It’s quite easy to forget that the last Barclays Premier League season ended just 69 days ago with Chelsea practically walking their way to another title. It was also a season that left many Arsenal fans hoping that their club could carry over the late-season surge that ended with an automatic spot in the Champions League and a FA Cup trophy.
While many perceive the Community Shield as a glorified friendly rather than a major trophy, Chelsea vs Arsenal will always be a grudge match, especially when rivals Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger lock horns. Arsenal’s Community Shield performance could be the next step needed to prove that they can be more than just title challengers.
Jose Mourinho has not been enjoying his summer, dealing with comments from the wife of perennial rival Rafa Benitez, to watching his team losing in the Community Shield. Arsenal have proved that there are still kinks left to be resolved in Chelsea’s Premier League armor.
In fact, it was Arsene Wenger’s first victory over rival Jose Mourinho. Perhaps even more important, it was Chelsea’s first loss to a traditional title contender since Jose Mourinho’s second spell at Chelsea.
An irritated Jose Mourinho reluctantly congratulated Arsenal on the Community Shield win.
“My opinion is the team that defends very well, that leaves their philosophy in the dressing room, changes their attitude, plays all the second half with nine players in front of the box, doesn’t concede and scores one goal, from that perspective they deserve to win. This is football. This is very good tactical organisation. Congratulations to them.”
All ingredients that could prove for a closer Barclays Premier League race than usual. With Chelsea hesistant to spend, Manchester United, Manchester City, and Liverpool have clearly improved their respective squads for the upcoming season while Arsenal is still riding the momentum that saw them finish the season in impressive form.
[Image via caughtoffside.com]