Smudger Smith: Manchester City’s record is bad enough for Eurovision

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.

With Halloween approaching, this week was a horror show for British teams in Europe. Roberto Mancini has the worst record in Europe since Engelbert Humperdinck. Man City looked sluggish against Ajax but we all know just how much the delights of Amsterdam can take it out of you. Walking through all those galleries is tiring.

Things were no better for Arsenal, who slumped to a 2-0 defeat to Schalke 04. They'll be particularly disappointed to lose to Schalke's fourth team. The situation went from bad to worse for Arsène Wenger at the club's AGM on Thursday, as shareholders bemoaned high ticket prices. To be fair to Arsey, he sat in the stands for Wednesday's game; it's good to see him pay for a ticket like anyone else. His eyesight is bad enough on the touchline, though; he must have missed an awful lot sat up there.

Chelsea's defeat wasn't quite as costly since Nordsjaelland managed a draw with Juventus. I'm sure Di Matteo will send them a thank you card if he can manage the spelling on the envelope.

Man United were trailing at half-time before Fergie used his famous hairdryer. I will never understand why this technique yields such good results; it's hard enough to say all you have to say in 15 minutes without insisting the lads have showers and then drying their hair personally.

Congratulations to Stewart Downing, as I gather he scored a season's worth of goals in one game. Just a pity he couldn't spread them out a bit.

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