Community Shield: A Leeds-based warning for Arsenal and Chelsea

Nine times out of 10 playing a part in the Community Shield should mean one thing for the up-and-coming season: your team will be challenging for the title.

With the winners of the trophy usually competing for the Premier League up until the business end of the season, the 1992/93 campaign wrote a different script for the trophy winners, Leeds United; the Peacocks found themselves in a bottom table scrap and finished just two points above the relegation zone.

The Champions of England made a horrific defence of their title as they finished 33 points behind the ’93 winners, Manchester United.

Leeds fans were given a false sense of hope heading into the campaign following a 4-3 victory over Liverpool in the Community Shield – Charity Shield as it was named back then – only for Howard Wilkinson’s men to win just one match in the final 10 games of the season.

At the other end of the table, one of Leeds’ striker’s the season before, Eric Cantona, was busy lifting the title with Manchester United at a cantor as the Red Devils won the league by 10 points.

King Eric and sardine philosopher won back-to-back titles with different clubs – Image Source: Pinterest

It would only be natural to think that the sale of Cantona was the reason for Leeds’ calamitous campaign following their title-winning season the one before; the Frenchman’s stunning hat-trick in the ’92 Charity Shield victory over Liverpool was an early indicator that the Frenchman could rule England that year.

However, you could sympathise – to an extent – with Leeds’ decision to sell the striker. Cantona was hardly the Whites talisman when they won the league the year before. Cantona only finished with three goals in the campaign, and although his potential quality was obvious to see, the Frenchman’s importance to Leeds was nowhere near the likes of Lee Chapman or Rod Wallace.

Regardless, the club’s troubles with losing the striker were amplified with an inability to win on the road. Despite Elland Road being something of a fortress with the Yorkshire club only losing one game on home soil, they did not win a single match away from home.

A totally shambolic defence of a title, and Chelsea will be looking to not repeat Leeds’ horror of a season after their own capitulation from their defence of the title in 2015/16 season.

 

 

 

 

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