While the season doesn’t officially start until next week, we were treated to a nice footballing starter on Sunday, as Manchester City faced Arsenal in the Community Shield at Wembley. In truth, it was a fairly one-sided contest, with Arsenal emerging as 3-0 winners at the end of 90 minutes.
Although this was not much more than a friendly, there were still a number of intriguing conclusions that were evident in the 90 minutes. So without further ado, here are five thoughts about the Community Shield clash:
Arsenal are contenders
Well, like, duh. Despite their FA Cup win last season, the last nine years have been pretty lean for the Gunners, but things look a bit different this time around.
Arsene Wenger’s side were by far the better team and thoroughly deserved their second trophy in four months, but this was more than just a one-off game. Arsenal looked hungry, energetic and dangerous; and with some seriously quality available to Wenger, his side could pull up a few trees this season.
City have got some work to do
I wrote last week that City really need to get on with improving their side, and this point was illustrated perfectly by the clash at Wembley. City were a distant second-best, and aside from Stevan Jovetic, they failed to impress. It is easy to forget that City are quite new to this ‘being really good at football’ thing, but one would have thought that the Citizens would have learnt from their 2012-13 season, when they failed to strengthen and ended up a distant second.
If City want to stay ahead of the game, they need to spend some money. The team they had out on the field was a very, very good team, but Arsenal highlighted the lift that new signings can give a dressing room.
Olivier Giroud’s not just a pretty face
It’s quite easy to dismiss Giroud as being a pretty average striker, but on Sunday he showcased his talent quite brilliantly. He took his goal beautifully, and more than it being the icing on the cake for the Gunners, it was an indication that the Frenchman may well be able to cope with the increased expectation that comes with being the Arsenal centre forward.
The striker had a decent campaign last season, but he’ll be hoping that he can be more consistent this time around as Arsenal have a proper crack at the title.
Alexis Sanchez could be the new star
The Chilean winger enjoyed a great first Wembley outing in his 45 minutes, and showed glimpses of the stupendous ability that could well make him one of the Premier League’s biggest stars this season.
His pace down the right and his ability on the ball is sure to bamboozle defenders in England this season, and his classy style of play is certain to be a hit with the fans who like to see players running with the ball. I’m really looking forward to seeing him link up with Ozil.
Football’s great, isn’t it?
We might have only had to wait a month between the World Cup and the start of the new season, but that’s long enough, isn’t it?!
The clash between the Gunners and the Citizens showed just a glimpse of the excitement we have in store for us over the next few months – let the games begin!
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