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.
With league games out of the way, this week saw the long awaited return of the Capital One (né Milk) Cup. Given the current name of the tournament is a tad cumbersome, I refer to it by a handy abbreviation – Cocup. And what a Cocup it has been.
Two games were televised this week and we witnessed 21 goals over successive nights. It was surely the most inspired piece of TV scheduling since Man O Man was commissioned for a second series. On Tuesday, Arsenal proved the old adage that you're never more dangerous than when you go 4-0 down as they fought back to win 7-5 at Reading. Hats off to those fans who left at half-time, there really is no feeling quite like beating the traffic. I feel for the home team as this truly was the cock-up to end all Cocups.
I let in seven goals once keeping nets for Barnsley in the Rumbelows Cup and reckon only six of them were my fault. I still think the gaffer was out of order taking me off at half-time. I could have made amends.
Liverpool, the holders, were beaten by Swansea at home on Wednesday night. It must have been bitterly disappointing for Brendan Rodgers, ex-manager of The Swans, to see one of his old charges come back to haunt him in such a spectacular fashion. Still, I'm sure Joe Allen will get better for Liverpool in time.
The same evening, I was irritated to turn on the telly and find only a bloody repeat from Sunday; Chelsea against Man United. It was only on the hour mark I realised the Cocup.
It feels only right for me to close by previewing today's massive game between Man United and Arsenal. United scored four in the week but conceded five. Arsenal let in five but manage to nab seven for themselves. Defence is a thing of the past, which is worrying for us goalkeepers. One can only imagine how many goals there'll be in this one.
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