Smudger Smith: Hats off to Zlats, he's better than Mrs Redknapp

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.

At the Friends Arena on Wednesday night, it was the one where Zlatan scores four. Finally, the man who has won eight consecutive league titles and dominated the Milan derby and El Clasico has produced in a game that really matters. Despite this, I know the great man is his own harshest critic and will be disappointed with his display. For Ibrahimovic to ruin it all by whipping his top off and picking up a booking is truly devastating for the lad.

So to that famous fourth goal. I must confess it reminded me of myself in my prime. I can't tell you how many times I've inexplicably made a mad dash for the edge of my box and got caught out. Admittedly not always quite so spectacularly. Hats off to Zlats though, even Sandra Redknapp might have struggled to put that one away.

The tricky thing for Joe Hart is that his errors of late might lead him to forget that he's the best keeper in the world. He needs to realise it doesn't matter if he makes three howlers a game for the rest of his career; he'll still always be the best keeper in the world.

Finally, it was great to see a manager come out and speak some sense this week. Too often the bossmen beat around the bush or indulge in silly mind games but Eric Cantona of the New York Cosmos made his feelings on taking over at Man United one day abundantly clear.

"If one day there is an opportunity, why not? Like diving from here to the sea, watching, speaking to the fish, octopus, crabs, journalists."

It's difficult to argue with that. Eric is still king of the fishing metaphor.

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