Per Mertesacker says that Arsenal enjoy the added pressure of playing at Wembley Stadium.
Arsene Wenger’s side had never won a final at the new national stadium before they came from two goals behind to lift the FA Cup in 2014, and they have not lost in their last five visits.
Mertesacker led the Gunners to their last Wembley victory, a record-breaking 12th FA Cup in May, and the World Cup winner says Arsenal are relishing their Community Shield clash with Chelsea.
"The hunger is still there to win a cup and to stay cup winners"
“When we've headed to Wembley in the past, it's generally either been for a semi-final or a final,” he said. “There's always been that special tension and we could always handle that pressure. Even at 2-0 down, we always managed to deal with different situations.
“We haven't played Chelsea at Wembley in such a situation for a long time. They played really well last season, they were really consistent and always defended well from the front. I think if we can learn something from Chelsea, it's to be consistent over the whole season.
“You need to be consistent, especially in the league. In the cup, you can win it with six straight victories, which we managed to do twice. The hunger is still there to win a cup and to stay cup winners. The consistency over the whole season is vital. It's what everyone wants, the players and the fans.
“I believe we have a good base, a good structure and a good balance. We showed that in the second half of last season. We didn't concede a lot of goals and that's the target for the first matches, especially for the first half of the season.
“I think the key for our success will be not suffering too many injuries and not dropping too many points at the start of the season. That way we can ensure that we remain competitors.
“The hunger to retain the shield is still there,” added Mertesacker. “Winning a trophy would add to the team's confidence, especially a week before the season starts. This match shows how good, how fit the team are and it's also a reflection of how well we've prepared over pre-season.”
Copyright 2021 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.