Finally, football is back! After waiting for what seemed like a summer break that would never end, the new Premier League season was ushered in by the Community Shield game between Arsenal and Chelsea.
We don’t mean to say that football was totally non-existent during this break. We had the Confederations Cup to deal with. Then there were the several FIFA tournaments. After that came the pre-season friendlies; all of which most football fans were enduring while they awaited the return of the “messiah” (European football).
Being the replay of last season’s FA Cup final was one of the many reasons why fans anticipated the clash between the Gunners and the Blues in the FA Community Shield. With new signings here and there, managers seeking early bragging rights and, of course, no love lost, Arsene Wenger and Antonio Conte contested the season’s first piece of silverware.
In the end, both teams needed penalties to be separated from each other as Victor Moses’ goal was cancelled out by a header from Kolasinac. Arsenal then went on to win the game by a 4-1 score line. As we look forward to the new season – with Arsenal taking on Leicester in the first game of the season – we reflect on events that happened in the Community Shield.
- Mixed tales for the new kids
As a newbie in any Premier League club, it’s expected that you find things difficult – except you’re a certain Gabriel Jesus who can prove that theory wrong. On Sunday, while some players enjoyed the day, for some others, it was a start they’d like to forget in a hurry.
For Kolasinac, it was a day to remember for a long time. After coming on in the 32nd minute to replace the injured Per Mertesacker, he slotted in comfortably into the Arsenal, delivered an amazing performance and capped it by scoring the equalizing goal of the game.
For the most part, Lacazette went anonymous during the game. That cutting edge he was signed for was missing and the physical aspect of his game looked like it needed help. Yes, it’s the first game of the season but isn’t it the perfect time to stamp your mark as a new player?
Alvaro Morata came into the game as a substitute and disappeared as fast as he came on. No joke. Aerially, he played like he needed help. Ball control? Zero. His back was always to the goal and the only time he got into the 18-yard box, he nodded wide. To cap it all, he missed his penalty kick, handing the advantage to the Gunners.
Is this a sign of what’s to come this season? Will names like Bernado Silva and Bakayoko find life hard in the Premier League?
- The ABBA
This new penalty-shootout system was first tried in the FIFA U-17, with Germany’s U-17 women becoming the first team to win ABBA penalty. The same system – which sees Team A take the first spot kick, Team B the second and the third of the shoot-out before Team A takes their second penalty, the fourth of the shoot-out – was utilized as the game went on to penalties.
While it decided a major British game for the first time, it drew a lot of criticisms from legends in the world of football. Steven Gerard, as a match commentator, said about the system:
“I liked the format that we already had. It was very exciting, it was tense. It (ABBA) does change the advantage, if you like. If you miss that first penalty – which is the advantage if you score it – and the other team scores their first two then 2-0 is a big advantage to the second team.”
While the complaints are all over social media, fans of English football can look forward to seeing more of it:
- Chelsea is running on ice
Looking at the Chelsea bench on the day, it was kind of hard to understand Conte’s possible options going into the game. And to think that the club’s got a thousand and one players out on loan makes it even more baffling.
Conte may need to buy even more players before the summer transfer window slams shut as the team he currently has – a team lacking game-changing players on its bench – looked as good as thin on the day.
What other thing did we learn?
Arsenal must love the Wembley Stadium, and even more controversial calls will be made by referees (that’s not concluding that the Pedro red wasn’t worth it). Next stop? The Premier League season MatchDay 1. You can click here to make your predictions and earn yourself some cool cash.
P.S: Which team do you think will finish above the other in the 2017/2018 Premier League season: Arsenal or Chelsea? Share your thoughts with us by leaving us a comment.