The significance of the Community Shield is debated ad infinitum on an annual basis as the season gets underway.
As a barometer for success in the upcoming season, it is not significant at all. Ten of the last eleven Community Shield winners have not gone on to win the Premier League.
Manchester City lost the Community Shield last year and finished the season as treble winners. It is a friendly game of little importance. Nobody told Arsenal that, though.
Arsenal celebrated their penalty shootout win over Manchester City on Sunday vociferously. To them it was important.
Arsenal led the league for 248 days last season before eventually losing out to Manchester City. If they had won one or both of their league games against City, they may be champions now.
The truth is Arsenal were cowed by City in their games against them last year. Particularly in the 4 – 1 result in Manchester when they didn’t compete.
Sunday’s showpiece may have been just that – a showpiece – but it was a nationally televised game at Wembley. Against the best team in the world no less. Arsenal needed to prove they could match City and they did that.
Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale says the team no longer has a ‘mental block’ about playing against Guardiola’s team.
“It’s a marker to know we can go and beat Man City in a big game when it matters, he said.
“I’m not sure what it will be like this season but that mental block is gone. We’re ready to push on now.
“We’ve been working hard for two years,” he told ITV. “We haven’t had luck, which was probably needed in previous seasons. We’ve stuck at it. It’s worked today.”