Smudger Smith, the journeyman pro: Keano wasn't quite the only one to see red

Saturday 09 March 2013 00:00

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.

Manchester United crashed out of the Champions League this week following the worst Nani decision since Hulk Hogan took the role in that Nineties film. The decision to send off the Portuguese left Fergie too distraught to speak to the press. It was a bad day for both left-wingers and dictators, Hugo Chavez passing away around the same time.

Roy Keane, as ever, had a unique stance on proceedings. Keano was the only pundit to blame the defenders rather than Henry after that famous handball, he's the only one to say this was a definite red and he's the one man who reckons Marmite is "so-so". Many people are suggesting that Roy just says the opposite to everyone else in a bid to get a reaction, but I feel the need to defend the man since he routinely voted for me as PFA Player of the Year. Bryan Robson went as far as to say that Keane was the only person in the ground who thought it was a red card, but racking my brain I did manage to come up with at least one other.

I don't understand the controversy surrounding Fergie's decision to start Rooney on the bench. Wazza has been asked to play wide in plenty of big European games and this time Sir Alex decided to play him that bit wider. Fergie spent all week talking about how the 12th man could make all the difference, so it's not as though he'd forgotten about Wayne.

In the north London derby it looked briefly as though Mertesacker might put the Per in Super Sunday for Arsenal but it wasn't to be. Despite the disappointing result, there is talk of a takeover bid that would ensure Wenger has a massive amount to not spend on players.

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