Smudger Smith: Giggsy remains master of the old 'claim game'

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. 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.

A great comeback for Man City yesterday was made even greater by the return of Silva. I've heard he gives everyone a boost. That's good of him but some of us prefer a curly wurly. Dzeko came off the bench to score again but insists he hates the tag 'super sub'. I have a few labels I hate, if only they involved words like 'super'.

Fergie must be pumping the dressing room full of Journey and Cher because, as Chicharito said, there is no shortage of belief at OT.

Vlaar's own goal was a crucial moment in the game but I think the Dutchman deserves credit. Paul Lambert could clearly see the little pea was in scoring mood and must have instructed his centre-back to do whatever he could to stop him nabbing another. He'll just be disappointed Hernandez headed home a second in the 87th minute. If only Ron had got to the ball first.

Fergie agrees with his player that the goal should be given to the forward but I'm sorry to say that footballers have a history of claiming things that don't belong to them. I still have a gap in my CD collection from when Giggsy took 'his' PJ and Duncan album from the coach stereo.

In stark contrast to United, Arsenal are entirely lacking in belief. We can only assume that the defensive frailties with Christmas on the horizon are down to Wenger dropping the 'there's no Santa' truth bomb to his back five. With no incentive to be good, the boys at the back have really let things go. It's interesting to see the bossman still sporting his giant sleeping bag. With their recent thrilling games, Arsenal have surely dropped the 'boring' tag so there's no need for Arsene to be that prepared for a nap.

Yesterday saw a disappointing result for Chelsea that many attribute to a European hangover. There's no excuse for that - as exciting a win as it was over Shaktar, they should not drink so much in celebration that they still feel ropey come Sunday.

Follow me on @smudgersmithpro