The summer has whizzed past us, like it always does. Today we have the glorified friendly, the Community Shield. In my mind I haven’t looked at it beyond what it is; a friendly and perhaps an opportunity for fans to grasp at the slim straw of bragging rights going into the season.
Most of you, I’m sure, would recall the shit-hurling contest last year; a nil-nil draw leading to a penalty-shootout and everyone, save for Tevez, were sauntering along trying to feign excitement at the winning goal. Those images are still firmly etched in my mind — don’t ask me why, even I don’t know the answer to that. But it says a lot about how this friendly is viewed by the players. I think.
Ferguson will look to test waters with possibly our first XI — at least for the first half — before he pulls out a couple in view of the most ridiculously timed international friendly in the whole wide universe and of all time. Maybe even before time.
With Brown still recovering from a knock, and Vidic out for a while, it’s possible that Richie de Laet will make another appearance at right back. Rio and Evans will continue in the middle and Evra should take up his customary left back slot. In midfield, I believe Fletcher and Carrick will start, with Valencia on the right and Nani (hopefully) on the left. Up front, we’ll have Rooney and Owen. Thankfully Owen isn’t in Fabio Capello’s England squad for this Holland friendly which is — did I mention? — the most ridiculously timed international friendly in the whole wide universe and of all time.
Chelsea under Ancelotti would be interesting. I was impressed by their performances in pre-season on their US tour. But beyond that, I can’t really say much.
Predictions: I don’t care. I expect a good fluid performance from the side. That is all.
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