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Arsenal Community Shield Preview: The 10-10-80 Rule

Chelsea v Arsenal - FA Community Shield

Am stating the obvious in observing that today’s Community Shield match is the official opener to the 2017-18 season. To be frank it is nothing more than a glorified friendly with no more at stake than pride and a fancy trophy.

Looking back over the last 20 years, the last team to win both the Community Shield and the Premier League was Manchester United in 2008.  Five years later, United fans may have left the new Wembley cock-a-hoop, after beating the mighty Wigan City to mark the start of the David Moyes era. But there was to be an ignominious PL season by their standards, coming 7th and having to abort the era just after it got started.

Bragging Rights

Arsenal may have bit more to brag about. In 2014 the Gunners thrashed City 3:0 in the Shield but was up to its neck in a dog fight with United for an automatic champion’s league place by May 2015.  The following year, for the first time, Arsene Wenger had a competitive victory over Mourinho at Wembley, only for Leicester City to rise from nowhere and snatch the title away from the big boys, Arsenal finishing a relatively distant second place.

While Arsenal may have scored an enormous moral victory in its last two appearances in the Shield, none but the most cock-eyed fan can count the trophy as anything more than a consolation prize for a failed PL campaign.

Given the Shield is just a preliminary battle in the PL war, Wenger and his coaches, just like Conte and his team, will see the game as an important measure of where their teams are in preparation for next week’s season opener. The results will be important but secondary. Unfortunately, that steely-eyed unemotional appraisal of the professionals will be absent from most fans of both clubs. I can already envisage banners being waved in Wembley by supporters of either club trying to win the pissing contest of who is the greatest club in London.

This takes me to the point of today’s blog. How prepared are Arsenal fans for this campaign? For the first time in 21 years the club cannot count itself as among the top-four campaigning for both the PL and Champions League titles. I am fully aware there are fans who discount participation in the CL on the grounds the Gunners had no chance of winning; something neither Barcelona nor Bayern took for granted as they played their best teams in an effort to defeat Arsenal to secure their place in the next round.

While reputation-wise and financially Arsenal still retains the cachet of a big club, for the first time in a very long time it is a challenger seeking to recover its title. Every former title-holder, gunning to get back to the top, will have doubts, no matter how hard they train, hoping to never duplicate the mistakes that cost them the title.  Additionally, unlike the boxing metaphor, Arsenal will have to prioritize its fights on the comeback trail, sending a second XI to Europa League contests in an effort to prioritize its run at the Premier League title.

Virtue Signaling

Are fans mentally prepared for these new challenges ahead? I am not a psychologist, just an amateur data analyst, but based on my recent experience on twitter the signs are not good. Just last week there was a brouha-ha among Arsenal fans when news was splashed by the mainstream media that Stan Kroenke had a financial stake in a Hunting Channel. It was the excuse for the most mindless, childish, feckless, emotional vituperations vs the majority owner of the club. This, by the way, was mostly by Arsenal fans, who are the majority on my timeline. They as far as I could discern have no knowledge of hunting as a sport, both the good and the bad, and most of all have no real concern about the ethical treatment of animals or else they would denounce the abominable and unhealthy conditions under which meat and poultry are reared in the factory farms, mostly in America. Yet these fans were picking up swords and pitchforks, signing anti-Kroenke petitions and, most laughable of all, advocating Usmanov to become primary owner, yet he is a citizen of Russia where hunting is legal and broadly advocated.

You can see my twitter denunciation of the nonsense which I describe as a clear example of virtue-signaling on social media by those who want to impose their phony virtues on mindless followers simply to gain popularity. No need to mention I have lost the fakes and phonies as followers on my TL. Good riddance, I say.

The 10-10-80 Rule

Why would fans so easily lose their shit over something so fake and phony? Upon reflection it reminded me of something I learnt during my near 20-year career in a retail-oriented business.  It was crystallized in a discussion I recently had with the corporate executive responsible for Asset Protection. The issue was why we had to be constantly vigilant against thieves and fraudsters, always updating our efforts to counter them. He explained, in dealing with human nature there is a 10-10-80 rule. Despite our best efforts at selection and recruiting:

  • 10% will never steal
  • 10% will steal no matter what
  • 80% will sway either way depending on whether there are stiff controls and penalties against theft and malfeasance

I think it is a model that truly approximates the average Arsenal fan:

  • 10% selflessly love and support the club no matter what
  • 10% support the club for selfish reasons and are easily motivated to steal from and undermine the club at every opportunity
  • 80% are in the middle swayed by the tides and fortunes of the club influenced by parties inside (AFC’s PR) and outside the club such as the mainstream media, twitter, bloggers, podcaster etc.

