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 can live with no goals at White Hart Lane, but no arrests? It’s hard to take. Still, I mean, if you ‘d asked me before the match for one outcome that would have been an even more astonishing sign of Harry Redknapp’s power over this team than a win against Manchester United, I would have said, “Heurelho Gomes preserving a result with a last-second fingertip save.” Heurelho Gomes did that. Against Ryan Giggs, no less! It was like seeing Adriano order a club soda.
Otherwise, well, there was some nice passing. Mostly from Luka Modrić to himself. I enjoy watching him do the backward Slinky while attempting to chest the ball down to where his feet would be if the pitch had been transposed onto a drawing by M.C. Escher. It’s impressive, and it hurts to watch. He may be the smallest player whose thighs have ever been hit with the task of holding the space-time continuum together.
Aaron Lennon runs like a cockroach, but I mean that as a compliment. Has there ever been a more egregious case than Tevez-Woodgate of a one-sided collision that looked like a toss-up going in? I mean, if you see those guys from a distance, you’d think Woodgate could hold his own, maybe even that he’d have a slight advantage. In reality, there are doctors whose beepers are programmed to go off whenever Woodgate gets within 50 meters of Carlos Tevez. They keep a helicopter running just in case.
by Brian Phillips · December 13, 2008