Sunday, July 08, 2007

Smith and Richardson to join Sven's new England revolution?

According to reports new Man City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson could be about to sign Kieran Richardson and Alan Smith, both players are surplus to requirements at Old Trafford and they've been linked to a number of clubs over the last few weeks including Everton, Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

City have become the latest club who are reportedly interested in the two England fringe players, added to which Eriksson is apparently keen to recreate 'team England', so there could be some credence in this latest link.

Richardson has never really been able to hold down a regular starting place at United. When he was first given his chance, he was used as a left winger, but all too often he either didn't produce the final killer ball or he lost it. He was later given a shot at left-back, but he couldn't quite get to grips with the defensive side of that role. More recently he's been used in midfield, but he's never quite been able to do enough to impress and retain a regular place and so he was only ever going to be a squad player at United and so it is time to move on.

Smith was signed from arch rivals Leeds United and it's fair to say that many, including myself, were not sure about the wisdom of signing a player who had previously stated that he would never join the Reds, such is the depth of feeling between the supporters of both clubs and coming from the suburbs of Leeds, Smith was very much a local boy and as such it was expected that he would despise everything connected to Man Utd. If you are born and bred Leeds United, by birth-right you will loathe the Red Devils.

In fairness to Smith he had to overcome those rivalries and those Leeds fans who shunned him like a proverbial Leper when he eventually did leave his beloved home town club to join the Reds. In doing so he won over many United fans whenever Fergie gave him a chance - which in fairness to the ex-Leeds player hasn't been that often.

Smith has in most games for United given it his best shot, and his no nonsense style has been welcomed by many fans, but not everyone is convinced about him and importantly Ferguson appears to be among his doubters hence the exit door beckons.

Would moving to City be a good move for both players? I'm not sure, because like Leeds fans, the Blue faithful despise everything about the Reds and coming from United to play for City wont be easy. Andy Cole and Brian Kidd managed to do it probably better than other ex-reds who have donned the Blue shirt, so it can be done.

Smith is likely to receive a warm welcome if indeed he turns out for the Blues at Old Trafford, that will be until he carpets Ronaldo or one of our other big name stars, so he will I strongly suspect soon be cast back into the role of arch villain.

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