Readers can easily fit the various segments of the fanbase into this model. Obviously the WOBs and AKBs belong to either extreme. But like any model it is a generalization, a crude approximation with many exceptions. Unlike my industry, there is no penalty for stealing from the club and no economic incentive to insure the thieves and fraudsters never prevail.

It is my observation, however, that only when the 10% that selflessly loves the club is aggressive and deliberate in countering the stupid, ignorant mindlessness of the “malcontents” (to quote @blackburngeorge), only then will the 80% will grow a backbone and not fall for the nonsense.

Today’s Community Shield will certainly exemplify the 10-10-80 rule. Apparently the virtue signalers and the enemies of Arsenal Football Club will be attempting to raise banners of protest vs. Kroenke and will do everything to undermine the united, vociferous support needed by our boys in the hard campaign ahead.  Wenger has made the team as prepared as can be. He needs no distractions in spite the need for at least one more quality reinforcement before the transfer window closes on August 31st.

Are Positively Arsenal and the other fellow-minded 10% ready the fight?

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49 comments on “Arsenal Community Shield Preview: The 10-10-80 Rule

  1. Two artticles for a meaningless friendly ? George lances the loonies with his acid wit then Shotta follows up from the pulpit of percentage and virtue !

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Only complete cunts use the expression virtue signalling.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Crikey is it that time of year already? The Arsenal in the Charity Shield time of year?

    For such a supposedly unsuccessful club, – rudderless, leaderless, largely hopeless according to the detractors – we don’t half seem to spend a lot of time up at Wembley!

    I’d best get on, got the last of the summer jobs to complete before this year kicks off.

    Have a great season everyone.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. If that is the price to pay for ending fgm then so be it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Grouos of friendly Chelsea fans lurking around Peterborough station offering to make scarf chains with passing Arsenal fans, cheery rent boys wishing us well and offering to share their sandwiches with hungry gooners

    An idyllic morning really

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m not ready for the start of this season. I’m a shambles.

    Enjoy the match those of you lucky enough to be watching the game. COYG!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Shotta keeping the water in PA pool as clean as ever. This is a really well written piece and I used as much time as I possibly can to read through it, as I paused for thought several times.

    Is that Stew I hear sharpening his spear? Ha!

    As Hunter once said, “a victory over Chelsea today will set the psychology for the season ahead”.

    COYG you lovely PA’ers… the holidays are a thing of the past [insert: yellow toothy smiley thing]

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Larry looking sleek – he will strike later

    Liked by 1 person

  9. getting nervous now COYG

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Arsenal’s fitness levels are up, certainly better than Chelsea’s at this stage. While we have been neat and tidy we look ponderous in midfield simply unable to create sufficient chances for Lacazette and Welbeck. I remain convinced we need another technician in central midfield.

    Like

  11. Alonso v Hector turning into a tasty contest

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I so love Nacho Monreal
    Yeah I said it!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. So Arsenal has bragging rights in a big glorified friendly. How meaningful? We won the last 2 and came 3rd and 2nd in the League. Trust me our fans won’t give a feck about the community shield in May if we fail to challenge for the title. They will find the slightest pretext to have a go at the mgr and the owner. As for the match itself I will be interested in the possession stats and the quantity and quality of the final balls.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Whatever make the fans happy eh George?

