Vital Football

Latest Crewe Alexandra News

Is Billy Jones the new Shaun Smith?

Is Billy Jones the new Shaun Smith?

Since Shaun Smith`s departure from Gresty Road at the end of the 2001/2002 season, which had culminated in our relegation to League One, nobody has made the position of left-back their own.

After the departure of Anthony Tonkin and a mixture of loanees and right-footed full backs playing out of position, manager Dario Gradi has finally decided to invest in what he describes as a proper left-back.

Step up 24 year old Billy Jones, captured from Exeter City for a fee of £65,000. Jones, also formally of Leyton Orient and Kidderminster, featured in no less than 50 games for Exeter last term and scored a commendable 10 goals, the club record for the season. Considering the fact that Jones is a full-back and that Exeter reached the Conference play-off final, Billy must have much more than just defensive attributes to offer. Described in that final as having a 'sledgehammer` left foot by the commentator and taking most of the defensive and attacking free-kicks, after a switch to the Alex it surely wouldn`t be long before comparisons with Crewe`s former hero Shaun Smith would be drawn?

Dario Gradi was the first to hail Billy as a potential new Shaun Smith early in pre-season, surely high praise for the incoming Jones, but many Crewe fans scoffed at this remark, suggesting this wasn`t much to live up to.

What Crewe fans have quickly forgotten is what a professional Smith was at Crewe, giving ten years of his career to the Alex and over 440 appearances wearing the Alex badge on his chest with pride.

Smith is one of the best dead-ball specialists the people of Crewe have seen at Gresty Road in recent memory and has many great memories for Alex fans to reminisce over. His winning goal at Wembley to seal promotion in 1997, his goal at Luton to get us there, his thunderbolt free-kick at Stoke to set us our way to victory in our first game at the Britannia Stadium, and his unbelievable free-kick from behind the half way line at Brentford are just a few of many highlights.

Although never to progress further in the game, Shaun Smith is one of few at Crewe who can surely be put into the true legends category. With one of the best left foots I personally have seen on a football pitch, the fact that Smith stayed at Crewe for so long was a testament to his character and his belief in the ability of Crewe Alexandra Football Club.

A man who is second on Crewe`s all time appearance list, and boasts 442 appearance and 51 goals from full back and a former captain, Billy Jones has more than enough to live up to in filling Shaun Smith`s boots. But if Dario Gradi says he has great potential then who are we to argue, a man famous for unearthing talent from where others couldn`t see it throughout his whole managerial career.

Like Smith, Billy Jones has been plucked from non-league, and we hope he can add the sort of stability and professionalism to the team Shaun Smith did in years gone by.

As Billy Jones embarks on his Crewe career we at Crewe Vital all wish him well, and if he lives up to anything like Gradi`s billing then this will be another excellent acquisition in Crewe`s latest conquest for glory. Lets hope he can finally fill the void left by Shaun Smith and help to put his own stamp on Crewe Alexandra`s history in his time with the club. We wish him the best of luck as we welcome him to Gresty Road.

Writer:Tomfcafc
Date:Friday July 13 2007
Time: 8:30PM

Comments

0
let's hope he pops one in from the "halfway line"
mowen23
13/07/2007 22:11:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Vital Boxing - Bellew’s Threat to Haye

Recent Crewe Alexandra Articles

Crewe Alex: Callum Cooke

Josh Ravenscroft discusses deadline day arrival, Callum Cooke

Football League - Fixture Day & 2017/18 Key Dates

The Football League have released the key dates for the coming 2017/18 season, and the all important fixtures will be released on Wednesday June 21 at 9am.

Vital Crewe: Stepping Down

Farewell. It's been a blast

Artell In Team Of Midweek (17/2/17)

Crewe Alexandra are represented in the latest Football League team of the week that has been selected after this week's action.

Archived Vital Crewe Articles

Vital Crewe articles from

Site Journalists

Nicky Crompton
Editor email
Profile
Ross Menhennet
no email
Profile
Steven Dale
no email
Profile
Josh Ravenscroft
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Would a 'target man' be benificial for Crewe Alexandra?
Suggested By: Josh Ravenscroft
Yes85%
No15%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Doncaster 32 19 7 6 64 23
2 Plymouth 31 19 4 8 61 17
3 Carlisle 32 15 13 4 58 11
4 Luton 32 14 11 7 53 18
5 Portsmouth 31 15 7 9 52 16
6 Exeter 32 15 5 12 50 16
7 Mansfield 32 12 11 9 47 4
8 Stevenage 32 14 4 14 46 1
9 Wycombe 31 13 7 11 46 0
10 Barnet 32 11 12 9 45 -2
11 Colchester 31 12 8 11 44 6
12 Grimsby 32 12 8 12 44 0
13 Cambridge 31 12 7 12 43 3
14 Blackpool 31 10 12 9 42 12
15 Morecambe 30 12 5 13 41 -7
16 Crawley 31 11 6 14 39 -11
17 Yeovil 32 9 11 12 38 -7
18 Crewe 32 8 12 12 36 -11
19 Accrington 30 8 9 13 33 -10
20 Notts County 32 9 6 17 33 -21
21 Cheltenham 32 7 11 14 32 -10
22 Hartlepool 32 7 11 14 32 -18
23 Leyton Orient 32 8 5 19 29 -15
24 Newport 31 5 10 16 25 -15
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Vital Football Comment

Recent Crewe Alexandra Results (view all)

Crewe Alexandra Fixtures (view all)

Feb 25 2017 3:00PM : Stevenage (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Feb 28 2017 7:45PM : Hartlepool United (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Mar 4 2017 3:00PM : Portsmouth (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Mar 11 2017 3:00PM : Newport County (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Mar 14 2017 7:45PM : Crawley Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Mar 18 2017 3:00PM : Colchester United (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Write for Vital Football