- Manchester City v Arsenal: the Community Shield prelims
- Another pundit going against the trend
- Yesterday we stood on the terraces of Arsenal’s first stadium
By Sir Hardly Anyone
Just when you thought that football journalism could not descend any further it has. And just in case you don’t want to read my preview but simply want to know what that stuff about the shampoo is all about – the answer is at the end. Although I’d like you to read my ramble before we get there…
The Community Shield is of course not that important in terms of what is to come but even so, it is there, and Arsenal compete for it when they can.
Manchester United have won it 17 times (not counting the seasons when the game was drawn and so technically the trophy was shared). Arsenal are second in the parade with 15 straight wins.
Behind those two come Liverpool on 11, Everton with eight, Tottenham with seven and Manchester City with six.
And as everyone knows none of this matters very much for no one remembers who won the competition once the season gets going; it is just not important.
So instead we look elsewhere and find one spot of number waggling circling around Arsenal just at this moment, as the Daily Mirror has announced that “Using numbers from Transfermarkt Mirror Football has taken a closer look at the 10 most valuable squads in the world.
And what they announce is that Arsenal have “become world’s only billion pound squad.” Now the point here is that these figures are based on the values that Transfermarkt estimate – and of course you can check these as they ebb and flow through the season.
Plus it is important to remember that this is based on the players that are in the club today, valued at this moment. So for example in 10th position we have Tottenham with Kane valued at £77.5m Now you might expect Kane to be worth more than that, but the valuation takes into account that Tottenham have allowed Kane to get into the final year of his contract – which reduces the amount another club would pay for him at the moment. And it is that price which Transfermarkt looks at.
So the top ten are as follows, remembering that this is for all football clubs in the world, not just in England. (And in case you are interested, in terms of individual players
- 1. Arsenal (£1.03bn)
- 2. Manchester City (£999m)
- 3. Paris Saint-Germain (£870m)
- 4. Real Madrid (£844m)
- 5. Bayern Munich (£777m)
- 6. Chelsea (£766m)
- 7. Barcelona (£736m)
- 8. Man Utd (£730m)
- 9. Liverpool (£685m)
- 10. Tottenham (£666m)
Arsenal have of course been helped by the fact that some of their squad cost nothing or very little. We might think of Bukayo Saka currently valued at £103.4m by Transfermarkt – he is second in the chart behind only Haaland. In fifth place we find Odegaard and Rice now valued at £78m each and Martinelli is at 13th on £69m.
Players values are also affected how they proved themselves in the previous season, and there is no guarantee that any club would get more or less than Transfermarkt say – but the point is that the website uses the same basis for valuing players in all teams, so even if one is unhappy with the actual figures the point is the same sort of process is used for every team, and Arsenal come out on top when compared to all the other clubs in the league.
Anyway, moving on, who might we see today?
Goal.com note that Arsenal will be lacking Gabriel Jesus as we have noted, along with Folarin Balogun, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Mohamed Elneny, Reiss Nelson and Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Bukayo Saka has, we are pleased to hear, recovered from his recent illness. Goal therefore give us as the team…
Timber, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu;
Odegaard, Rice, Partey;
Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli
The Standard have a column titled “Everything you need to know” about this match and then totally fail to tell us the team, which one might expect to be included in “Everything”. Oh what wags these journalists are. And Goal is even waggier for instead of listing the team they list the entire squads. Anyone would think they are simply trying to get us to click on the page.
Pain in the Arsenal do offer a team… and it is not the same as the one above…
White, Saliba, Gabriel, Timber;
Partey, Havertz, Odegaard;
Saka, Nketiah, Trossard.
But otherwise there are lots of sites with headlines like “all you need to know” and lots of question mark headlines such as
- Who is playing in the Community Shield 2023?
- When is the Community Shield 2023?
- Where is the Community Shield 2023?
- How can I watch the Community Shield 2023?
- How can I buy tickets for the Community Shield 2023?
- What are our writers saying?
- Who won the Community Shield last year?
- What are the latest odds?
And one can’t help but ask: “Why are you asking all these questions instead of giving me answers to ‘Who will play’?”
But it is a tactic used repeatedly by journalists and their editors when they really have nothing to say. One might as well as, “Where can I buy a bottle of shampoo at Wembley on a sunday before the match?” which is certainly more useful than “How can I buy tickets for the Community Shield 2023?” given that it is sold out. The answer is, “nowhere near the stadium”.
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