Smudger Smith: David Beckham will find France is like a foreign land

The Journeyman Pro

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The Independent Football

In a professional career spanning almost two decades, Simon "Smudger" Smith has played for over 67 clubs and has reinvented himself time and again, from poacher to holding midfielder, centre-back to goalkeeper.

The end of the transfer window really is exciting. Even those with no interest in football signings can't help but get drawn into the drama, as was proved by Arsène Wenger getting involved.

The biggest story was David Beckham going to France and I wish him well. I remember when I made a move abroad and found it nerve-racking to submerge myself in a new culture. Ian Rush once said of his time in Italy, "It was like living in a foreign country", and I knew exactly how he felt. I gave myself a full day and a half to get over the jet lag so was pleasantly surprised when I felt pretty normal on arrival. I decided to use that time instead to explore my new surroundings, sample the local cuisine and get to grips with the local dialect. In the end I was very happy in south Wales.

In those days I represented myself, so I can empathise with Peter Odemwingie taking matters into his own hands. I'd had trials with a number of agencies and I don't know how they saw my business nous in those shuttle runs and passing drills, but every single one of them suggested I represent myself. I was also once turned away from Loftus Road, which was a bit harsh considering I was a QPR player at the time.

As expected, QPR were pretty active in the window and they have strengthened their bench, which is almost as vital as it was when Jan Molby and me were subs at Liverpool in the 1990s.

Mario Balotelli has garnered plenty of attention in his time here and I'd like to take this opportunity to wish him well. Man City will be a poorer club without him. All those fines were a pretty valuable source of income.

Follow me on @smudgersmithpro