Smudger Smith: Wee magician always had it all sewn up

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 holding midfielder, centre-back to goalkeeper.

Like Paul Daniels at his very best, this week has seen an abundance of fantastic cup and ball action. Also like Daniels, there have been some upsets involved (the missus never did get her watch back).

Last weekend saw the third round of the FA Cup, with the biggest shock surely being Brighton’s win. That said, if Fergie considers Newcastle a “wee club”, I wonder if he views that as more of a dwarf-killing.

Speaking of Daniels, it was great to see the little magician Messi show up to the Ballon d’Or ceremony dressed in a sparkly tuxedo, having taken that description a tad too literally. There’s been plenty of debate about the top three but it’s fair to say those guys are in a different league. I think it’s in Spain.

I feel for Leo. Often a high-profile mistake can cast a long shadow over the rest of your career. It was the same for me. People have never forgotten my error at Wembley in the Nineties and it’s seen by many as the biggest ever FA Cup final gaffe. I still don’t know why Liverpool let me arrange the team suits. That Armani’s a lovely bloke but Cup final clothing’s like a cup of tea: cream is never the right choice.

Fresh controversy rages round Suarez, with many claiming he should have put his hand up to putting his hand up. Doubtless he will be in the headlines again tomorrow when Liverpool face Man United; he’s certainly handy in the box.

In midweek Bradford and Swansea both triumphed against the overdogs in the COCup. Swansea have a tough run of fixtures before they next face Chelsea, though, and the fear is always a momentum-damaging blow between the legs.

Follow me on @smudgersmithpro