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Saturday 19 April 2008

Post-match verdict - Arsenal v Reading

There was a risible reaction to the reported sixty thousand plus attendance, as the evident number of empty seats told another story. Yet again the demands of the live TV tail wagged the football dog, to the detriment of a sedentary supporting cast. Although an early KO against the Royals was hardly going to be the hottest ticket in town, after events of the past couple of weeks has left most Gooners feeling all footballed out.

On the pitch after an impassive opening period, the lack of pressure resulted in Gunners relaxing and running Reading utterly ragged, in a game that can only be described as a 2-0 slaughter. Our two goals were scant reward for the sort of high quality footie that demonstrated the huge gulf in class between either end of the table. An exercise in damage limitation for Steve Coppell's troops, turned out to be timely reminder of just how grateful we Gooners should feel, for the undoubted privilege of being able to enjoy entertainment of a calibre that the vast majority of Premiership fans can only dream of, with our little Franco the fulcrum around which the very best of our fabulous flowing football revolved.

No matter how bare the trophy cabinet, so long as our sorcerer's apprentices continue to sparkle in this fashion, we've every reason to keep the faith. The extremely fine margins between success and failure make a mockery of all those clamouring for wholesale surgery. So long as Arsène learns from this season's more obvious lessons, the future remains incredibly bright.


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