Smudger Smith: Fergie's Yuletide ding-dong rings in a real miracle
The Journeyman Pro
In a professional career spanning almost 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.
What a hectic Christmas period it's been for us players. I've watched EastEnders, Downton and The Royle Family and there's still a huge backlog on the Sky+. For some lucky lads, there was also some football to squeeze in.
The Newcastle players have obviously been watching too much Premier League Years in recent days and decided to emulate the old Keegan side by succumbing to a 4-3 defeat at the death. There was some dispute over their second goal and I'm proud to say that not once during a contentious offside decision have I ever been said to be "interfering with play". Fergie spent Boxing Day in the traditional way, losing his temper over a game. Let's just be grateful the Old Trafford pitch is too large for him to flip over before storming off in a huff. It was, however, good to see Van Persie not only survive the life-threatening attack he had endured earlier in the week but actually score too. A genuine Christmas miracle.
Mancini was also angry with officials and wondered if "the ref ate too much over Christmas". I didn't see the game but if Kevin Friend missed a decision due to sleeping off his big lunch in the centre circle then Roberto has a point. The temptation can be overwhelming to nap after too much turkey and I used to find there was a particularly cosy spot by the corner flag at Highbury.
In just two games, Villa shipped a goal for every day of Christmas. The holidays are all about having people round and being a good host, so it was good of them to concede four to Spurs and make Bale, in particular, feel very at home. Liverpool will be disappointed to have lost but they shouldn't feel too disheartened. I've heard even Barcelona would struggle on a wet Wednesday in Stoke.
Finally, like many of you, my new year's resolution is to get back in the gym. Hopefully, I can last longer than two weeks this time and no doubt my manager and the fans feel the same.
Follow me on @smudgersmithpro
Latest in Sport
A tight game could be in prospect here. Northampton have been keeping things very tight of late and ...
by Gareth Purnell
18 May 2013 02:01 AM
I can’t ever watch games of football or rugby without wistfully wondering what it must be like to be...
by Martin Ayres
16 May 2013 05:10 PM
Since PSG’s exit to Barcelona in the Uefa Champions League quarter-final in April, PSG have been sur...
by Matthew Riding
15 May 2013 02:37 PM
Tears and cheers as David Beckham ends glittering career after helping PSG to final win
Video: Emotional David Beckham leaves the pitch for 'the last time' with PSG
Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini has pedigree to be success story at Manchester City
Tottenham face nail-biting finish as Arsenal look to secure Champions League place on final day of the Premier League season
Boxing: Carl Froch slams fellow Brits for sparring with Mikkel Kessler
- 1 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 2 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 'Swivel-gate': David Cameron goes to war with the press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.