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.
Late last year, when I wrote my “Five Stories You Don’t Have to Care About in 2008” column for Pitch Invasion, one of the stories I said you should care about was the race among Premier League clubs to sign Croatia’s talented young midfielder Luka Modric. At the time, it looked like he’d be going to Arsenal during the January transfer window, so I thought I’d just brush the crumbs off my shirt and stand up looking like a genius. (Waving to the crowd, still chewing the last bit of my sandwich.) But he decided to stay in Croatia, so I assumed I’d been wrong. My one consolation was that no one notices or cares what I say. Also, it was a really good sandwich.
Now, however, as you may have heard, Modric has signed with Tottenham Hotspur, giving the world a minor shock and causing the annual round of “don’t look now, but Spurs could be really good next year” stories to launch a full month ahead of schedule. I’m trying to resist the temptation, and I’m sure this will all look ridiculous when they lose Berbatov in July, throw all their energy into a failed attempt to bring in Bastian Schweinsteiger (don’t print that, I’m making that up), drop four of their first five games, and are struggling for a UEFA Cup place from the end of the first international break. But right now, even granted that it’s hard to tell how any player will adapt to the Premier League, I’d probably take Modric over Michael Carrick, and…no! I’m not going to say it. I’m not going to write a sentence that starts “With a healthy Ledley King, and Gareth Bale back on the left.” You know how it goes. Just think it to yourself!
by Brian Phillips · April 28, 2008