Smudger Smith: Booing of Rafael Benitez wasn't terrible, it was well executed

The Journeyman Pro

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The Independent Football

In a professional career spanning two decades, Simon "Smudger" Smith has played for over 67 clubs. The ultimate utility player, as his pace has diminished he has reinvented himself time and again, from poacher to holding midfielder, centre-back to goalkeeper.

Like Joan Rivers, Abramovich's recent appointment has raised some eyebrows. There have been several reports noting how Rafa Benitez was booed terribly at the start of yesterday's game but I must say I thought it was clear and well executed. Not that I'm condoning it. I know all too well how much booing can hurt. Chelsea fans have little time for overweight staff on their books. Especially if you're a player.

Manchester United came from behind to claim 3 points for the umpteenth time this season. Harry Redknapp will be disappointed to see a tactically naïve QPR side poke the bear by scoring. They would have been far better off leaving United to sleep and taking the 0-0. He'll also be disappointed to have been relegated to the stands already. Nobody seems to know how he was able to pick up a ban so quickly.

The 0-0 at Villa Park may not have been a classic, but there were some excellent defences on show in Birmingham. Wenger and Lambert skilfully deflected the criticism of substitutions and refusal to play Darren Bent respectively. Wenger has said he may bring in Thierry Henry to boost Arsenal's firepower and I think that would be a great move. Having watched a bit of the Frenchman in New York, I think he could do well at The Emirates. A lot of it will come down to how well he settles in an unfamiliar area and if he can forge a working relationship with the bossman but who knows? He could even become a crowd favourite.

Brendan Rodgers enjoyed a warm reception on his return to The Liberty Stadium on Saturday. There is no expense spared on the heating down in South Wales and I happen to know the Scot was delighted to get out of the November rain and warm his hands on the radiator by the front desk. What a treat it was to witness the spectacle of two teams playing Rodgers's patented beautiful football against each other.