LONDON, Sporting Alert – Fresh from signing a new contract at Arsenal, Theo Walcott says the Gunners need to send a statement to their rivals by beating Chelsea in the Community Shield this weekend.
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The FA Community Shield pits the holders of the FA Cup and the English Premier League from the previous season together.
Ready To Send Rivals A Message With A Win
Arsenal, although signing just one player so far in the current transfer window, still have a quality squad, which has been preparing very well to challenge for the Premier League crown this season.
The addition of goalkeeper Petr Cech, who joined the Gunners from the Blues earlier this month, has spring new life into the squad and Walcott says they want to “put a message out to the Premier League” with a good performance against their London rivals on Sunday.
“It’s important to actually put out a message to the Premier League that we’re ready this year, against the title champions,” Walcott said Arsenal official website at www.arsenal.com.
Arsenal ran away 3-0 winners against Manchester City last year with an impressive display and Walcott reveals that they are confident about putting in a similar performance against Jose Mourinho’s men.
“We did it last year against Manchester City so there’s no reason we can’t do it again,” he said on arsenal.com.
At the same time though, the England attacker is not expecting an easy ride.
“It’s going to be very tight and I think both squads have improved.
“Chelsea will grow as well but I think the way that we ended the season, just the whole culture around the club now and everything about it, there’s just something special that will happen this year.
“Some people will think it’s just another pre-season game but us players want to go out and win every game we can.
“A lot of kids dream of playing at Wembley so you’ve always got to take it in, put 100 per cent in and I will, like all my team-mates will do too.
“We won’t want to let our fans down because they’re going to make the game special for us, I’m sure.”
Not A Big Deal To Us – Mourinho
Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Mourinho has confirmed that he has a fully fit squad for the contest on Sunday, although there could be some signs of minimal Jet lag, after the team recently returned from it preseason trip of the United States.
Unlike Walcott, Mourinho doesn’t seem as agitated about winning the Community Shield, but the Portuguese promised to field a good team for the first competitive trophy of the new season.
“I think it’s in between,” he said on www.chelseafc.com, when asked about the level of competitiveness of the contest.
“It’s not a friendly like against Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, or Arsenal against Wolfsburg. It’s more than that but less than a Premier League match.
“We lost against Red Bulls and we’re not happy, so it’s normal we always try to play for a result and the Community Shield has a motivation different from a friendly or summer tournament. It’s the start of competition.”
Sunday’s game could see former Chelsea first-choice goalkeeper Cech facing his ex-club for the first time since his summer move and Mourinho believes Wenger has captured a very good goalkeeper.
“I think they always had very good goalkeepers, now they have one more, but I never felt weaknesses in their goalkeepers,” he added.