Smudger Smith, the journeyman pro: Rooney's had his chips, and very tasty too

The Journeyman Pro

Click to follow
The Independent Football

In a professional career spanning almost two decades, Simon “Smudger” Smith has played for over 67 clubs and has reinvented himself time and again, from poacher to holding midfielder, centre-back to goalkeeper.

There are only three certainties in this life: death, taxes and England under-performing against a nation with a tiny population in a qualification match for a major tournament.

Unfortunately, England's philosophy is all too often that football is a game of one half; they looked excellent against Montenegro for 45 minutes. At half-time many of us sang the praises of Roy's boys but in the second half they really found a way to silence their plaudits.

Rooney looked good throughout, taking his goal well and floating a superb effort over the keeper and on to the post, but it may come as no surprise that he is drawn to delicious chips.

Roberto Mancini turned our attention back to the domestic game when he said that the title race is over, which was sad to see. I'd heard he'd given up pointless pronouncements for Lent and was only a couple of days away from making it.

I love this time of year as it'll be April Fool's Day on Monday and you know there will be some classic banter in changing rooms up and down the country. I'll never forget the fantastic array of pranks David Batty got me with.

There was the time he put itching powder in my socks, then the time when he replaced my shampoo with itching powder and, most famously, the time when he stole my shorts and pants. And put itching powder in them.

Players are also big fans of the prank phone call and Dave Seaman got me good once. I received a call saying I'd had an international call- up and stood with my kit at Blyth services for six hours. I should have realised I wasn't eligible for Brazil and would surely not have been allowed to play for the women's side.

Follow me on @smudgersmithpro