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Winning without Ozil and Ramsey is not too shabby. A victory is always good for the players confidence.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. P.S. and no Alexis either

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Another great win, another trophy. Those are the facts at the end of the day and although we are still not up to speed and stutter a little going forward we still have the metal eek out victories (apparently thats a sign of a title winning squad).
    Interesting to see what all those who slated our defeat to the same opponents in pre seaason, when we were playing a half and half side, say about our win today. Difficult after rubbishing us the last time the teams met to then go on and say this is only a friendly. Judging by some of chelskis rusti challenges today I would say they defenately wanted to win.
    The start of the second half was a shame with a series of errors leading to conceeding to a team that hadn’t really troubled us but the even though we wern’t great going forward we battled back well for the equaliser. I dont understand anyone saying the sending off changing the game because quite frankly it didnt Xhaka’s free kick would have still been perfectly exicuted, the snake would still have been playing us onside and Sead would have still risen higher than everyone else to score.
    Our decision making is still not great at times and the tendancy on both sides to cut inside rather than take on the defender is slowing us down, the hand side being a particular problem as when The OX, Danny and Alex all got past the last defender only to try to cross with their right foot rather than earlier with their left.
    All in all another good day at the office.

    Liked by 5 people

  18. I watched the German Super Cup last night and you can’t tell me it was just a pre season game to those players.

    Likewise, watch Chelsea and their manager’s reaction to losing today and you know that while this is obviously not the ultimate goal, it is important nonetheless. It was a competitive game (in terms of how it was played) and we deservedly won. Per’s injury robbed us of his services and momentum in the first half. We weren’t concentrating at the start of the second half and were punished (something the team will have noted). But on the whole we were the better side.

    It’s funny to see Chelsea claim they were wronged by the referee (they weren’t), and to have commentators plead poverty and a paucity of options on their behalf.

    Having planted out flag in Spurs’ new temporary home, we make way to our home for the start of the league season. If we play with this same commitment (and hopefully more sharpness and some returning players) we should win.

    PS. Will Pedro not receive a 3 game ban for his red card?

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Passenal

    And we will be without Sanchez now. Oh, you didn’t hear? Him coming on the field and hugging the players and waving to the crowd means he’s definitely off and was saying goodbye. ‘He looked emotional’ said one pundit, ‘He wasn’t smiling’ said the other just as the camera showed Sanchez smiling.

    Oh and Chelsea need to buy new players, the magic solution to every problem. ‘They definitely need a striker’ was their unanimous verdict, and I just see that they have Morata, Batshuayi and Remy, in addition to Costa. Incredible.

    Liked by 4 people

  20. so proud of the lads fighting back and winning…

    Liked by 4 people

  21. Thibaut Courtois – what have you done ?

    Great afternoon, lovely pitch, full house (apart from the Saudi ambassador), plenty of full blooded action, players not quite up to full fitness and sharpness – two very good teams.

    Liked by 4 people

  22. yes shard, pedro will serve a ban for that sending off,

    Like

  23. We were very good and at times almost exceptional. The way we chiselled our way back into the game after they scored (Only slightly against the run of play, but we had been the better side in the first half) was impressive. Can we play better? Of course. Will we be allowed to by the refs? Thats the big question for me, as the last two Wembley games have seen neutral officiating – and surprise surprise we’ve ended up on top.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. wenger said after the game that Ramsey and Ozil are major doubts for the league opener v LCFC on Friday.

    If they do miss out I expect that our 18 man squad will be something along the lines of

    Cech, Ospina, Holding, Mertesacker, Monreal, Bellerin, Ox, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Elneny, Iwobi, Welbeck, Lacazette, Giroud, Walcott, Matiland-Niles, Alexis, Mustafi

    Per ended up with a cut to his eyebrow, that needed stitches, so depending on how deep the cut, he may not be available for Friday, if so, then Chambers likely to be in the squad.

    Like

  25. My slight concern atm is with Danny Welbeck. I’ve watched him for two games now alongside Lacazette and to my eyes it seems as if he is going out of his way not to link up with him. Does he feel threatened? Almost certainly. Is he back to very nearly his best? Getting there all the time. Does he have the ability to be an all time great? WelI I think he does but i sense it will take a lot of very empathetic man-management to see him realise his potential for The Arsenal. I shall watch with interest.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Eduardo:are Ramsey and Ozill fitness doubts or.contact doubts?

