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.
Well, okay, but do you get the feeling that he agreed to stay after the board promised him he’d only have £13 million to spend on new players, rather than after they warned him? As in:
AW: I have an offer from Real Madrid.
IG: Don’t leave! The transfer budget is huge next year—we can give you £75 million!
AW: I don’t know; the challenge in Madrid feels interesting…
IG: Arsène, let’s be reasonable. We’re prepared to make it £80, £85 million. Whatever it takes to keep you here.
AW: No, I think I’m definitely leaving for Madrid.
IG (thinking): What if we made it, say, £45 million?
AW: I’m listening…
IG: £20 million, and you’re not allowed to buy any English players over the age of 14.
AW: Make it £10 million and 12 and you’ve got me.
IG: £13 million, and we’ll agree in advance to pretend the Africa Cup of Nations doesn’t exist.
AW (eyes glinting): Done.
by Brian Phillips · May 19, 2009