The season is upon us, and what a terrific Community Shield it was.
While not the best classic, it reminded me of the reasons why we love English football so much. Here are just a few reasons (and why I can’t wait for the Premiership season to officially kick off on Saturday):
- The crowd. From the moment the match kicked off, the Liverpool and Chelsea fans were in full voice which accentuated the match for those of us watching on TV from home. Where else can you get fans that add so much energy to the game? In contrast, the fans from the MLS All-Star match against Chelsea were practically silent during the match. And even 93,000+ fans at the Barcelona v Guadalajara were practically silent.
- The commentator. It was so good to hear Peter Brackley’s voice instead of the imbeciles from ESPN/ABC (Dave O’Brien, Alexi Lalas, Eric Wynalda, the list goes on). Instead of distracting the audience from the match, Brackley pulled us in and made the match even more enjoyable.
- The pace. Especially during the first half, the match was played at a blistering speed. Riise’s goal was a perfect example of how fast the Premiership is. How many World Cup games did we see this past month played at the same frenetic pace? Far too few.
- The skill. Whether it was Kalou’s trickery on the right wing, Luis Garcia’s flicks, Bolo Zenden commanding the midfield or excellent saves from Cudicini, the match had plenty of skill on display. Sure, there were patches where it was getting boring, but the majority of the match was played at a very high level.
What did I miss? What were your thoughts watching the Community Shield and your personal highlights?