With the Community Shield coming up this weekend I thought we could take a look at what winning that particular trophy means to United in recent history. The Community Shield started in 1908-09 and 20 years later it was established that the winner of the FA Cup would player the winner of the League for the Charity Shield, as it was known then, at the beginning of the next season. Manchester United have won the most Shields with 17. We also won the first Charity Shield in a replay, imagine that, thanks to a Sandy Turnbull hat trick. The game is basically a way for the FA to bilk money out of fans in order to channel it to charity. Now I am in no way saying giving money to charity is a bad thing but let's be honest the English FA has more than enough money to give to charity without first getting it out of the pockets of the fans with a meaningless pre-season friendly. Rant over.
Our recent Community Shield history after the jump......
In 1998 we lost to Arsenal 3-0 and went on to win the Treble. We lost again in 1999 to Arsenal (playing in the game by virtue of finishing runners up in the league) and in 2000 when Chelsea beat us 2-0. We went on to lift the title later those seasons in all three of those seasons. We also lost in 2001 to Liverpool and ended that season in third ten points adrift of double winners Arsenal.
But in recent times it's been a bit different. We lifted the trophy in 2007 against Chelsea and 2008 against Pompey, both years needing penalties to do so, on the way to also winning the Premier League. And then we lost last season's Community Shield to eventual league winners Chelsea. So recent history suggests a win this weekend will be a good omen for the up-coming season.
So the evidence suggests that it doesn't really matter who wins the Shield as it is basically a pre-season friendly between two premiership teams. The only thing a win is really good for is some confidence and momentum heading into the season. But if we are looking for some positive karma heading into our first league match with Newcastle on Monday then a win might just help.
It should also be noted that the last 3 seasons after a World Cup have resulted in titles for United. After France 1998 we went on to win the Treble. After the 2002 World Cup Ruud Van Nistelrooy inspired United to overcome an 8 point deficit to Arsenal in March. And after the World Cup in Germany, despite the media's best efforts, Rooney and Ronaldo lifted the Reds back to the top of the Summit. It seems to me that Sir Alex knows just how much rest to give his World Cup players and when to give it to them.