Smudger Smith: Nasty injury for Rooney brings back memories

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. Now that his website has been closed down, we have exclusive access to his weekly column.

Hugo Rodallega's follow through on Wayne Rooney is the most unfortunate since mine on Jeremy Goss following a dodgy half-time pie. No doubt poor Wayne's recovery will take more than a new pair of shorts and a thorough wash but luckily for him I know first-hand how well Sir Alex will look after him. Fergie is a master of dealing with the press and I know he'll protect Wayne and allow him to focus on his recovery.

I was one of Fergie's Fledglings at Aberdeen. I recall being sidelined for a year after doing my cruciate ligaments taking a throw-in in training. Sir Alex did not mention me once in any press conference. On some occasions he even went as far as to pretend he didn't know who I was. I have tried to thank him many times over the years and he's simply shrugged it off as though it were nothing. It took me a while to understand but as I look back through a career almost entirely without press invasion I know it's been for my own good.

It's always disappointing to see players get injured and I'd like to wish a speedy recovery to all those on the physio's table. Rio Ferdinand, Lucas Leiva, Richard Dunne and Sergio 'Kun' Aguero to name but a few. I feel a special affinity with the City striker. I think it's mostly down to us sharing such similar nicknames.

One team not plagued by injuries is Swansea and I'd like to congratulate them on their start to the season. I especially enjoyed seeing fans flooding the pitch for Michu after a terrific home debut. I remember when they flooded it for my first game at The Vetch but that was to waterlog the pitch and cancel the game. Turns out they were not keen on my signing.

Speaking of which, it was sad to see the Sunderland game called off, but it was the right call. I know Adam Johnson would have been eager to make a big splash on debut, but I doubt that would have been the type he had in mind!

Follow me @smudgersmithpro