a few months to work on the performance and form of the team. It is about transmitting your philosophy from now until may

2019 12 28 Retrieve

[Arsenal fans urge Mikel Arteta to buy Brighton star Aaron Mooy after Bergkamp wondergoal] What a way to settle it. Shades of Dennis Bergkamp here, the way he took it on his chest and chipped it in. A quite brilliant goal from a really talented player. Great awareness, and look at that finish. Bergkamp would’ve been proud.

2020 06 29 Retrieve

[Danny Ings scored twice as Southampton piled the pressure on struggling Watford with a 3-1 victory at Vicarage Road on Sunday] All in Southampton shirts are at least an eight out of 10 but Ings has almost been a 10. He’s been superb. No wonder he is smiling at the end of the game. He’s tired but he’s loved it out there. Everything he’s done has shone with quality

2020 06 30 Retrieve

[Alan Smith was full of praise for Holding after his man-of-the-match display at Southampton, and the former Arsenal man believes Arteta’s job is to improve what he already has] I gave Holding man of the match against Southampton, and I think longer term he is someone Mikel Arteta can work with. He’s young, has a good attitude, and has the good makings of a centre-half. He used three at the back again, which seems to give him some stability. Tierney is the big plus point; he’s been unlucky with injury since arriving at the club, but he strikes me as an old-school type defender, a young lad that will only get better. There’s obviously loads to do at Arsenal, a great deal to do, but as with any good team you have to start from the back, and that’s what Arteta will be trying to do to give them some stability in results. I think under Arteta they have shown a bit more steel and backbone at times, but it’s a long old job. Of course Saliba is going to arrive at the club before too long, and from what I hear, scouts at Europe’s biggest clubs can’t believe he escaped the net, they can’t believe they didn’t get him instead of Arsenal, so that bodes well. He’s been excellent for St Etienne in the [Virgil] van Dijk mold, in terms of his ability on the ball

I think it’s the way forward for Arsenal; they can’t buy ready-made talent, they need to nurture players and improve them on the training field, which I believe Arteta can do. Players with potential like Saliba, Tierney, Holding, plus Bellerin can get better, so they are the back four as well as those other characters you’ve got; Luiz, Sokratis [Papastathopoulos], [Shkodran] Mustafi, so there is something to go on there. You just want them to have a free run now, without injury problems

2020 06 30b Retrieve

[What is going on with Mesut Ozil?] It seems that Arteta wants to draw a line under it, and convince the players he’s not part of the plans, and he’s passed the buck to Ozil and said: ‘What do you want to do about it?’ Hopefully leave the club would be Arteta’s reasoning. That would free up a bit of money in terms of his wages

It’s always going to be a talking point for as long as Ozil’s at the club. I don’t know whether anything could happen in this transfer window, there aren’t too many links with any clubs. We might end up having this situation for another year until his contract runs out. He might get used now and again, but he won’t be a core figure in his plans

It’s something Arteta could have done without. He’s got enough on his plate, without constant questions about the German’s future. But Arteta is decisive; if he decides somebody doesn’t fit in going forward, no matter how much they’re earning, he’s not going to pick them. That’s strong management, and I think Arsenal need that

Can he fit in at Arsenal? No, I don’t think so. This is an era at the club where everybody has to really dig in and work incredibly hard off the ball. Ozil is too long in the tooth to change his game now, and I don’t think physically he is capable of doing what Arteta wants him to do, either

It might be another year before he leaves the club, but I can’t see much of a future there for him

2020 07 01 Retrieve

[Alan Smith said he sees similarities between Saliba and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk] Of course Saliba is going to arrive at the club before too long, and from what I hear, scouts at Europe’s biggest clubs can’t believe he escaped the net, they can’t believe they didn’t get him instead of Arsenal, so that bodes well. He’s been excellent for St Etienne in the [Virgil] van Dijk mould, in terms of his ability on the ball. I think it’s the way forward for Arsenal; they can’t buy ready-made talent, they need to nurture players and improve them on the training field, which I believe Arteta can do

Players with potential like Saliba, [Kieran] Tierney, [Rob] Holding, plus [Hector] Bellerin can get better, so they are the back four as well as those other characters you’ve got; [David] Luiz, Sokratis [Papastathopoulos], [Shkodran] Mustafi, so there is something to go on there. You just want them to have a free run now, without injury problems