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.

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Penny for Your Thoughts

I got caught up in Tottenham’s move into supermarket development and missed my chance to say anything about the geyser of pure flame that they became during the Liverpool match yesterday. I had a whole “Plessis v. Ferguson” angle worked out based on the fact that Frazier Campbell is on loan from Manchester United. Probably a loss the soccer literature will recover from in time. Anyway, a couple of late thoughts on the Carling Cup.

First, are you ***OUTRAGED*** that Drogba threw the coin back into the crowd? I can’t really bring myself to care. The whole “bring in the law” aspect of this just seems like overload. He needs to sit for a couple of weeks, if only to avenge the hypothetical nun he could have blinded. But are we really going to turn him into some kind of monster on the grounds that when someone threw a coin at him, he turned around and threw it back? You don’t get to be a villain through counterpunching. Anyway, what I mostly feel about the whole thing is that Chelsea have turned weirdly colorless this year—doesn’t Scolari seem shockingly boring?—and Drogba is the living antidote to that. I think I’m going to miss him.

Second, Gomes. I’m glad the injury’s not too bad. Still, it’s telling that my first thought when he went down was, “What a relief for him.” Have you ever seen someone look more dejected on a football pitch? I’ve seen players in bad form look angry, frustrated, upset, confused, overwrought, and determined. Gomes looks openly depressed. He’s playing with a hangdog expression, as if football just started dating someone else. It can’t be easy to be the only weak link on a team that’s shooting off like fireworks, but Cameron wasn’t this gloomy when Ferris borrowed the Ferrari. I hope he spends the next few days recuperating in a hot tub and comes back ready to fail with a scowl on his face. That’s not an uplifting ending, but compared to the state of things now it’d be a step in the right direction.

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Penny for Your Thoughts

by Brian Phillips · November 13, 2008

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