Played before the beginning of each English soccer season between the reigning Premier League and FA Cup winners, the Community Shield is nothing more than a glorified friendly.
With many of the top players rested by both sides, it isn’t much of an indicator of what’s to come for the next 10 months of Premier League play.
But for Arsenal, who ended a nearly decade long trophy drought last year with a win in the FA Cup, this years Community Shield could be a springboard to bigger and better things for the London side.
“Today was good preparation,” Arsene Wenger told the media in attendance following the match. “It was important to win today and now we focus on a very different game next week.
“It was important for our confidence to win the game, we also had a quality performance and that is comforting for me.”
A 3-0 win against Manchester City, with goals from Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey in the first half and a second half stunner by Olivier Giroud, saw the Gunners claim their first Community Shield since 2004.
Since the season of “The Invincibles” when Arsenal went undefeated through the entire 38-match campaign, an alarming trend has repeated itself for the Gunners.
Typically a strong start to the season where Arsenal will spend a few weeks on top of the table, followed by a mid-winter collapse and a third of fourth place finish.
Part of this has to be attributed to the advent of two new serious challengers for the title, in super rich clubs Chelsea and Manchester City. Another big factor has been the construction of the Emirates Stadium, and the debt that came with that.
But now, with the debts paid off, and big name signings coming into the club once again, Arsenal will have no one to blame but themselves for a failure this upcoming season.
Players like Mesut Ozil last summer, and Alexis Sanchez this year, have signaled a potentially new era for the Gunners, who have again become a destination for the worlds best players.
Wenger is aware that his side is stronger than it has been in seasons past, with numerous attacking options to look to during the season.
“I have more attacking options than I had for a long time, that’s for sure,” Wenger said. “We are a strong squad.”
The FA Cup last year could have been a fluke, a one-off against a mid-table Premier League side. But the Community Shield might be the more important of the two trophies, despite its historical irrelevance.
It isn’t a victory that will be remembered 10 years from now. What it is, is a warning to the Manchester City’s, the Chelsea’s and the Manchester United’s of the world. A warning that Arsenal is back and ready to challenge for the title again for the next few seasons.
Or, as we all know is possible for Arsenal, the win means nothing and is just a smokescreen to hide the mediocrity of the club for another season.
Either way, for now Arsene Wenger stands on the precipice of a turning point in his career. Whether he takes advantage or not remains to be seen.