Smudger Smith: Title race is not over bar the shouting

The Journeyman Pro

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 goalkeeper.

Just like the music career of The Outhere Brothers, the title race is deemed by many to be over earlier than it should be. I'm more positive though and have been responsible for enough big lead losses to know this is still a two Findus lasagne race.

It's great to have the Champions League back although that joy was short-lived for Celtic. Juventus were very touchy-feely for an old lady and couldn't keep their hands off the Bhoys.

I was pleased to see the International Olympic Committee react strongly to the grabby tactics of Juventus by removing wrestling from the Olympics this week. I just hope Uefa will respond equally strongly. Ibrahimovic was on the receiving end of some discipline with his red card and, like Heather Mills, he will miss the second leg.

Manchester United got a good result at the Bernabeu and I can't stress enough the importance of that away goal. I recall losing 2-0 at home in the first leg of a European knockout game. We failed to score in the away leg, drew 0-0 and went crashing out 2-0 on aggregate. As is the rule, each of our 0 goals counted double but even that wasn't enough.

On another occasion we got a decent 0-0 draw in Moscow, then at home we were 3-2 up with seconds remaining. With away goals counting double, only I seemed to realise we were actually 4-3 down. Fortunately we got a corner and, eager as ever, I rushed forward. Sadly we didn't keep hold of the ball and CSKA put it into the empty net. Even though I was the only one being proactive I got the blame for our exit. As a keeper, being a scapegoat comes with the territory.

Follow me on @smudgersmithpro

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders