A Good One to Lose

by Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (August 10th 2014)


The hunt for trophies begins this afternoon. Arsenal’s long wait for silverware ended here three months ago at Hull City’s expense. Arsène Wenger immediately announced that he would stay. Having broken the bank last year to sign the then future World Cup winner Mesut Özil, Wenger’s marquee signing for the coming season – to date – has been Chilean World Cup star Alexis Sánchez from Barçelona. Belgium’s Thomas Vermaellen has gone in the other direction.

Arsenal’s thrifty transfer activity has been consigned to the past, although Wenger’s bargain radar has not malfunctioned totally. Arsenal secured the services of 25-year-old Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina from OGC Nice for an undisclosed figure, believed to be £3.2m – a steal. Wenger proved that sentimentality had no place by declining the option to resign former captain Cesc Fàbregas.

With three weeks of the transfer window remaining Arsenal still have time to bring others in, but so do others. A dismal defence of their Premiership title cost Roberto Mancini his job last year. Manchester City’s Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini has strengthened his squad too. Fernando will play in the Community Shield this afternoon.

The Curse

Both Wenger and Pellegrini will want to win – a trophy is at stake, but this has proved a good trophy to lose for the last two seasons. In 2012 Roberto Mancini got Manchester City’s season off to a flying start by winning the Community Shield. It was the only trophy he won that season. Having fallen below expectations Mancini was unceremoniously sacked.

Last year David Moyes’ season got off to a flying start winning the Community Shield with Manchester United – his first and only trophy to date. A nightmare season saw the defending champions finish not only out of the Champion’s League places, but they also failed to qualify for Europe as well. It cost Moyes his dream job. This evening’s losing manager has at least the scant consolation of having avoided the poisoned chalice of winning the Community Shield.


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