The FA Community Shield

Pellegrini: Community Shield win would be 'ideal'

Thursday 07 Aug 2014
Manuel Pellegrini hopes City can carry on where they left off last season

Manuel Pellegrini has put out a rallying cry to his players ahead of Sunday’s FA Community Shield supported by McDonald's at Wembley. 

The Manchester City boss has called on his side to start the season as they mean to go on after witnessing a sluggish opening to the last campaign. 

The Citizens had to wait until October for their first away victory in the League last term leaving Pellegrini’s men five points adrift of the leaders after two months of the season. 

Arsenal v Manchester City

The FA Community Shield supported by McDonald's
3pm, Sunday 10 August 2014
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
Live on BT Sport

City over turned that deficit impressively as they went on to win their second title in three years but, nonetheless, their boss will not accept giving their competitors a head start again this season. 

And on Sunday they meet fellow Premier League hopefuls and FA Cup holders Arsenal under the Arch in the campaign's curtain-raiser. 

“We want to start the season much better than we did last year,” said Pellegrini. “We started poorly away from home and it took us time to repair the damage done by dropping so many points early on.

"Winning The FA Community Shield would be the ideal start to the campaign.” 

City’s opponents on Sunday will, of course, have aspirations of their own. 

After ending a nine year wait for a trophy in May, the Gunners will be looking to build on that success starting this weekend. 

Manchester City win the Premier League

Manchester City lift the Premier League title

And, after seeing Arsene Wenger splash the cash this summer, Pellegrini believes Arsenal will be a force to be reckoned with both on Sunday and over the course of the coming season. 

“We had two very good games against them last season, winning one and drawing the other and, each time, they were very difficult but very different games,” the City boss reflected. 

“Arsenal have brought in some new players, as have we, and just like last season, I expect both teams to be among five or six sides challenging for the Premier League title.

“We are happy that we will start our season with a game at Wembley Stadium and against a team as strong as Arsenal.“

You can read the full interview with Arsene Wenger in the official FA Community Shield matchday programme, which is available to buy at Wembley on Sunday.

By FA Staff