Smudger Smith: It never rains but it bores as team's ideas dry up

The Journeyman Pro

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.

Ioriginally sat down to write this earlier in the week but the missus didn't shut the skylight in the study. You have to wonder why, with the option there and the forecast known, it wasn't closed earlier. Still, you can't argue with the governing body.

Many people who settled down to watch England were a little disappointed with the team's performance. Words like "boring" and "lethargic" were bandied around with critics suggesting they were short on ideas. Despite this, I think Adrian Chiles and Co struggled manfully in difficult conditions on Tuesday night.

The whole rain fiasco was a scandal. I'm just surprised nobody has coined a phrase for it yet. I propose Watergate.

It was a slow start from England; even the most pessimistic fan, when waking on Tuesday, wouldn't have thought it would take until Wednesday to score. I was, however, pleased to see Roy Hodgson keep faith with the same team that earned the replay. The bossman said Wayne Rooney would have to shoulder more after his game as captain and, given his goal, it's good to see him take that advice so literally.

Sweden came from 4-0 down to draw 4-4 in Berlin. This was not the first time Germany have surrendered a strong advantage against European opposition. Their relentless attacks were an unceasing march deep into opposition territory. It didn't look like they could be stopped but a crucial tactical error saw the tide turn. Sound familiar? It was just like the 1970 World Cup semi-final against Italy when they twice blew the lead.

It was a bad week for Scotland and Wales as their hopes of making it to Rio have been cruelly dashed with the official announcement that Team GB will not be taking a football team to the next Olympics.

Finally, a recent investigation has found that ticket prices are too high. I'm paying £25 a week and that seems outrageous for a squad member.

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