Community Shield

Its finally August again, and its been over a month since I have seen some decent football. OK, the Olympics have been slightly better than I expected, but I’m looking forward to some real football now. Strangely, the German Bundesliga kicks off a week after Spain and England! But first up are the Super Cups or Community Shield in England.


I have never been the biggest fan of these games though, they’ve always seemed like glorified friendlies in my eyes, but I remember last year’s clash between Manchester City and Manchester United, and that really was a terrific game to watch. I’m really hoping that this weekend’s clash between Chelsea and Man City can live up to that at Villa Park. Good things usually come to those who win this trophy, and Man City ended a run of four straight years whereby the Community Shield winner eventually went on to win the league.

 

But when it comes to the Premiership, I really think Arsenal are the dark horses to watch out for and I really feel they have invested well pre-season. Even when (or ‘if’ if you’re an optimistic Gooner) van Persie leaves, I think they have enough back up now, and it seems Arsene Wenger has assembled a pretty solid squad to challenge for honours this season. Henri Lansbury and Ryo Miyachi return from decent loan spells, and you get the sense that just a little more stability at the back, and they could be genuine title contenders. Add the likes of Jack Wilshire, Aaron Ramsay, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mikael Arteta, and the ingredients are most definitely there.


I remember last August when they got absolutely hammered by Man Utd at Old Trafford (yes, 2-8!!) when their starting lineup featured Francis Coquelin, Armand Traore and Carl Jenkinson, and I thought they had no chance of making the top four come the end of the season. I cannot see that happening this year though, their squad is among the deepest of the Premiership sides now.


In the outrights, Arsenal are priced at 11.00, with Chelsea at 5.50. Yes, Chelsea have spent nearly 100 million Euros this summer on players, but seriously, are they that much better than their London rivals?