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.
Everton just drew Liverpool in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Tottenham will play Manchester United, assuming Manchester United don’t go down to Southampton. And if Southend somehow manage to do the business against Chelsea, that Shrimpers-Ipswich match you’ve been dreaming of will finally become a reality. Southend-Ipswich. Yes, it really could happen.
Here’s the draw in full, via the BBC.
Liverpool v Everton
Southampton or Manchester United v Tottenham
Hull or Newcastle v Millwall or Crewe
Sunderland v Blyth or Blackburn
Hartlepool v West Ham
Leyton Orient or Sheffield United v Charlton or Norwich
Cardiff v Arsenal
Portsmouth or Bristol City v Histon or Swansea
Chelsea or Southend v Ipswich
Cheltenham or Doncaster v Aston Villa
West Brom or Peterborough v QPR or Burnley
Torquay v Coventry
Kettering v Fulham
Watford v Leicester or Crystal Palace
Derby v Nottingham Forest
Birmingham or Wolves v Middlesbrough
I’m trying to get excited about the Derby-Nottingham Forest/irascible-ghost-of-Brian-Clough derby, but after yesterday I’m not sure I can ever get excited about any game involving Derby again. Still, these two hated rivals were separated by two leagues just last year, and now fate has thrown them together here and at the bottom of the Championship. It’s cheap for an epic, but then, at least it’s cheap.
The other thing that stands out in this draw is the number of matches that are still awaiting replays. It leads to a certain suspense. Will Portsmouth or Bristol City play Histon or Swansea? Why, yes! However, it also leads to a certain ambivalence. How can I make plans till I know whether Aston Villa will be playing Cheltenham or Doncaster? I mean, look, Kettering-Fulham may not one for the salivary glands, but at least it’s unequivocally happening.
Read More: FA Cup
by Brian Phillips · January 4, 2009