Is the Community Shield a “real” trophy?

Short answer: No

Long answer: The Community shield is no more than a glorified friendly. It is not a major, it is not even an honour. Those that portray it to be so are clutching to straws, trying to add to their clubs trophy count.

The Community Shield is a curtain raiser. An aperitif. An Hors d’oeuvres. Clubs in the Community Shield usually reduce the amount of friendlies they play by one, as clubs use it to prepare for what is important, the start of the Premier League the weekend after.

The fact that you can make 6 substitutions shows that it is not a competitive game. The fact that players who are set to be suspended for domestic games can play  shows that it is not a competitive game.

I do not know when people started to count the Community Shield as a trophy, but my first memory was Liverpool in 2001. The year their fans claimed to have won “5 trophies in 1 season”. Despite 2 of these trophies being glorified friendlies (Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup) and both being in the season after they won a poor mans treble.

I guess where counting the Community Shield comes out of desperation. Liverpool fans in 2001 included it as they were jealous of Manchester United’s treble 2 years earlier. They attempted to show winning 5 trophies in 1 season 2 seasons was superior to Manchester United’s treble. It wasn’t.

Manchester United took it a step further a few years later. Having overtaken Liverpool’s English League Champions haul, Liverpool fans were quick to point out that they had still won more major honours then United, by the time the FA Cup, League Cup, European Cup and minor European trophies were taken into account. In response, Manchester United fans added their 20 Community Shields to their total plus other glorified global friendlies to show that they were England’s most successful club with 62 honours to Liverpool’s 60.

Last season, after winning the Europa League, Jose Mourinho encouraged his players to hold up 3 figures, to indicate Manchester United had just won the treble.

Man U won the Europa League, the League Cup and the Community Shield.

In a world where everyone gets their statistics from Wikipedia, the site has now included the likes of the Community Shield, the UEFA Super Cup & the FIFA Club World Cup in their list of Most England’s Most Successful Clubs. Everyone knows, deep down, that these do not really matter.

Arsenal fans went a bit OTTa few years back, celebrating victory against Manchester City. After 10 years with no trophy, being able to celebrate “2 trophies in 4 months” was too much for some fans. They celebrated the Community Shield victory a little bit too hard.

Roll on a few years and this will be Arsenal’s 9th visit to Wembley in just over 3 years. Many fans who went to previous games are not going. They are jaded by Wembley. they see the Community Shield as what it is. A friendly.

A trip to Wembley is always a good day out, no matter what you are going there for, but celebrating the Community Shield and treating it like an honour is something done by the desperate. I am sure back in the 90s & 00s, Manchester United fans did not care about the Community Shield, but after a few barren years, they will cling to it as their last trophy won as if it was a major honour.

Of course, there is more than just the trophy on offer. The Community Shield is an opportunity to see where you are for the forthcoming season. A victory will create optimism within the fans, that this year could be our year. A defeat and the bright clouds of pre-season will soon be darkened.

As for it setting you up well for the season, showing you where you are, the truth is the Community Shield has very little bearing on who wins the league. Since the turn of the century, the Community Shield Winners have gone on to win the Premier League 5 times. That is just 5 times in 15 years.

And that is boasted by 5 times in 6 years. It is clear that the Community Shield has very little bearing on the winner of the Premier League.

In 2013/14, Manchester United won the Community Shield. United fans went into hysteria, creating all sorts of meme’s showing that David Moyes had won 1 trophy in in the 3 months he had been at the club, whilst Arsene Wenger had not won a trophy at Arsenal in 10 years. Fast forward 9 months, Arsenal were at Wembley lifting the FA Cup, whilst Moyes had been sacked and Manchester United finishing 7th.

The Community Shield is a good day out. It is sunny, it is a laugh, meet up with the lads who you haven’t seen for a few months, have a few beers and get back into the swing of things. But the result? It does not really matter.

Is it important to win the Community Shield? No.

Keenos

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6 thoughts on “Is the Community Shield a “real” trophy?

  1. James

    It’s strange but I think if they held it at the end of the season as a game between the fa cup winner and league winner, as opposed to pre-season, it would feel more like some kind of achievement.

    Reply
  2. myboologgar

    Keen, i like your time taken to portray your view about the community shield, but with the way you put it, it sounded as if all trophies dont really matter. Every winning becomes a joy gladden with sweetness to the heart and failures ground us all. You dont have to play a game once you cant see yoursef winning or trying hard to. Rememeber, its all about entertaining the fans. as a matter of fact, every game is a friendly and every friendly is a competition and every competition should be celebrated, either their is cup or not. A game i felt you cant celebration, is your indoor/in-house practice, even some people do celebrate it tenacity. My believe is that ‘every winning is a trophy worth celebrating’ and your should too.

    Reply
    1. Charles Charlie Charles

      You have to see it in the context of the competition which the trophy belongs to. In order of importance (my opinion) Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, Europa League, League Cup, Community Shield. You don’t want to win one of them only to stuff up your chances of winning a better one. So if we lose tomorrow because The Cassete didn’t break his leg trying to slide one into the near post, The Cassette will be available to put a couple past Leicester on Friday. The big prize for me has always been the Premier League. Undisputed best in England and Wales over a whole season. The ultimate bragging right.

      Reply
  3. Charles Charlie Charles

    It’s a friendly without a doubt but it’s usually a bit more hotly contested than your average friendly. Where I didn’t bat an eyelid when Chels beat us 3-0 in China the other week, I will feel a tad peeved if we don’t win tomorrow. That will soon be forgotten though when I recall being there to see us destroy their dreams of a double back in May. But no, when Maureen claimed that his team had won a trophy early last season, I did cringe. It’s a glorified bloody dinner plate FFS.

    Reply

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