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Community Shield about fitness, not result + interesting coaching appointments

Under normal circumstances, I’m sure Mikel Arteta would have preferred his pre-season preparations to be a bit more low key than having to play Liverpool at Wembley. In as much as anything can be low-key these days. However, it’s the price of success to an extent – we’re here because we won the FA Cup a few short weeks ago, and if that’s the trade-off, so be it.

In terms of today’s team, the performance, the result, the outcome, here’s where I am with it:

Asked about the physical readiness of his players during his press conference on Thursday, Mikel Arteta laughed and said ‘We’ve had two training sessions!’. I know that because of the way last season ended, and the short break we’ve had since then, they might not have lost as much fitness as you’d expect during a more traditional summer, but I still think this a game we have to put in its own little box. A box marked ‘Who really cares?’.

I know there will be people poring over every aspect of it, but it really does not matter one bit. For me, the physical side of this is the only thing that’s important, it’s a training exercise and it will help build match fitness ahead of our Premier League…