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Tommy Smith
Gender Male
Ethnic English
Job English Footballer
Desc Tommy Smith was team captain in 1972-73 when Liverpool won the league and he also wore the armband as they defeated Borussia Monchengladbach in the 1973 UEFA Cup final

Affiliation

Org England National Team
Club as Player Liverpool FC
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2008 12 03 Retrieve

[Smith feels that Liverpool’s style of play is currently too slow and patient, and they need to adopt the more action-packed approach that saw them beat Manchester United earlier in the season] For me, we are now trying to play too slowly and patiently. You can see it in the way the lads are passing the ball to each other, it’s often labored and predictable. We’re not getting right into the heart of opposition territory the way we were - and too much of the build-up play is cumbersome. I want to see us getting back into the opposition’s faces a bit more with our passing and moving. We need a return of that strong belief and purpose out there

[Smith also had some words of advice for Robbie Keane, the striker who has so far found it hard to justify his £20 million price-tag] Robbie Keane again struggled to make an impact. And frankly I think it’s time he changed the way he approaches matches. I’d actually like him to be a good bit lazier. I know that sounds daft but I mean it. He is constantly running around here, there, and everywhere, closing people down, when with Torres out in particular I would prefer to see him hanging in and around the box and lurking more like a predator

[And Smith was critical of Liverpool’s failure to take advantage of the opportunities handed to them by their rivals losing] Other top teams are giving us big chances to establish a gap and while we’re failing to take them, there are games next against Blackburn and Hull when we can put things right. I want to see the lads get mean, tough and even a bit selfish

2009 08 12 Retrieve

[Tommy Smith is worried that his former club Liverpool, with whom he excelled as a central defender under the management of Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley in the 1960s and ’70s, are facing a defensive injury crisis] Before a ball is kicked, we’ve got an injury crisis in the defence, with Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel all battling to recover from knocks. With Sami Hyypia gone, and with Glen Johnson and Emiliano Insua still settling in to full-back roles, I feel concerned over the defensive side. I was at the Atletico Madrid match and while I know it was only a friendly, the young lads at centre-back did get exposed once Jamie went off. I’m sure Jamie will be out there at White Hart Lane, but it would be good to see one other first choice centre-back alongside him, because we need to get off to a good start and keep a clean sheet

[The midfield area could also provide some cause for anxiety] I was pleased to see Lucas having a good game against the Spaniards at the weekend but for me too many of the men in red looked short of fitness and form so close to the start of the season. Add in Alonso’s departure - and the fact that his replacement Alberto Aquilani is not fit yet - and we’ve got a lot to put right very quickly in my book. Aquilani is clearly a class player from what we hear but the fact we have paid so much for someone who is two months away from being ready, is another big worry for me. I know medical science has come on so much that everyone must be very confident he will recover. But I just hope there is a clause in that £20m deal which allows us to get our money back - or most of it - if he does continue to have problems. The sooner we see him the better, because Alonso was a very important player for us and we can’t afford to miss his influence for long

2019 03 30 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment at Manchester United came as a surprise to Tommy Smith, who felt the Norwegian had poor man-management skills during his failed stint at Cardiff City] I didn’t get that feel from him that he was a great man-manager. But he is a nice man and he’s obviously gone into the dressing room there and it’s just working for him. Initially, I was surprised when they announced he was interim manager. Just from what I’d seen at Cardiff - he struggled, to be honest. I didn’t think it was going to work. I was probably one of his biggest critics. He took on a lot at Cardiff. We were struggling at the bottom of the Premier League and it’s always tough to come in under those circumstances and pressures. We were a level lower than he probably ever played with. His recruitment wasn’t great and that’s probably why his reign came to an end

[Smith has warned against getting carried away, however, even now, as he feels a drop in team performances can lead to respect being lost for any coach, former player or otherwise] I’ve played under managers who have been fantastic footballers. It doesn’t mean they make good managers. That respect only lasts so long before you start going ‘You’re not very good at your job! Mark Hughes came in at QPR with a huge amount of respect and at the end of his tenure I thought that had all gone. We didn’t see eye-to-eye. That’s my experience. So for Solskjaer, he carries that air of success but you have to prove it. You’ve got to back it up

2020 06 08 Retrieve

[Former Watford star Tommy Smith believes Ismaila Sarr can move to the next level in his career after already showing glimpses of his potential in the Premier League] He looks like an incredible talent. He took a little while to get used to the pace of the league and strength of the players and looked like he lacked a little bit of belief, which is understandable. He’s now got that belief and he looks like he can go on to the next level. It’s another brilliant scouting find by Watford and he’ll look even better in the next 12 to 18 months

He was very shy and doesn’t speak the language properly yet, but he’s looked the part since he got his goal at Southampton. The gaffer now makes life simpler for him and every time he gets the ball, it’s just the encouragement to go, go, go. He is so quick - he’s the quickest player I’ve played with and can just knock it and go. He’s so fit as well and can go both ways [up and down] and he’s unplayable on his day, as we saw against Liverpool. He’s a threat to everyone and if you watch the games, you see the full-backs he faces and they step off him every time he gets the ball, but even then he manages to get past them. He relieves so much pressure and enables us to counter-attack. He can be whatever he wants to be