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Community Shield Beckons

Feel the Shield

In my mind, the Community Shield (previously known as the Charity Shield) was always a big deal for me. The winner of the FA Cup against the winner of the Premier League (formerly First Division). It had to be a massive exciting game, right? But year after year, it felt liked the jilted bride was left at the altar as the games hardly ever lived up to its promises.

Nowadays, I don’t get as excited by the final as I used to, but I still look forward to the match in the hope that it may be entertaining. But more often than not, I end up watching the match to study any tactical changes the teams have made during the preseason or to watch how new signings perform on the pitch.

In the last two Community Shield finals, Manchester United won after penalties (yawn). Prior to that, most of the scorelines ended 2-1 except for a few exceptions. In fact, the last scoreline that made the viewer’s pulse race was 17 years ago when Leeds United (remember them?) defeated Liverpool 4-3 after Eric Cantona scored a hat-trick for the Elland Road club.

This Sunday, we’ll see Chelsea face Manchester United in the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium. For the first game in the United States, the game will be televised live on both Setanta Sports and Fox Soccer Channel at 10am ET.

Many of the readers to EPL Talk will have seen Chelsea play during their US tour. To me, the Chelsea side looked incredibly impressive and played with much more pace and passion than they have in years. I haven’t had an opportunity to watch Manchester United this summer, so it’ll be interesting to see how they match up against Chelsea on Sunday. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sir Alex Ferguson uses the opportunity to give more of his B-players a run out on the pitch rather than risk injuring some of his key A-players for a relatively meaningless final.

What are your thoughts about this Sunday’s final and your memories and experiences of watching the Community Shield? Click the comments link below to share your feedback.

Image courtesy of Coachie Ballgames.

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  1. United Amanda

    August 8, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    I’ve already blogged about this today – but I definitely think we’ll get a change to see Owen, Valencia, and Obertan all on the pitch at some point. I doubt Obertan will be more than a late sub but it’ll be good to see how it all comes together with ALL of the new signings. And a good shot to see Foster in goal – I really think he should be the best successor to VDS.

  2. coachie ballgames

    August 8, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    @eplnfl, fair point, the big-time summer tours have probably taken the shine off of the shield.

    @mk fair points as well. however, as you said Essien is amazing, and he is fully fit. and Drogba seems completely rejuvenated, and if he is on form, Chelski will be a terror.

  3. eplnfl

    August 7, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Less of a buzz this year about the game in recent years. Anybody have a thought on why. Have big time pre-season friendlies or internatioanl competitions all summer stolen away a lot of the importance of the game. It’s far from the first match in a long time nowadays.

  4. mk

    August 7, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    are u frikkin kidding me?the chelsea squad looking better than in previous years?
    1stly: they basically have the same squad as in the last seasons, only difference being that theyve aged 2 years in that time.
    2ndly: they have a manager inexperienced to the epl style, used to the rather slow italian game and trying to play the diamond in midfield!diamond leaves u open to counters and mainly works if youre dominating
    3rdly: whos the best team in the league when it comes to counters?

    did u even watch utd in preseason? chelsea shouldnt be too confident after preseason, playing mostly italian sides in the us may have given them the wrong impression on what theyre capable of. the question is will they be able to amount against english sides.
    essien is an animal though, only player im really worried abt.
    i agree on the charity shield being a lame competition and i also agree that fergie may play quite some second string players. its still a prestige match against,so rest assured, utd will be out there givving it a hundred and ten!

    • United Amanda

      August 8, 2009 at 10:14 pm

      I saw Chelski in Baltimore and I thought their defense was shoddy to be quite honest. While tomorrow is little more than exhibition and United is short VDS and Vidic I think that they will have the upper hand. And after Owen was left off the England squad for next week he’ll want a good showing – Rooney as well. This is HIS chance to be out of Ronnie’s shadow and he’ll want to start off strong.

    • Tyson

      August 9, 2009 at 7:20 am

      Judging off the pre-season friendlies you are correct an on form Manchester United would tear Chelsea apart at the seams also taking into consideration their pre-season friendlies.

      I’m just not sure how seriously United will be taking this. We have our title to defend and players injured while they need a morale boost so it’s not as big a deal for us as it is for them.

  5. coachie

    August 7, 2009 at 11:59 am

    the game is always a bit of a letdown, but now that it’s back at Wembley i feel like the game has regained a bit of its luster.

  6. Jables

    August 7, 2009 at 11:04 am

    I agree with Tyson. After last year’s results versus Manure, Chelsea needs a huge confidence boost to start the season. If we’re up a goal at half, I wouldn’t be surprised to see cameos from Zhirkov and Sturridge, though.

    Schevchenko LOL.

  7. Tyson

    August 7, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Ancelotti will probably be trying to shore up the confidence of his players with this match so I can see him going balls to the wall with this one.

    United on the other hand have no choice but to play players that would usually be on the bench as we have a few injuries including Van Der Sar and Vidic.

  8. Simon Burke

    August 7, 2009 at 9:39 am

    To be fair Pompey were in it last year..

  9. Simon Burke

    August 7, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Ugh, it used to be you’d get a lesser known team on occasion – but lately its just been a combination of the big 4, or even a big 3 now as Arsenal havent really featured. I’ll probably watch but I am more interested in Newcastle v West Brom in truth.

  10. Paul (No1Fan)

    August 7, 2009 at 9:24 am

    I agree, it’s always a bit of a damp squib and a bit ill tempered.
    Perhaps this year it will be taken more seriously as the winning team will have a psychological advantage going in to the new season.

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