The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.
We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.
Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.
I’m in the middle of a long post about the football audience and the internet (which may or may not ever see the light of day), so for now, here are a few scattered thoughts. You might get a wish if you throw one in a fountain.
• Scotland have appointed George Burley to be their new manager. As a sentimental Scotland fan, I can’t say he’d have been my first choice—at Southampton and Derby he’s seemed to specialize in near-misses with slightly overachieving teams, which Scotland already know about, thanks—but it’s not as though Mourinho wanted the job. I’ll be watching curiously when they play Croatia in March.
• MyFootballClub have just about, but not quite, completed their takeover of Ebbsfleet, or something, after approximately 114% of their members voted to move forward with the venture. Ian at 200percent is still skeptical, but if there’s one thing that’s absolutely clear to me, it’s that people who don’t know what they’re talking about online should be given more influence over what happens in the real world. Actually, that’s pretty much the pedestal of the little statue I’m building as we speak.
• I still can’t get over Tottenham’s win against Arsenal. If they actually succeed in bringing in some help before the transfer window closes, they could really turn things around this year. In the meantime, I’d like to congratulate the previous sentence on reaching its 28th birthday.
• The university at which my brilliant and beautiful wife has applied to teach next year has flown her out for a two-day campus visit. Send her a good thought.
• The African Cup of Nations has been terrifically entertaining so far. Ghana whittling mermaid mastheads out of the post against Guinea with nothing but the ball and bad luck; the Ivory Coast slipping past Nigeria on Salomon Kalou’s marvelous deft goal (1:30 in the video); Egypt pulverizing Cameroon; and best of all, my team, Angola, holding steady for a draw against South Africa. I’m supporting Angola because I enjoyed watching them in the World Cup, where they earned a shock draw against Mexico, and because of their coach, Luis Gonçalves, the only African coach in the tournament, who comes across as a good-humored man and a student of the game. I also like their nickname, the Black Antelopes; so much better than the flashy, self-consciously cool “Indomitable Lions” of Cameroon. Take off your sunglasses, Indomitable Lions. It’s eleven o’clock at night.
by Brian Phillips · January 24, 2008