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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
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4 reasons we can't wait for the Community Shield

The first silverware of the new English season is up for grabs today, and we’re stoked about it.

Image: Martin Rickett/PA Archive/Press Association Images

WHETHER YOU CONSIDER today’s show-piece at Wembley a meaningless friendly or the curtain-raiser to a potentially epic season, the annual  meeting of Premier League and FA Cup champions is something most football-deprived football fans eagerly await each year.

The Community Shield may have no tangible bearing in the year ahead, but it’s an event which is capable of setting the season’s tone for the teams involved.

This afternoon, Manchester United meet relegated Wigan. A mismatch? Maybe.

Interesting? Absolutely.

Here’s why.

New gaffers

We’re sure new Wigan manager Owen Coyle will have nothing short of a warm, meaningful embrace for his opposite number. After all, it was Moyes’ departure to Old Trafford which set the managerial roundabout in motion and allowed him take over from Roberto Martinez.

Nigel French/EMPICS Sport

The absence of new signings and the continuing saga surrounding Wayne Rooney  has made this a difficult opening two months of David Moyes’ tenure. He will be only too aware that he needs results on the field to win over fans and potential transfer targets alike.

Tactical switches

Unless you are an avid viewer of pre-season friendlies, this will be the first opportunity for many to view both clubs at the beginning of a new era.

While Coyle was selected for his affinity to the Latics’ brand of passing football – a brand he will likely dilute slightly for the rough and tumble of Championship – Moyes has often had to cut his cloth to suit the personnel at Everton and his fans will be keen to see what pattern he has laid down this term.

Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

Moyes has endured a mixed pre-season to date and has presided over a notable shift to a more direct style, particularly in terms of switching the play from wing to wing. But friendlies in Asia are one thing, how they act under the TV cameras in London will be far more telling.

New blood

Every team begins a season with an immense (often irrational) sense of hope and the influx of new talent is often the reason.

Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Image

While much of Manchester United’s summer has been dogged by names who they can’t quite close the deal on or one who wants out, Alex Ferguson’s final signing Wilfried Zaha is expected to start and, having impressed for Crystal Palace under the arch already, will be expected to hit the ground running for his new club.

Wigan have their own mercurial left footed attacker to look forward to. The DW Faithful  will have their gaze trained upon James McClean and whether he can settle and rekindle the promise of his first year in England.

Rooney James McCarthy watch

Until yesterday evening’s announcement that he would be left out of the squad due to a shoulder injury, a handful of Sky cameramen will have one brief and one brief only in the opening 10 minutes; ‘Find Wayne Rooney’.

Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Thankfully for the rest of us, the boy Wazza is now not expected to partake of the extensive Wembley hospitality. With the cameras trained on the actual field of play, James McCarthy will have more time in the shop window against top rank opposition. Hopefully, for Ireland’s sake, he can play his way out of the Championship before the transfer window shuts.

Join TheScore.ie’s Premier League Fantasy Football League using this code: 800052-191374

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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