The FA Community Shield doesn’t count for much. Last season, Arsenal won it thanks to contributions from Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud. Not one of those players was even at the club come February. We can, however, surmise from the 2018 edition that Manchester City is really good.
I think they earned the right to that plaudit last season.
What’s more open to debate is the impact that Bernardo Silva will have over the course of his second season with the club. Last year, Silva made 35 appearances in the Premier League but only started 15 games. Also, although he’s viewed as the longterm successor to David Silva in City’s midfield, he played almost exclusively as a right winger.
During today’s Shield, with both David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne missing, Bernardo started alongside Fernandinho and 18-year-old Phil Foden in City’s engine room.
He hardly put a foot wrong the entire game, completing a match high four dribbles while also providing a classy assist on Sergio Aguero’s second. Pep Guardiola called Silva’s performance "a masterpiece."
Pep Guardiola a été dithyrambique envers Bernardo Silva après la belle performance du Portugais lors du Community Shield. pic.twitter.com/fB1YU9UTZ9— Goal France (@GoalFrance) August 5, 2018
It’s easy to see why.
Bernardo putting dudes on their asses pic.twitter.com/XsP3Dc5VF3— Rob (@Razza_7) August 5, 2018
And here’s the assist from the Amazon fish-frog god.
Sergio Agüero marca mais uma vez, assistência de Bernardo Silva.
— Premier League Brasil (@brasil_pl) August 5, 2018
So you're telling me Man City had one of the best attacking midfielders in the league last season in Bernardo Silva
But played him RW because they also had THE best attacking midfielder in De Bruyne
Their squad is ridiculous, it's actually unfair— Andy Castell (@AJ3) August 5, 2018
Silva’s Community Shield performance is a continuation of what’s been an extremely bright preseason. On July 28, he scored a brace to inspire City to a 3-2 victory over Bayern Munich in Miami.
Bernardo Silva turned the game on its head with two fine goals for Man City pic.twitter.com/6xMc1beO3X— Goal (@goal) July 29, 2018
We all want to see a competitive Premier League title race this season, but the Community Shield — and Bernardo Silva’s status as a not guaranteed stater — paint an ominous picture of the incredible depth the club enjoys.