Unless your surname is Mourinho people don’t really recognise the Community Shield as a serious trophy. Put it this way many point to Pep Guardiola only winning the League Cup last season, very few claim they won a domestic double.
Of course, there’s worse ways to spend your Saturday afternoons than watching us beat the Champions, but if we are honest any defeat we would get over by Monday morning (unless it was a humiliation).
Overall our recent record in the Community Shield/Charity Shield is very positive yet due to a section of our fan base likely to get carried away if we do triumph this weekend, it’s worth pointing out that in the Premiership era only 8 winners of this Shield went on to be Champions that campaign. In that same period, we have been involved in this curtain raiser 10 times.
Let’s take a look……
1993 – Arsenal 1-1 Man United (United Win On Pens)
Famous for Ian Wright’s stunning equaliser, but also him missing in the penalty shootout when he had the chance to win it. Our striker though summed up how serious the game was to him by saying he didn’t mind his miss ‘as long as I don’t do it when it’s important’.
In sudden death David Seaman bizarrely failed with our 6th spot kick.
Interestingly, neither Alex Ferguson nor George Graham knew the game would be decided by pens assuming a draw would mean the Shield got shared.
After this game we would be inconsistent in the League but continued to be a decent cup side, winning the Cup Winners Cup in 1994.
1998- Arsenal 3-0 Man United
One of those times where you could argue the fixture felt important. Arsenal had won the Domestic Double and by beating Man United so comfortably at Wembley it carried on our momentum.
It would be the only silverware we would win that season. In a year where we so nearly won another Double, United ended up with the Treble.
1999- Arsenal 2-1 Man United
The rivalry between the two clubs had grown to such a point where both recognised this game as a chance to get an early psychological blow on your main title rival. So, coming from behind to beat the Champions was a morale boost although it wouldn’t make any difference in the actual outcome of the Premiership.
2002- Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool
Gilberto Silva scored the only goal on his debut. It was made that little bit sweeter by what happened the last time we faced Liverpool in Cardiff. Both occasions we dominated but we had learnt our lesson from years previous.
This year we blew a 12-point lead in February to relinquish our crown, but would return to Wales in the FA Cup Final.
2003- Arsenal 1-1 Man United (United Win On Pens)
The rivalry was such that you couldn’t describe a meeting between these two as a ‘friendly’. Arsenal were still angry over United’s playacting at Highbury the last time they met which saw Sol Campbell get sent off.
This time it was Francis Jeffers who was shown red and tensions threatened to boil over. It would be one of the few times we tasted defeat domestically that season as we went on to be ‘Invincible’.
2004- Arsenal 3-1 Man United
Having gone an entire Prem season unbeaten there looked a difference in class as we comfortably won. We were introduced to a certain youngster called Cesc Fabregas.
We would beat the same opposition in the same venue in the FA Cup Final.
2005- Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea
A worrying sign of things to come as Drogba bullied our defence, in particular Senderos. We had a lot of possession, but it felt all Chelsea had to do was play a direct ball to their striker. Arsene Wenger wouldn’t learn as Drogba would do this to us time and time again over the years.
Since his first full season with us, this was the first time under our manager we would finish outside the top 2, although we did reach our first ever Champions League Final.
2014- Arsenal 3-0 Man City
Having just ended our trophy drought the manner here of how we beat the Champions kept alive the feel-good atmosphere at the club.
Yet another example of how fans can get carried away as a title challenge wasn’t sustained but we did retain the Cup though.
2015- Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea
Perhaps a sign that a young squad was learning because once we took the lead thanks to the Ox, we didn’t bomb men forward but instead protected what we had. Jose Mourinho always counted this has a trophy yet strangely doesn’t include this defeat as losing to Arsene Wenger.
2017 Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea (Arsenal win on Pens)
Made all the sweeter by beating Chelsea just a couple of months after we had beaten them in the FA Cup Final. Kolasinac headed home a late equaliser on his debut.
It would turn out to be Arsene Wenger’s last season.
So out of our last 10 appearances we have won 7. Of our 3 losses only one was in 90 minutes with the other two on penalties.
I’m not one who normally puts too much emphasis on how much rest or training players have had, but given how Klopp likes to play, Liverpool being a week ahead of us in ‘pre-season’ could be a small detail which proves crucial.
This normally is meant to be final preparations before the season starts so it seems silly to me it’s been arranged after we have been back in training for less than a week and have played one friendly.
Here’s all these authorities finding ways to get players rests and cram in fixtures, yet someone thought it was a good idea to have an International window next week.
I worry this could be a game which brings some gooners crashing down to earth. We still are playing a team who finished 43 points ahead of us with the only difference being Willian on a free.
I just have a feeling this could be Liverpool’s first choice strike force against a makeshift defence.
I predict 4-1 to Liverpool…
What do you think Gooners?
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