Tuesday, 27 February 2018

SK Slavia Praha

SK Slavia Praha 1-0 Bohemians 1905
Eden Arena, Prague

Date of visit: Sunday 25th February 2018
Ground number: 5
League: HET Liga
Ticket: Accreditation
Programme: Free
Beer: 40kc
Attendance: 9,648

Eden Arena, Prague

Slavia Prague. Another team I can't stand. They aren't quite on Burnley's level yet in terms of my hatred but they are getting closer each year. Unfortunately I just happened to visit both within the same month.

Ok, in all honesty I just dislike them. As a Sparta Prague fan of 13 years (and a season ticket holder for most of them) it's not really negotiable. Slavia are the enemy. Since becoming a season ticket holder I've only seen two title wins and was forced to sit in the stadium and watch Slavia lift the trophy last season. They've taken a step backwards recently and that would be more enjoyable to watch if it weren't for the fact that we've taken a bigger one!

I'm quite a frequent visitor to Eden for work reasons and I'm not going to sit here and say I hate it just because it's Slavia. The stadium itself doesn't have much of an identity. It's modern and there's very little inside the stadium which says ' THIS IS SLAVIA' but to be fair they are improving and have gone some way to decorating the outside with Slavia legends as you can see from the picture above.

Today's game was a big one. The Vršovice derby againt Bohemians 1905. The two clubs are about 3 tram stops apart (...and a lot further apart in football terms). This was a home debut for Slavia's new manager Jindřich Tripišovsky and after a disappointing defeat the previous week against lowly Jihlava and the good form of Bohemians you could sense the nerves around the stadium.

Bohemians 1905 fans turned up in numbers. Well...I say numbers....they had more than they usually take to away games but you'd expect a better effort considering it's a short walk. I could be wrong and maybe their ticket allocation was limited by Slavia...so I'll let them off for now.

Bohemians 1905 fans ready for kick off
Bohemians are having a good season under Martin Hašek and given Slavia's shaky start I really expected both players and fans to be well up for the game. I was disappointed. The players failed to take advantage of sloppy play from the home side and lost the game 1-0. As bad as Slavia played they still looked a league above Bohemka. The away side just didn't have any quality in the final third. As for the fans....ridiculously quiet. Poor effort.

I should probably add that it was -9 degrees which might explain the lack of noise from the away fans. It really was uncomfortable. Absolutely freezing.

Setting off for my afternoon match. The temperature didn't improve!

The majority of Sparta fans would never admit it but I am happy to hold my hands up and say Slavia (...at least at the present time) have a much better atmosphere than we do. The stand with the main fans is the north end behind the goal (Tribuna Sever). They manage to fill it quite well every game and they really do know how to make a noise. It's a shame that they rarely fill the other end and you often see empty seats but on European nights the stadium must be rocking.

The ultras put a lot of time and effort into the banners (as do Sparta) but I missed getting a picture of the pyro in this game as my hands were too cold to fiddle with my phone! Fair play for the 'Our Vršovice' banner though.....

I would recommend visiting all the Prague clubs when in the city. Each of them has a particular charm but i'd say the best atmosphere can be found here. If they continue to disappoint and crash out of Europe early next season then the fans that jumped on the title bandwagon will leave again (Czech fans are very fickle) and that might change things. If that happens I'll be happy to come back and experience their misery. Until then...see you in the real Prague derby next month!

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