Wembley Win Would Give Ancelotti the Psychological Advantage; No Points at Stake but Community Shield Success Can Help Chelsea Stay on Top of Their Main Title Rivals. James Olley Reports

The Evening Standard (London, England), August 6, 2010 | Go to article overview

Wembley Win Would Give Ancelotti the Psychological Advantage; No Points at Stake but Community Shield Success Can Help Chelsea Stay on Top of Their Main Title Rivals. James Olley Reports


Byline: James Olley

SUSTAINING superiority over Manchester United is a feat very few clubs have achieved since the Premier League began but Chelsea have an opportunity this weekend to signal their intent to do precisely that.

Since losing the 2008 Champions League Final in the most agonising of circumstances in Moscow, the Blues have lost only once to United -- and that came in the dying throes of Luiz Felipe Scolari's turbulent regime in January last year.

Last season, Chelsea won the battle and the war with home and away League victories over their nearest rivals on the way to the first Double success in the club's history. It left Sir Alex Ferguson with plenty of time to contemplate the latest pretenders attempting to bring his Old 'When play the pride Trafford dynasty to its knees once and for all.

into it they'll to uphold that' Carlo Ancelotti could have done little more in his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge and his challenge now is to translate a season of domestic success into European glory while maintaining English dominance. Sir Alex Ferguson To do that, Chelsea must keep United suppressed and victory at Wembley on Sunday would provide a timely reminder of exactly who rules the roost on these shores.

The Community Shield represents the metaphorical bridge between the informality of pre-season warm-ups and the fireball intensity of Premier League games.

Despite essentially encompassing little more than a glorified friendly, what gives this match an edge is firstly the setting but, more importantly, the fact it regularly pitches the two most prominent title contenders against one another.

Such is the rivalry created over many years that no label -- Charity, Community or otherwise -- will dampen the desire for one-upmanship.

"Over the years we have treated the game as a barometer for the players' fitness," Ferguson once said of this game. "But when we play Chelsea the players' pride comes into it and they'll want to uphold that."

And so the scene is set. The same two sides contested the Community Shield last year in a surprisingly entertaining encounter which served up four goals, a penalty shoot-out and plenty of contention.

Those in attendance will get their money's worth should Sunday approach anything akin to that, and there is a fair chance of fireworks given the shift in the balance of power over the past 12 months.

we Chelsea players' comes and want A number of beleaguered England players should find solace at Wembley -- although probably not four days later when Hungary are in town -- among the comforts of their clubs.

Frank Lampard, John Terry and Ashley Cole can feel like winners again, safe in the knowledge that whatever the travails in South Africa, they remain pivotal and popular players in Chelsea blue.

The World Cup was in one sense kind to Chelsea, given that none of their players made it to the quarter-final stage and consequently their exertions were not as great as could have been reasonably anticipated.

For United, much once again depends on Wayne Rooney and his reaction to a summer that could have hardly gone worse. Although palpably unfit, Rooney's dismal showing for England -- not one goal and at times he simply lost the ability to control a football -- could not solely be explained by fatigue. …

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