by Nia Griffiths

Ahead of our Community Shield match against Chelsea on Sunday, Arsene Wenger once again spoke about the importance of a good pre-season in terms of preparation and confidence.

The game against Chelsea also gives us a chance to face Premier League opposition. Although we faced Everton in the Barclays Asia Trophy in Singapore, which we won 3-1, with all due respect, Chelsea will be one of our main rivals next season. Seeing how we fare against them now can help us better prepare for the league and let us know what we need to do if we’re not ready.

We had a good preparation and a good preparation brings confidence,” Wenger said. “Of course confidence is important but competition demands performance. It’s a good basis to have a good confidence level in the preparation.”

He continued, “If you have the choice, when you prepare a team you want a good pre-season. It doesn’t give you a guarantee that you start strong in the competition but it’s still better for the confidence and the belief of the group. Then, when it comes down to points, you add that little bit of extra commitment that is demanded in games.”

Last season, we lost 2-0 at Stamford Bridge and drew 0-0 at home. We didn’t have the luxury (if you could call it that) of facing them ahead of last season but this time we can learn from whatever the game results in.

Wenger added,  “Let’s not forget that Chelsea won the Premier League with a comfortable distance last year, so we have to make our way up.

“There was still a gap between them and the others but the desire is to improve and to move up there to fight for the championship. We know that many teams will be in that position. Let’s start well and try to give our best.”

During last season’s Community Shield, we beat Manchester City 3-0 and went on to beat them 2-0 at the Etihad. Let’s hope for a similar display this pre-season.