Arsenal’s Community Shield Win Over Man City Is BAD for Its EPL Title Hopes, Says History

  • Arsenal has won the Community Shield four times in the last ten years
  • The last 10 Community Shield winners have an average league finish of 4.8
  • Only once has the Community Shield winner also won the EPL since 2010-11
  • Man City is still a heavy favorite to win the EPL despite the Community shield loss
Arsenal fans
Arsenal won the Community Shield, but that may be a bad omen for their EPL title hopes. [Image:]

A hard-fought result

Arsenal defeated Manchester City in the Community Shield 1-1 (4-1) just a week before the start of the 2023-24 English Premier League (EPL) season. But if the past is any indication, that is not a sign of future success for the Gunners.

have struggled to varying degrees in their domestic campaigns

Recent winners of the Community Shield, which pits the holders of the FA Cup against the EPL champs, have struggled to varying degrees in their domestic campaigns. Arsenal finished second in the EPL last season and is the betting favorite to do so again, but it must now overcome a harrowing precedent.

Let’s take a look at the challenge that awaits the Gunners, and why their Community Shield win may be a net positive for their closest competitors.

Community Shield winners struggle in the EPL

Arsenal was only five points behind City in the league last season and sat atop the table through Match Week 33. They equaled their highest-ever win total (26) and are +500 to win the league, behind only City (-140).

Last year, Liverpool defeated City 3-1. The Reds then went on to finish fifth and outside of Champions League qualification for the first time since the 2015-16 season. The year before, Leicester City beat Man City 1-0 but ended the year eighth after finishing fifth for two straight seasons. 

the only time in the past six seasons that it did not claim the title

Leicester was only following the footsteps of Arsenal the year before when it beat Liverpool on penalties but ended the season eighth in the table. And in 2019, Man City won the Community Shield but lost the league to Liverpool, marking the only time in the past six seasons that it did not claim the title.

2018 is the only recent “normal” year, one in which Man City won the Community Shield and the EPL with 98 points (ahead of Liverpool’s 97). In 2017, Arsenal won the Community Shield over then-league champions Chelsea but only managed a sixth-place finish in the league.

2016 Community Shield winners Manchester United also finished sixth. That was still less devastating than the fate that met the 2015 winners, Arsenal, who finished second to the league’s largest underdog winner ever, Leicester City. The Foxes opened the year at 5000-1 to win the title, but managed to do just that.

Yet another great upset that came at the expense of the Community Shield winners happened in 2011-12 when Manchester City scored twice in stoppage time against QPR on the final day of the season to equal Manchester United’s points total and win their first-ever league title on goal difference.

Fighting against history

The Community Shield winner has gone on to win the league title just once since the 2010-11 campaign. The winners also have an average finishing position of just 4.8 in the league table over the past ten seasons, including an average of seventh over the past three seasons. 

Arsenal, notably, has won the Community Shield four times in the past ten years (five including last weekend’s triumph). They have finished second, third, sixth, and eighth in those seasons, and (obviously) have not been able to win their first league title since 2003-04.

modern history is not on the side of the Gunners

Clearly, modern history is not on the side of the Gunners. But does that mean they are completely doomed, or are they still alive with a chance at the title in 2023-24?

The Gunners exceeded expectations with their second-place finish last season, but they also set a very unfortunate record by becoming the first team to have as many points as they did (43) on New Year’s Day and not win the title that season.

Mikel Arteta has already spent €231.6m ($253.8m) on transfers for Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, and Jurriën Timber this summer to help push his squad over the top. City, meanwhile, lost Riyad Mahrez and İlkay Gündoğan but signed Joško Gvardiol and Mateo Kovačić to help sustain its title ambitions.

According to FanDuel sportsbook, Liverpool (+650), Manchester United (+900), Chelsea (+1600), and Newcastle (+1800) are the teams next in line for a shot at the title if neither City nor Arsenal wins the EPL.

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