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 bi-weekly column.
Alex Ferguson's firing line is not a place you want to be and I do not envy Rio Ferdinand. Fergie said he's going to "deal with" Rio after he refused to wear a shirt. I'm with the bossman on this: it is simply not acceptable to play topless and Rio will have picked up a needless yellow card.
AVB is enjoying more harmonious relationships with his players. I read that he allowed Gareth Bale to miss the Chelsea game because his girlfriend was going into Labour. I think it's great that Bale is supporting his partner's fledgling political career but am surprised he was granted leave from such a big game. Still, nice to see AVB finally help Chelsea grab three points. I felt for William Gallas, who scored for Tottenham and assisted two Chelsea goals. It's all too easy to forget which London club you're currently playing for in the heat of the moment.
I know how disappointed Wayne Rooney will have felt to reach October without a league goal, but all it takes is to find a way to get yourself on the scoresheet and then the rest will follow. Scoring an own goal is an unorthodox way to get yourself going, but it clearly worked as Wayne went on to grab a brace.
Arsène Wenger was furious with the Arsenal performance that led to Norwich's first win. He said his players weren't hungry enough and I agree with his analysis because playing on a full stomach makes you bloated and lethargic. I've played at Carrow Road many times and Delia is pretty cunning in packing the away changing room with delicious but extremely filling food.
Well done to Man City for pulling off a dramatic win with 10 men. They say 10 play better than 11 – a philosophy managers have often cited when they've taken me off despite having used all three substitutes.
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