Pre-match preview by Bulldog Drummond.
The 93rd Community Shield fixture. It used to be called the Charity Shield until the Charities Commission realised that the FA were keeping no proper records, were not giving enough money to charities, and generally making fast and loose. The Charity Commission could have sued the FA and closed them down, but backed off and allowed the FA simply to walk away and rename it the “Community Shield”. A shame.
We’ve already had the wild ravings of the Chelsea manager about how Arsenal have spent more than Chelsea – dutifully reported by most of the media, but a special note of merit to the Independent who did actually do the sums to prove what we all already knew. Chelsea spent more than Arsenal.
You might never have read of such a rebuttal in the press. You might wonder why.
Most recently the ‘Special One’ has admitted that if he had been asked to forgo the massive spending and instead create a side that without funding could stay in the top four while the stadium was built, he would have walked… which really doesn’t tell us much we didn’t know.
Anyway, the big mega buy-them-all and put-lots-out-on-loan approach is probably going to continue. We’ll see at the end of the season. For now, Sir Hardly is continuing to focus totally on Arsenal DONE DEALS.
What we do know is that the Community Shield doesn’t tell us much – it is easy to win it with ease and then slump in the league, as we found last season.
Arsenal have won the Shield 13 times, and appeared in seven other Shield matches. For Chelsea it is four wins and six second-best slots. Chelsea last won it in 2009. Chelsea’s last win was on penalties 4-1 over Man U. The last time the two teams played each other it was a 2-1 win by Chelsea at the Millennium in 2005.
There have been 23 goals in the last six Community Shield games but just as our review of pre-seasons from 1989 onwards show that the pre-season doesn’t really tell us much about what comes next, so that is true of the Community Shield (although we can be fairly sure that money that ought to reach charities probably won’t.)
Only just over half of Community Shield games include the club that goes on to win the league next season, and it is not even clear that the winner will ultimately do better than the loser in the League. Mostly it is true, but only in three out of every five years.
The last time we won the Community Shield was last season, of course, and following that win we then beat Palace at home and then drew the next three games, leading some historically challenged people to claim it was the worst start in the last 30 years.
The last time Chelsea won the Shield they then went on to win the first six games in the Premier League, before losing 3-1 to Wigan. The last time they lost the Shield they then went on to win seven and draw one of their first eight.
The last time Arsenal lost the Shield they went on to win four, lose three and draw one of the first eight.
Clearly then the best approach is for Arsenal neither to win nor lose the Shield, but simply hand it over to Chelsea, refuse to play, and focus instead on the start of the season.
Here’s just three of the recent BIG final games between the BIG TWO.
2002 FA Cup: Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea
Ray Parlour scored 20 minutes from the end. Freddie Ljungberg also scored and we went on to do the Double beating Manchester United.
2005 Community Shield: Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal
Didier Drogba scored, Cesc Fabregas got one back.
2007 League Cup: Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal
Drogba scored after a very young Theo Walcott gave us the lead. We played the kids team, Chelsea brought on the first team. John Obi Mikel, Adebayor and Kolo Touré were all sent off as a ludicrous ref took footballing insanity to new levels.