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.

Contact Us

[contact-form 1 'Contact form 1']

A Weekend of Drowsy Eremites

Quick hits this week. Let’s get right to them:


Stoke – Hull (15:00 GMT, 10am ET) : I wouldn’t usually get excited about a match between two promoted teams. This year it’s a slightly different story.

Sevilla – Barcelona (21:00 GMT, 4pm ET) : La Liga’s two best defensive sides, incredibly. It’s Barcelona’s first match against a top-five team this season, which suggests that they’ll only win by, I don’t know, 800 goals.


Manchester City – Manchester United (13:30 GMT, 8:30am ET) : Ah, the Manchester derby. Man Utd haven’t scored in their last two games, and Man City have won the last two derbies. (Granted, that was when they were owned by the deposed prime minister of Thailand and managed by Sven-Göran Eriksson…you know, before things got weird.) This one feels huge because of the dramatic things that have been happening to Man City’s bank account. Sadly, all that money doesn’t have a squad number and probably won’t be allowed to play.

Inter – Napoli (14:00 GMT, 9am ET) : I’m mildly in love with Napoli this season. Thanks to the unaccountable fact that the people who set match times in different countries don’t have each other’s cell phone numbers (memo to Biarritz: can we skip debt limitation and get a central European authority for TV scheduling?), I’ll be missing at least the beginning of this game to watch the action in Manchester. But it will be with a twinge in my heart. And don’t think I won’t switch over at the first hint of defensiveness and/or “tactics”.

Chelsea – Arsenal (16:00 GMT, 11am ET) : Chelsea aren’t tumbling down the mountainside like Arsenal at this point in the season, but you get the feeling they’re clinging to a crag, staring down over their shoulder, and wincing every time their rivals bounce. Should be interesting.

I’m always eager to hear your thoughts about the games you’re watching, so if Adebayor goes pinging off the rock above you or Lavezzi does something brilliant that I don’t see, please feel free to describe the event in the comments.

Read More:

A Weekend of Drowsy Eremites

by Brian Phillips · November 28, 2008

[contact-form 5 'Email form']