Stopping Manchester City’s dominance seems a thankless task but considering the current quality of the Arsenal squad, as well as the long season endured by Pep Guardiola’s side, next season could the ideal opportunity.
It seems right now that Arsenal are Manchester City’s nearest competitor for the title next season. Liverpool are in the middle of a rebuild, Manchester United are awaiting a takeover before they can get going with signings, Spurs are Spurs and Chelsea need to move players on.
Couple that with the current average age of the squad, and the potential of Declan Rice and Kai Havertz coming through the door, next season could be the year.
Why is the Community Shield important?
Whilst the Community Shield isn’t taken overly seriously by many surrounding football, it could prove to be the necessary catalyst for Mikel Arteta to mount his title challenge.
Manchester City’s season lasted two weeks longer than everyone else’s and with Arsenal’s title challenge virtually over weeks before it was mathematically over, planning for the 2023/24 campaign will have long been in place.
Looking at last season, Arsenal’s first game against Manchester City didn’t come until the second half of the season in the FA Cup fourth round.
Guardiola got the better of Arteta on three separate occasions with Arsenal managing just two goals in the three games compared to the eight scored by the Citizens.
The Community Shield fixture on the 6th August could be the ideal chance for Arteta to land the first glove on his former side and give the Gunners the belief they need that they can bear Manchester City which should feed into the belief of pushing for the title.
How have previous Community Shield winners fared?
The last winner of the Community Shield to go on to win the Premier League was Manchester City in the 2018/19 season.
Whilst the omen of the winner in the previous four years has failed to win the Premier League title, the fixture against City holds much more importance than the trophy itself.
Considering the potential of key players like Riyad Mahrez, Kyle Walker, and Ilkay Gundogan leaving in the summer as well as the absence of Kevin De Bruyne following his hamstring injury, this could be Arsenal’s best chance of winning the title.
But getting the Community Shield in the bag is the perfect chance to throw their hat in the ring once again.