Martin Smith

Smith Says...

by Stuart Vose

Former star talks Ibrahimovic, Kevin Ball and Fulham in latest column.

Former Sunderland star Martin Smith is's latest guest his thoughts here every Thursday.

The papers are full of talk about Ibrahimovic today and what a goal it was from him against England last night.

I didn't watch the game. I was actually having a game of FIFA 13 with my son when I got about nine texts in a row asking if I'd ever scored a goal like that!

I knew something must have happened so I switched the TV over and the goal certainly didn't disappoint when I saw it.

I've never seen anything like it in a competitive game. To have the sort of mind to think to try something like that is just unbelievable.

You see great goals all the time but that one was unique and his technique was brilliant.

Meanwhile I saw it was Bally's birthday earlier in the week – his is actually one day before mine!

Some of the fans were tweeting their memories of him when he was a player and I was lucky enough to play alongside him for a considerable time.

Bally trained the way he played. We used to hope all week that'd we'd be on his team during the five-a-sides because he took no prisoners.

No matter what, he wanted to win. Obviously people always mention the own goal he almost scored against Newcastle, and that showed just how hard his tackles were!

Bally was a great leader. If things were flat in the dressing room he would always gee us up. If a tackle needed putting in to get us going, he would do it.

He was extremely professional about what he did off the pitch and the lads respected him for that. He would never ask anyone to do something he wasn't prepared to do himself.

The lads will be building up for another difficult game at Fulham and I think we played reasonably well last time out against Everton.

Fulham are playing well; they scored three at Arsenal last week and have had some good results at home.

It won't be easy against a team who are full of confidence and boasting a deadly striker in Dimitar Berbatov, who is on fire at the moment.

But if you play well on the day then three points are possible just about anywhere. If we could do that, it would certainly build momentum with a lot of home games coming up.