    Like

  27. fitness doubts, ozil took a kick to his ankle in training and ramsey has a calf injury, both likely to be out of lcfc game.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Giroud the only player to play in all nine games

    Liked by 2 people

  29. it is you guys that call it friendly, the players dont. if you see the way moses celebrated his goal and the way cahill and pedro tried to injure our players, you’ll understand that what was at stake was more than just pride. so i’m happy we won. conte for one wanted the shield but arsene knew one or two things more about playing at wembley.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. So Arsenal is going to win the PL after doing the Community Shield? Am sorry guys but based on the data and our experience over the past 3 years I don’t share that optimism. In the last 20 yrs only Utd (08) won both.Furthermore over the past 3 years we lost our way once Santi went down injured. While we have strengthened forward line and defence, the only change in midfield is the greater experience of the incumbents. Can that get us over the line? I am doubtful. The data doesn’t lie; Arsenal needs a special player in the engine room to make a difference. Ignore the data at our peril.

    Like

  31. Lovely lovely stuff, Arsenal played positive all day. Well deserved win.
    Chelsea putting in some evil hits on our players too, so don’t say they didn’t want to win this too.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Ed. You didn’t trust that article I linked to about no bans for charity shield sending off?

    They said same thing a few times in commentary. Sendings off in charity shield don’t count. So no ban for the little shit

    Like

  33. rich straight reds in the CS are a ban, only two yellow sending off is not a ban.

    Like

  34. should add, straight red for violent conduct is a ban, and pedro red was for violent conduct

    Like

  35. ha ha ha chris sutton saying on match of the day that willian should have been given a penalty for tripping himself up, now you understand he did not say it was for tripping himself up, no he seen something no one else did, Bellerin tripping him, sutton so frustrated that Arsenal and Wenger beat his beloved Chelsea.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. So the answer is to get rid of ‘sicknote’ Santi and get in a replacement then Shotta ?

    Bit radical but I see the drift …

    Like

  37. Valencia manager Marcelino says Gabriel is a player he is keeping tabs on and is one of the options he is interested in signing if possible

    Like

  38. it seems Santi will not be fit for at least first half of the season, and can we really be relying on him after he missed 30 league games last season and 23 the season before.

    the question is do we need santi in the 3-4-3 formation, does it negate his loss

    Like

  39. just been told that Kante played for Chelsea today, did not notice him at all during the game, come to think of it I do remember the commentators making excuses for him such as he is not as effective with Cesc as his partner, needs a more defensive partner they said.

    Like

  40. Arsenal Women‏Verified account @ArsenalWFC

    Massive congratulations to @SarivVeenendaal, @DominiqueJansse, @DanielleDonk and @VivianneMiedema European champions

    We’re all really proud of you 🔴

    Liked by 2 people

  41. I predict that this week we will see Arsenal sell Gibbs, Jenkinson and Perez, maybe Debuchy too. Might see Chambers go too, loan/sale.

    Like

  42. and it will see a meltdown from the attention seeking brigade.

    I do wonder once these players are moved out, who will be the replacement for them in the attention seeking brigades “Dead Wood” list. My best bet would be Ramsey, Iwobi, Giroud, Welbeck, Theo, Bellerin, Gabriel and oh yes Ospina.

    Like

  43. AndyNic: I hope you are not putting me in the “sicknote Santi” brigade. Everybody knows how partial I am to him.

    Like

  44. edu, i think playing 3 defender might be the magic for chamber at arsenal. he did well in emirates cup and i think he deserves another chance. moreso holding looked rusty all pre season games.

    Like

  45. foreverheady, about those refs : my understanding is it’s not pgmol who select the officials for the cup, and instead they are chosen by the refereeing section of the FA (headed by Elleray I think).

    Quite likely the all important performance reviews/scores are then also outside pgmol control. So fewer considerations of punishment next week if the boss is displeased with something.

    Whatever, I couldn’t agree more that we have done so much better, well even, from the officials in the cup (semi and final) and yesterday- generally, but especially on big calls.

    The difference is sensational. No daggers to the heart of incorrect pens at crucial moments, no sense of injustice as a red is given as a yellow, best of all no wrecking our momentum as we fight back in a game with weak free kicks against us and other game management tricks.

    But now we head back to the prem and pgmol…

    Liked by 3 people

  46. anyone that sees iwobi as dead wood is more dead than wood. i mean that guy seems to be able to play every position and maybe the only capable replacement for ozil whenever wenger choses to rest him.
    btw, elneny played his best game for us yesterday. he was so selfless and worked so hard all game. what is this rumour of arsenal accepting a £10m bid from liecester city. that kind of joke must stop.

    Liked by 3 people

  47. New post up

    Liked by 1 person

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