Like a bad B movie, the Community Shield is the sort of game that everyone remembers for two minutes before forgetting for the rest of their life. The football equivalent of flat warm lager, we place as much importance on the game as a hungry dog does a rubber bone.
While CFCnet remembers every kick of the ball at Bolton’s Reebok in May 2005, we had to do an internet search to even remember August 2005’s Community Shield opponents. Arsenal in Cardiff as it happens. That sort of sums it up.
While Sunday’s game bore no relation to the 3-1 scoreline, we saw enough to remain confident that once the Premier League season commences in earnest, we’re going to be a formidable force.Ancelotti has spruced up the team enough to give it a new edge and with Essien, Ramires (hopefully), Lampard and Malouda we’ll have a midfield as good as any in the world.
It’s not us either. In Sunday’s papers, Milan’s Andrea Pirlo stated that Chelsea were Europe’s leading team for the coming season while Kaka came out to add that the addition of Ramires, the world’s best young midfielder in his eyes, could make Chelsea almost invincible.
We’re not so sure – ask us in November – but with Essien back as one of the world’s truly great midfield enforcers it’s like we’ve purchased a brand new midfield general, and Ramires and Benayoun will freshen up the team enough to give us a few more options.
As for the Community Shield, the use of 10 substitutions was an indicator of how both teams viewed the match – a 90-minute fitness run out.It was also a classic example of how not to set up a team to play United.
A few years ago Jose Mourinho was asked the question, ‘Do you think Man Utd are a great attacking team?’ Jose uttered the infamous reply, ‘Man Utd aren’t a great attacking team, they’re a great counter-attacking team. ‘In that single reply lay Jose’s tactical genius. He never gave Man Utd the opportunity to counter-attack and during Jose’s reign Ferguson beat Chelsea only once.
Yesterday United counter-attacked twice and scored twice. Hopefully that will give Carlo food for thought when we come up against the Mancs in December.
Overall we’ve got few complaints and while it’s never pleasant to lose, whatever the context, parading our Double winners shirts was enough to make the day enjoyable regardless of the result.
Our only real grievance, apart from some goofy Kalou footwork in the penalty area and a few misplaced Mikel passes, was that Hernandez’s six yard shot wasn’t hit with far, far more venom as it cannoned off his boot into his face. He should have put his foot through the ball or ‘leathered it’.
Looking ahead, CFCnet is relishing the forthcoming season. Probably one of the last ever to retain the immortal Cech, Terry, Lampard, Drogba axis, we’re going to squeeze every last drop of enjoyment from watching the best ever team in Chelsea’s 105-year history.
Let battle commence.