It’s tough to ignore the impact that Premier League club Everton have had on the summer transfer window this time around.
Signings like Davy Klaassen from Ajax, Michael Keane from Burnley and Jordan Pickford from Sunderland have been the first real investment since the Toffees bought Maraoune Fellaini for £15 million in 2008.
That same year, another club rose to become a force in football: Manchester City. The Abu Dhabi United group purchased 90% of Manchester City’s shareholdings in September 2008 for £210 million.
While that move transformed Manchester City into a rich football giant, under majority owner Farhad Moshiri, Everton could well be on the same path.
This video (below) from uMAXit Football examines the parallels between the two clubs.
Chelsea skipper Gary Cahill is in no doubt the club have added quality to the squad over the summer – but it is the quantity which is a worry for the England defender.
The reigning Premier League champions lost 4-1 on penalties to Arsenal in Sunday’s Community Shield after the game finished 1-1.
Victor Moses, who was sent off when Arsenal beat Chelsea to lift the FA Cup in May, opened the scoring this time around.
The Gunners levelled through debutant Sead Kolasinac after Pedro had been dismissed for a crude foul on Mohamed Elneny.
With the new ‘ABBA’ penalty shoot-out format introduced for the first time, Cahill put Chelsea in front but it would prove to be the only successful spot-kick for Antonio Conte’s men.
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois blazed his effort over before new striker Alvaro Morata hit the post, with Arsenal scoring all four of their kicks to lift the shield.
Conte has spoken out several times over his frustrations about the size of Chelsea’s squad and – despite adding Antonio Rudiger and Tiemoue Bakayoko as well as Morata – Cahill shared those concerns.
Asked if he felt the champions’ squad was small, Cahill pointed to the squad lists on the back of the match-day programme – which had 24 Chelsea players listed compared to 41 from Arsenal.
“I don’t know, the back of the programme was interesting today,” he said.
“But in terms of quality we’ve certainly got that and you just have to hope we don’t have too many injuries.
“Obviously the new players that have just come, they’re going to be vitally important for us and the quicker they settle, the better, but there’s no doubt we’ve added quality to the team.”
Chelsea stayed relatively injury-free as they claimed the title by seven points last term, but this season they will have the added strain of a return to Champions League football to deal with.
“They’re going to be tested 100 per cent,” Cahill replied when asked about the strain on the players within the squad.
“We’ll see how that plays out, but we just have to keep everybody fit, keep everybody sharp. Rest is going to be important because we’re going to have a lot of games.
“Us as players are in control of what we do personally, the way we prepare ourselves for the games. The other stuff outside of that is kind of none of our business.”
With no extra-time played in the traditional curtain-raiser, the Community Shield went straight to penalties after the London rivals could not be separated over 90 minutes.
The penalties followed the new “ABBA” system, designed on the format used in tennis tie-breaks and aimed at being fairer on the team taking the second kick in the shoot-out.
Teams taking the first kick in each pair of attempts alternate – AB BA AB BA and so on instead of AB AB AB AB.
Cahill was not impressed with the change, which was not surprising given Chelsea’s failures from 12 yards.
“It’s new… first impression is, I’m not a fan,” he said.
“We were a couple of goals down after one penalty, so mentally that’s different than when you’ve got one, one, one, one.
“I went and then obviously 2-1 or 3-1 down or whatever, mentally it’s different, so I’m not a fan.
“Obviously we won the toss and asked the team, to see what everyone wanted to do, and we wanted to go first so we went first.”
Chelsea kick-off the defence of their Premier League crown at home to Burnley on Saturday before a tricky trip to face Tottenham at Wembley the following Sunday.
Arsene Wenger pleaded with Arsenal fans to stay united after his side made a statement of intent with their Community Shield victory over Chelsea on Sunday.
After spending much of last season under fire from supporters frustrated by Arsenal’s travails, Gunners boss Wenger hopes the new campaign is far less turbulent affair.
Despite winning the FA Cup at the end of last term, Wenger’s decision to sign a new contract proved a polarising move among the Arsenal faithful, who remain angered by their team’s failure to qualify for this season’s Champions League.
Wenger has already been subjected to a fan invading the pitch in an attempt to abuse him during a pre-season friendly and, against that troubled backdrop, the Frenchman was relieved to start the new season with a morale-boosting win over champions Chelsea at Wembley.
A 4-1 penalty shoot-out victory rewarded Arsenal for an encouraging display in the 1-1 draw and Wenger was quick to call for unity in the stands ahead of Friday’s Premier League opener against Leicester.
“I would like they stand behind the team as we might go through some very good periods and some not so good periods,” he said.
“We want to be united and together throughout the season.
“Every game is a battle in the Premier League, like today. It is a dream to make the fans happy, a difficult dream but we try hard.”
Wenger has now won the Community Shield seven times, but it is seven years since Manchester United became the last winners of the prestigious friendly to go on to lift the Premier League trophy.
After a strong first half, Arsenal fell behind to a Victor Moses goal in the 46th minute.
But Chelsea had Pedro sent off in the closing stages and Arsenal equalised through new signing Sead Kolasinac’s 82nd minute header.
“Well, I don’t know if it was a sending off or not but at that moment we were dominating,” Wenger said.
“We had some difficult moments at the start of the second half but after that we dominated. We always looked dangerous.”
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was unhappy with referee Bobby Madley after seeing his side reduced to 10 men against Arsenal at Wembley yet again.
Moses was sent off for diving in the Blues’ FA Cup final loss to the Gunners in May and Pedro saw red for a lunge on Mohamed Elneny.
“This is the second game, after the FA Cup, that we finish with 10 men,” Conte fumed. “I didn’t see the situation. For me for this reason it is very difficult for me to say something about this decision.
“I heard there was clearly a penalty but I did not see. We are working, we are trying to do our best.
“We had a tough pre-season, between the six days until we start the league it is important to be focused on the next game.”