Top of the league Arsenal with no chance in the Community Shield (analysis)



By Bulldog Drummond

My goodness how time passes ever more quickly when one gets older.  Seems like only yesterday that (etc etc).

But it is good to see the wonderful headlines are still with us, such as Sports Mole with “Who will win the 2020 Community Shield?”   The answers when I looked were…

Arsenal 0.0%

Liverpool 0.0%

Ticking all the boxes they also gave us a league table

Pos Team P GD Pts
1 Arsenal 0 0 0
2 Aston Villa 0 0 0
3 Brighton & Hove Albion 0 0 0
4 Burnley 0 0 0

And so on.  Tottenham, I was glad to see, are in 17th already.

The Guardian has asked us a more interesting question, namely, “Does the Community Shield tell us anything?”   It concludes the game is a “glorified friendly that has little bearing on the season it introduces… ”

It goes on for some time in that vein and was annoying enough for me to both to check out whether its assertion that the game has no bearing on what happens.  In the table below we can see where the winner of the game ended up in the season that followed what the media normally call the “traditional curtain raiser.”  Why after 50 years of running the same phrase they have to change it I can’t understand.

Year Winner Lge pos next season Score Loser
2010 Manchester United 1 3–1 Chelsea
2011 Manchester United 2 3–2 Manchester City
2012 Manchester City 2 3–2 Chelsea
2013 Manchester United 2–0 Wigan Athletic
2014 Arsenal 3 3–0 Manchester City
2015 Arsenal 2 1–0 Chelsea
2016 Manchester United 2–1 Leicester City
2017 Arsenal 1–1 Chelsea
2018 Manchester City 1 2–0 Chelsea
2019 Manchester City 2 1–1 Liverpool

So we can see that 70% of the time the winners of the Community Shield came in the top three the subsequent season.

So yes, the CS does tell us something.  Win it and you have a 70% chance of coming in the top three that is a pretty good indicator.  I wonder why the Guardian couldn’t be arsed to work that out.

ESPN have gone down another route with the match asking, “What’s the deal with the weird name?”

Now readers of Untold will know that it got that name when the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales found that the FA was failing to abide by the charities law and was not keeping proper records.  The FA were fined and seriously warned against their future conduct and so changed the name of the event.

But ESPN will have none of this saying, “It was known as the Charity Shield until 2002, when it was rebranded as the Community Shield by the English Football Association in order to cover a wider scope of beneficiaries. Charities and good causes continue to benefit from the game…”

No, that is not right, not at all.  The most relevant factor is that it is difficult to the point of impossible to find out who has benefited – at least for us. Of course others may have found out, but Untold has written to the FA several times asking for details of who got the money each season, but without reply.

Moving on, as you may recall we like to keep tabs on injuries during the season using the Physioroom analysis, and looking at it at the start of this season we see an extraordinary list

  1. Chelsea: 13
  2. Liverpool: 8
  3. Crystal Palace: 7
  4. Manchester United: 6
  5. Arsenal: 5
  6. Burnley: 5
  7. Everton: 5
  8. Leicester City: 5

Here is our list…

Player Injury Return date Chances
Shkodran Mustafi Hamstring Surgery 31/10/2020 Ruled Out
Pablo Mari Villar Ankle Surgery 26/09/2020 Ruled Out
Calum Chambers Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Ruled Out
Gabriel Martinelli Meniscus Tear Ruled Out
Emiliano Martinez Lacking Match Fitness 50%

The Chelsea number reaches an all time high because they have seven players in isolation because of the virus.

Liverpool’s figure is eight: Matip, Henerderson, Alexander-Arnold, van Dijk, Wilson, the Ox, Ki-Jana Hoever and Shaqiri, but what is interesting here is that for three of these players Physioroom has no indication of what is wrong.  Is this perhaps a case of Arsenal being more open than they need be, or is it that some of the issues are just guesswork?

In terms of the Charity / Community Shield games these are the previous results (and I think this might be an Untold exclusive – I’ve not seen anyone else present this little table – although actually, I must admit, it doesn’t really tell us much).  But even so, we have the data so here it is…

Date Game Res Score Name of competition at the time
11 Aug 1979 Liverpool v Arsenal L 3-1 FA Charity Shield
12 Aug 1989 Liverpool v Arsenal L 1-0 FA Charity Shield
11 Aug 2002 Arsenal v Liverpool W 1-0 FA Community Shield