With the traditional curtain-raiser to the English football season between league champions Manchester United and FA Cup winners Portsmouth just a mouth-watering two days away, Early Doors has decided to get all educational on yo' asses with a rundown of some of the most memorable Charity/Community Shield matches.
1908: Manchester United 1-1 Queens Park Rangers (United won replay 4-0)
League champions Manchester United took on Southern league champions QPR in the first ever Charity Shield, held at Stamford Bridge, with United's moustachioed Welsh winger Billy Meredith - the Cristiano Ronaldo of his day, minus the gleaming sun-tan, skimpy shorts and chronic narcissism - equalising Frank Cannon's opener. The game finished 1-1 but the Hoops were trounced 4-0 in the first and only Charity Shield replay four months later, with Sandy Turnbull claiming a hat-trick.
1967: Manchester United 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur (trophy shared)
An entertaining encounter, most notable for the fact that Tottenham goalkeeper Pat Jennings got on the scoresheet when an agricultural punt down the field bounced over Alex Stepney in the United goal and into the net. Another interesting fact about Pat Jennings is that his son is also called Pat and is also a goalkeeper who was also on Tottenham's books and clearly has no original ideas of his own.
1974: Liverpool 1-1 Leeds United (Liverpool won 6-5 on penalties)
A tempestuous game between league champions Leeds and FA Cup winners Liverpool marked the first occasion the Charity Shield had taken place at Wembley, and was most notable for the dismissals of Liverpool striker Kevin Keegan and Leeds skipper Billy Bremner (pictured) after an almighty on-pitch scrap. Both players were fined £500 and handed bans, although Bremner was probably more troubled by his unwise decision to copy Keegan in tearing off his shirt as he left the pitch, thereby revealing a torso resembling that of a ginger Teletubby.
1992: Leeds United 4-3 Liverpool
An Eric Cantona hat-trick earned league champions Leeds a thrilling victory over Liverpool, who nonetheless forced a superb own goal from Gordon Strachan at 4-2 down. Defending a corner on the goal-line, Strachan attempted to block a low shot from Mark Wright but succeeded only in knocking the ball from his right foot to his left foot, then back to his right foot and then over the goal-line. In November Cantona became a Manchester United player, prompting unprecedentedly witty 'Ou est Cantona?' chants from the fans of Leeds' next opponents Chelsea.
1993: Manchester United 1-1 Arsenal (United won 5-4 on penalties)
A belting volley from Mark Hughes was cancelled out by an even better strike from Ian Wright - back in the days when it was all right to like him because nobody had really heard him speak - thereby taking the game to penalties. With the shootout poised at 5-4 and Arsenal needing to score their next penalty to stay in the game, up stepped Gunners keeper David Seaman, who bizarrely opted for a one-step, Italian-style effort that opposite number Peter Schmeichel comfortably batted away, barely able to contain his mirth.
1998: Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United
Jaap Stam became the world's most expensive defender when he moved from PSV Eindhoven to United for £10.75 million in the summer of 1998, but on his domestic debut he was made to look like the proverbial elephant on roller-skates by not-yet-sulky Arsenal striker Nicolas Anelka, who inspired the Double winners to a 3-0 win before temporarily becoming the world's most expensive balding Frenchman when he moved to Real Madrid for £22.3m the following summer.
2001: Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United
The 2001 shield was the first to be held at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, and was the setting for the debut of United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who netted in the second half after early strikes from Gary McAllister and Michael Owen had given Liverpool an ultimately decisive advantage. Liverpool's victory marked the fourth leg of an unprecedented quintuple of successive trophies (League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Cup, Charity Shield and European Super Cup) that skilfully circumnavigated the only two trophies that the Big Four actually want to win.
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And so, after a summer of coy flirting and demure blushing, Chelsea have finally put their sizeable money where their equally sizeable mouth is by submitting an actual bid for Real Madrid thumb-sucker Robinho.
While the most obvious problem caused by Robinho's arrival would be how - and at the expense of whom - Luiz Felipe Scolari would fit him into the team, ED is more intrigued by the increasingly colourful nature of the Chelsea dressing room.
Robinho is the man who reportedly demanded 40 condoms to be laid on at a party in Rio de Janeiro following Brazil's 5-0 World Cup qualifying win over Ecuador in October, while fellow summer signing Deco's fondness for the Barcelona night life was well-documented, with some club officials even going so far as to suggest that the 'injuries' that kept him out for long periods of last season were more likely to have been picked up en route from the nightclub to the kebab van than on the training pitch.
Ashley Cole has done his fair share of playing away from home (geddit?!), legendary strop-thrower Didier Drogba spends half his time explaining comments attributed to him in the French press suggesting his time at Stamford Bridge has been one long kick in the nuts and fellow strikers Nicolas Anelka and Claudio Pizarro are just as prone to the odd bout of public sulking.
Scolari himself got into hot water after slapping Serbian defender Ivica Dragutinovic at the end of a Euro 2008 qualifier in September, but at least his initial transfer market forays demonstrate a commendable appreciation of the club's history.
Scolari clearly realises that the ruthless trophy-winning of Jose Mourinho's reign was not remotely in keeping with the fast-living, low-achieving days of the Peter Osgood era in the 1970s, and has clearly made it his intention to return the club to its previous status as quickly as possible.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "They are the big bosses. It is a dictatorship. He is a slave." Andrei Arshavin's agent Dennis Lachter jumps on the Calling Sickeningly Rich Footballers Slaves bandwagon by complaining about Zenit St Petersburg's treatment of his client who, on £50,000 a week, is currently the best-paid player in Russian football by a country mile.
TALKING POINT: Yesterday's request for your thoughts on Cristiano Ronaldo drew a wide variety of responses, many of them unprintable, although ED was struck by risker15's strange and frankly incomprehensible assertion that Ronaldo is so attractive "he could pick any woman up from sarkozy's wife to robbie fowler."
Today - What one thing are you most looking forward to this season? And is Cristiano Ronaldo really the best-looking football player in the world?
COMING UP: Only the blimmin' Olympic Games! The opening ceremony takes place today, and we'll have all the news as our brave cyclists, rowers, sailors, divers, boxers, athletes, horse-riders and indeed horses gear up for the smog-covered glory hunt.