Tag Archives: community shield

10 reasons Arsenal will beat Chelsea, and Starting XI

  1. Arsenal are unbeaten at Wembley in 8 games, a run stretching back to 2011
  2. Included in this run was Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Chelsea in the 2017 FA Cup Final
  3. Arsenal also beat Chelsea in the 2015 Community Shield
  4. The Community Shield record is equally as impressive, having not lost since 2005
  5. At Wembley, Arsenal have not lost a Community Shield game in normal time since 1989. 28 years ago
  6. Chelsea come into the Community Shield under cooked, they have played just 4 pre-season games. Losing two
  7. Last season, in the 3 competitive games they played, Arsenal won 2
  8. This means Arsene Wenger has a positive win record over Chelsea’s Antonio Conte in English football
  9. Throughout history, Arsenal have beaten Chelsea 74 times, drawing 54, losing just 62
  10. Arsenal do not lose at Wembley. It is our second home

Predicted XI

Koscielny Mertesacker Monreal
Ox Ramsey Xhaka Kolasanic
Giroud Lacazette


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.


5 things Arsenal learnt from Community Shield victory

Petr Cech could win us the league

3 games, 3 trophies. To win the treble within weeks of leaving Chelsea is a remarkable achievement. Of course, I jest, although it does seem to have wound up a few Chelsea fans, pictures of Cech lifting 3 trophies.

In all seriousness, in just the 90 minutes yesterday, he showed us what we have been missing since Jens Lehmann.

He only had 2 saves to make, and both should have been made by any half decent keeper, but it was the confidence he seemed to give the rest of the side, his calmness went through the rest of his side. And his distribution. Having a goal keeper able to kick the ball over the half way line with pin point accuracy is something we have missed for decades. His throwing was also faultless.

Match of the Day had it right (for once). Cech set the tempo of the team. He know when to release quickly, he knew when to slow it down. He is not just a match winner, he is a league winner.

Theo Walcott is not a striker

I do not want to hammer Theo Walcott too hard as he is a player who suffers massive confidence crises, but he showed once again that he is not a centre forward.

This is not the first time he has been given a chance up top, and gone missing. He does not have the movement, nor the physicality, to play up top on his own. On the right wing, he will shine, with a bit more space to work, he will get goals, but he is simply not a striker.

If Arsene Wenger was planning to not buy a striker and play Walcott upfront, yesterday should quash that idea. Play players in their positions, for Walcott, that is the wing.

Hector Bellerin is first choice right back

During the back end of last season, when Mathieu Debuchy returned from injury, Hector Bellerin’s fine form kept the Frenchman out of the first team. I was expecting the switch to be made over this summer, with Debuchy returning to the starting line up adding his experience and guile. However, it seems that Bellerin is set to keep his place in the side.

A brilliant performance yesterday keeping Eden Hazard quiet and getting the right balance between attack and defence. He was only caught out of position a couple of times, but with his electric pace, he was able to get back.

The lad is a star in the making, and I expect him to start against West Ham next Sunday.

We do not rely on Alexis Sanchez

Last season, especially in the first half, it was a case of if Alexis Sanchez did not score, or at minimum, assist, Arsenal did not score. Whilst this was a tad exaggerated, almost everything did revolve around the Chilean. Winning against Chelsea, as well as our other pre season performances show that other players are more than capable of stepping up and we are no longer as reliant on Sanchez as we were.

The Community Shield means nothing, but also means everything

Before yesterday, I was very much of the opinion that the Community Shield was no more than a glorified friendly. And I still think that. However, despite it meaning nothing in terms of our season and silverware haul, the result also means everything.

Being able to defend a 1-0 lead against Chelsea, the performances of many of our players, the Arsene Wenger snub, it was a perfect day for the fans. With the sun shining and the Chelsea fans crying, the day itself felt much more than a glorified friendly, even if the actual match does not go down as a competitive game.