Champions’ League 2007-2008: Slavia Prague 0 – Arsenal 0

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Football
November 8th, 2007 • 10:51 am

It’s just my luck. Just as I have decided to start writing about football and Arsenal again, the team travels to Prague and delivers one of the most boring, uninspired and all-round weak performances in recent memory, and the first goalless draw of the season.

It was, of course, somewhat predictable, the Gunners having all but guaranteed their qualification to the next round with a run of three consecutive victories, Wenger deciding to rest a number of key players, and the Prague team having to try and atone for their humiliating defeat two weeks ago. And the weather and the pitch not really cooperating. But still… Even a second string Arsenal team is usually capable of producing sparkling stuff against any kind of opposition, as we have witnessed in the Carling Cup in the past couple of years.

This time, though, there was absolutely nothing to be pleased with, except for the fact that qualification was effectively ensured, and that the team remains unbeaten in all competitions since last April. The match really was unwatchable.

Mind you, in the past I wouldn’t have had the chance to watch it at all, and would have had to make do with a live text report somewhere online on a British web site.

Now, in Canada, we have the new Setanta channel. It’s pricey ($15CDN/month), but it has effectively turned into “The Arsenal Channel” in this household, since they are showing so many of the games involving the Gunners in various competitions, including the EPL, the Champions’ League, and the Carling Cup.

And we’re not complaining! But this particular game truly was poor. I actually ended up fast-forwarding through most of it. (We usually don’t watch the games live. We tape them on our PVR when they are broadcast live in the afternoon and watch them in the evening.) So maybe I missed something that I would have observed if I had watched the game more carefully.

But not based on what I have been reading on other blogs. The only thing that I noticed through my fast-forwarding is that the Gunners had a couple of dicey moments in the back, and Almunia actually made a couple of good saves. Oh well.

If the team wants to finish top of the group, they will still have to achieve some results in the last two games. But of course given the Gunners’ recent history in the competition, it is a good thing to have qualification guaranteed sooner rather than later.

Next is Reading away from home on Monday. Reading is on a pretty bad run, but they might snap out of it at some point, and they did surprise us last season. So it’s not a game to be taken lightly. But at least Fábregas, Touré, and the others will have had a decent rest.

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