As disappointed as he was to be on the losing side at Wembley Stadium, John Terry believes this may have given Chelsea a kick up the backside.
The Premier League champions came up against FA Cup holders Arsenal in the FA Community Shield on Sunday afternoon, when a first half goal from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain proved enough to secure the honour for the Gunners for a second successive season. For Jose Mourinho’s side, this ends a miserable pre-season campaign in which his team have lost all four matches.
Of course this matters little in the grand scheme of things, and with the new campaign set to begin this weekend, Chelsea remain the red-hot favourites to be crowned next May. Yet this doesn’t mean the defeat against their capital rivals doesn’t leave Terry and his team-mates hurting, but the Stamford Bridge skipper believes this loss may act as a kick up the backside.
“It was a different atmosphere in the dressing room afterwards,” said the 34-year-old defender. “We haven’t lost many at Wembley Stadium. With that in mind, it’s maybe the boost we needed and we go again for the season. It could be a blessing in disguise for us – a wake-up call. We have experience in the squad, we have the character. It’s going to be even tougher this year.
“Losing is just horrible. Forget the record, there was a trophy on the line. It hurt when you saw them walk up the stairs to lift it. When you see them walk up, no matter if it’s a friendly or a Community Shield, it’s a trophy. That’s the mentality I was brought up in, that’s the same as the manager on a daily basis. That’s what he wants and demands from his players as well.”
The Blues won the title at a relative canter last term, finishing eight points ahead of second-placed Manchester City and a further four above Arsenal. Mourinho’s side never really got out of second gear after building up such a lead at the head of the table, but they are likely to face a sterner test this time round with defender Gary Cahill citing the Gunners as potential challengers.
“They’ve started well, they’ve got a good squad and I think they’ll be one of many pushing at the top this season,” he told the official club website. “Let’s be fair, the game’s been won on a piece of individual play to smash it in the top corner, but chance-wise we had the majority of the play. I think in terms of possession we had the majority of the game but it’s the scoreline that matters.”