Community Shield: Should Chelsea and Arsenal fans be bothered? Here's what history tells us

 
Joe Hall
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Arsenal are bidding for back-to-back Community Shield wins (Source: Getty)

Arsenal and Chelsea fans should keep their emotions in check when watching this year's Community Shield - history shows the result has no sway on the final outcome of the final Premier League table.

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Of course, the chance to beat a London rival at Wembley is not a bad way to start your season, yet a historical analysis reveals winning English football's curtain-raising event has little short or long term impact on a team's league performance.

FA Cup winners and Community Shield holders Arsenal smashed Manchester City 3-0 in last season's fixture but come the season's end trailed them by four points in third position in the league.

The average league position achieved by Community Shield winners in the Premier League era works out at 2.52 (rounded up to 3rd) - marginally better than the average runners-up position of 3.14.

On seven occasions the Premier League has been won by Community Shield winners - just once more than the number of champions who lost in the season-starting fixture.

Nine winners have finished second and three have finished third. While six runners-up have also finished second best in the Premier League, three have finished third and four have come fourth.

So in 59.1 per cent of seasons the Premier League has been won by a team that has competed in the fixture - but there is little difference between winners (31.8 per cent) and runners up (27.3 per cent).

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Of the 46 teams to have played in the Community/Charity Shield in the Premier League era, only eight have failed to make the following season's top four - four winners and four runners-up.

The Community Shield is followed by just under a month of further opportunity to make transfers (plus another four weeks in January) as well as 38 games to either find or lose their form, so it's no surprise to learn that a team's performance in August may not be particularly indicative of where they'll finish in May.

Yet there are also little short-term conclusions to be made from the result of the game.

After the first five games of the Premier League season, the winners of that year's community shield average 10.5 points per game. The average for runners-up? 10.05 points.

On average, both winners and runners up of the game have been fifth in the league after the opening five fixtures.

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