Tag Archives: community shield

Is it important to win the Community Shield?

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.

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.

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 OTT over last years 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.

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.

Last season, Arsenal beating Manchester City comfortably showed to the side and fans that they can compete, and I am sure the victory was one reason why we played so well in both games against them and did not lose either.

This season, it is an opportunity to test ourselves against Chelsea. A chance for Arsene Wenger to finally beat Jose Mourinho. For Arsenal to beat Chelsea for the first time in 8 games. Then again, it is not a competitive game, so will it really count? Probably not. Depends how desperate you are.

As for it setting you up well for the season, showing you where you are, the truth is the CSPLCommunity 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.


The Arsenal clock now on sale as a wall clock

The Arsenal clock now on sale as a wall clock

What can Arsenal learn from a glorified friendly?

Good morning all. Before I get going with the positives of yesterdays Community Shield win,let me get the disclaimers out of the way:

  • The Community Shield is no more than a glorified friendly. It is not a competitive game, appearances do not go towards games played of goals scored for a club, clubs can use 7 substitutes. It is a friendly.
  • Manchester City were without 8 players, whilst Arsenal started with the side that is likely to start against Palace, bar Giroud, and only really had Walcott, Mertersacker and Ozil missing from its first XI.
  • In the last 3 seasons, the winners of the Community Shield have finished the season trophyless.
  • On August 10th 2013, Arsenal beat Manchester City 3-1 in a friendly. August 10th 2014, Arsenal beat Manchester 3-0 in a friendly.

Ok, thats that out of the way, so what positives can we take out of yesterday? Despite it being a glorified friendly, and we know to ignore friendly results, there are still many positives:

New Signings

Alexis Sanchez was a class above anyone else on the field. He looked a threat everytime he ran forward with the ball, worked hard in defence, and was unlikely not to get a goal when put clean through by Yaya Sanogo. One of the issues with the side last year was the lack of a player who could run the ball form within our half, to the oppoennts box, especially on breaks, Sanchez did it numerous times. He will be a star.

Perhaps standing out more than Sanchez, however, was Calum Chambers. When he signed, we all thought we were signing our right back for the next decade. After a couple of Emirates Cup ties and the Community Shield, it is clear that is not the case. He will not only become our first choice centre back over the next few years, but he is also a future Arsenal captain.

Brilliant in defence, his awareness and reading of the game got us out of trouble a few times. He was, in my opinion, man of the match (How did Olivier Giroud win this?). What impressed me most was his composure. Even when under pressure, he always looked to, and succeeded, in passing the ball out of defence. To think he is just 19 is amazing. He has a big future.

Mathieu Debuchy had a mixed bag. He looked brilliant going forward, putting in some quality crosses, but in defence he was often over run, doubled up on, and beaten too easily. He also put us in trouble a couple of times with errors, including playing a blind pass that put David Silva in. He committed errors that get ignored at Newcastle, but at Arsenal such errors can cost you games, can cost you titles. In his defence, he was perhaps behind others in terms of fitness level due to the World Cup, but it was a mixed start.

Wojciech Szczesny

Last year, Wojciech Szczesny put in a string of magnificent performances. The challenge of Lukasz Fabianski was certainly a factor in him pushing himself to another level. Szczesny showed yesterday signs of further improvements, pulling off some key saves, commanding his box at corners and clearing the ball with his feet in tight situations. If he continues to excel this season, with the pressure put on him by David Ospina, I see no reason why he will not finish the season as the undisputed best keeper in the Premier league.

Jack Wilshere

I have long been a critic of Jack Wilshere but he showed yesterday of signs of his ability. Always on the move, always in space, always looking to create. However, some things never change, and it is worrying. The worry is just how often he is fouled.

I do not know if he is targeted by other teams, or it is the way he plays, but he is our most fouled player. Last season he was continually hacked down, and again, this season he was. The worry is, with his injury record, you feel he is always just one foul from turning an ankle, putting him out for 3 months.

If can stay fit, he should have big season.

Clean Sheet

Despite it being just a friendly, it is good to get a clean sheet against an attacking team which had the likes of Dzeko, Jovetic, Silva, Navas and Toure in its ranks. Especially when in the second half, we had 4 full backs in defence. The performance by Gibbs once more makes you wonder why he did not go to the World Cup, and I have already mentioned Chambers.

It is clear Nacho Monreal is not a centre back. He could do the job as an emergency 5th option but we must buy, and we will. But it is imressive keeping a clean sheet with such few defensive options.


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Olivier Giroud, Tomas Rosicky & Joel Campbell all came off the bench. Taking into account that Theo Walcot, Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski & Serge Gnabry were not in the match day squad, it highlights we have a vast array of attacking options in the squad, plenty of game changes on the bench if we are done. It is exciting.


Overall, winning the Commuity Shield is a good thing. It keeps the winning attitude in the squad up and should make the players hungry for more. Do not read too much into it, but there is plenty to be excited about.



10 Reasons why we will win the Community shield + Starting 11

1.. Sanchaz Sanchez Sanchez, possibly the biggest and most exciting transfer we have made since Bergkamp.

2.. Joel Campbell , I like him (he will be pleased to know that i’m sure)   he has some genuine pace and after waiting years to get a work permit he will give it his all to stay at ours.

3.. Diaby is injured. Earth is round. Man invents the wheel…

4.. Chambers looks like he has come to us to cover CB and RB and with the Germans still putting towels on sunbeds he will partner Koscielny in the middle of a new look defence with other new boy Debuchy at RB.

5.. We only have 6 Defenders listed at the club on arsenal.com, but who cares we have 10 midfielders and 9 forwards, ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK

6.. Manchester City have never won this trophy at Wembley.  (nicked from bbc sport)

7.. Vanishing spray will be used for the first time in an English game, another first involving our club.

8.. We have so many options in the middle of the pitch that not only will Man City not know who we will play but Wenger is possibly having sleepless night over the right combination too.

9.. Man City will be without  Fat Lampard, Snidey Sagna, Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta, Martin Demichelis, Fernandinho and skipper Vincent Kompany.

10.. Wenger knows this is really a glorified friendly and the result won’t make too much difference to our season, but we need to show we have learned some lessons from last seasons games against the bigger sides and put down some kind of marker.

My Starting 11 – Ches – Deb, Kos, Chambers, Gibbs – Flamini Ramsey Santi – Joel Ox Sanchez