Community Shield Curse: Why The Last Decade Proves Winning It Is A BAD Thing

Arsenal were celebrating on Sunday...
10:00, 10 Aug 2023

Arsenal’s Community Shield penalty shootout win over Manchester City felt fairly significant. It was the first, albeit not major, blow Mikel Arteta has been able to land on his former boss and it gives them a fair amount of momentum as the dawn of the new season looms. But is the winner of the Community Shield actually set for a successful season? 

In fact, the complete opposite is true, so beware Arsenal. 

Out of the last ten winners, only Manchester City in 2018/19 have won both the Community Shield and the Premier League title. Last summer Erling Haaland was mocked for his permanence at the Wembley curtain-raiser, and we all know how his season panned out. But City, despite dominating in the Premier League over the past three years, haven’t won any Community Shields in that time. It’s clearly just another pre-season test in the eyes of Pep Guardiola, but what is perhaps more intriguing is the drop off the winners experience. 


Last season Liverpool beat City at Wembley off the back of competing for the quadruple. Many thought it was a statement that they would be back stronger and competing on all fronts. They finished 5th in the Premier League and trophyless.

Before them came Leicester City, the FA Cup winners who were competing for Champions League football at the time. After their success, they finished 8th, before being relegated to the Championship the following year.

How about the last time Arsenal won it? At the start of the 2020/21 season, hope was high that Arteta’s FA Cup winners could build on the silverware and finish in the top four. They finished 8th, and Arteta’s job was very much on the line. However, they trusted in the process and are now reaping the rewards. 


Even Man City suffered from this curse in the Covid-19 hit season as they won the Community Shield, before losing the PL title to Liverpool. It isn't just the fact that they Community Shied runner-up doesn’t win the Premier League title however, they generally have poor seasons and finish outside the top four. 

The average league position across the last ten seasons for the Community Shield winner is 5th, and remarkably on six of those ten occasions teams have finished outside of the Champions League places. Winning the Community Shield appears to be the falsest of all dawns. 

All the hope and optimism of pre-season condensed into a meaningless trophy that fans celebrate. The belief the win gives a team is remarkable, but perhaps it’s that misplaced confidence that comes back to bite them when the grim reality of the Premier League season kicks in. 

Arsenal fans are allowed to dream. It’s what pre-season is all about. But thinking they will win the title having won a penalty shootout after a late deflection against Man City may leave them feeling sheepish come May. Or, perhaps Arteta puts this Community Shield curse to bed once and for all. 

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