Why Matt Smith should be a big part of 2014/15

Criticised for his lack of “tekkers” intially, the Leeds faithful warmed to friendly giant Matthieu Smith over the course of the dreadful 2013/14 season.  However 12 goals and 7 assists (only one fewer than Ross) is a great return for a player’s first season at this level.
With 24 starts and 18 appearances from the bench (compared to Noel Hunt’s 13 and 7 respectively), a double-figures return for goals in a poor season is a great return.  The problem is that Brian (and the majority of our team) deem him being on the pitch as an open invitation to play medievil Warnock football.  Which is mental.

The formula for success: Matt Smith, Ross McCormack, Wingers

Imagine a world where we had pacey, difficult wingers who could cross the ball.  Imagine a world where our friendly giant can knock the ball down to Ross or have a go himself.  Smitheh adds a great extra dimension to our team and has improved in appropriately sized strides – with the right nurturing there’s nothing to stop him being a formidable target-man in our arsenal.  Look at the damage he did at Birmingham for example!

Matt Smith does not a direct team make

The problem is when we decide that’s our only dimension.  Hit it long at Smith and hope everything works out fine.  In the later part of our season (when Brian decided to give Noel “Billy Paynter” Hunt a run in the team) the team seemed to decide that we’d play unattractive, ineffective direct football even without Smithy on the pitch.  Which meant the comparative midgets of Rossco and Hunt were ineffectual.
“Just because you’re hung like a horse doesn’t mean you have to do porn”, said a wise man once.  It might have been Socrates.  Either way, just because we have a man of Matt’s dimensions and talents doesn’t mean that’s our only way of playing.  Marking a big man out of the game is doable without much preparation.  But not knowing whether the wingers will cut inside and feed Ross, the on-running Murphy or whether they’ll try to pick out Andre the Giant Matthieu the Smith is what would make us dangerous.

He fits the Cellino strategy too

Young – check.
English – check.
Inexpensive to pay – check.
So I’d consider Smithy to be a big part of what we try to accomplish next season.  A big lad like him with a bit more ball control could become a serious weapon in this division.  I know he’s no Messi, but this isn’t La Liga.  I like the lad, I like his attitude and I like that he’s one of the only players I could say tried his hardest at all times.  He’s Leeds, and he knows he is.

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