Chelsea defender urges teammates to heed wake-up call presented by their 0-1 defeat to Arsenal
London: Captain John Terry has urged his Chelsea teammates to heed the wake-up call presented by their 1-0 FA Community Shield defeat to Arsenal.
The English Premier League champions were sluggish as their London rivals, through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's 24th-minute goal, recorded a rare victory against them.
The winger's powerful finish was Arsenal's first goal against Chelsea in 506 minutes, and ended the Blues' eight-match unbeaten run against them.
Terry remained adamant that they were the superior side and refused to dismiss the fixture as a friendly and hoped the defeat would ensure that they were better prepared.
"There was a trophy on the line," said the 34-year-old, whose side host Swansea on Saturday in their opening Premier League fixture. "It hurt when you saw them walk up the (Wembley) stairs to lift it.
It means a lot because you work all season to be here. No matter if it's a friendly or a Community Shield — it's a trophy at the end of the day. It's horrible. It's not nice.
At the same time, it could be a blessing in disguise for us — a wake-up call. We have experience in the squad — we have the character. It's going to be even tougher this year. We go again and prepare ourselves for Swansea."
Chelsea had only returned from a pre-season largely spent in USA on Wednesday while Arsenal, who resumed training a week earlier, appeared fresher.
"I don't think so," he replied when asked if Chelsea were tired. "I thought we were on top, if anything. I think these games are always a bit slow anyway — the players are still finding their feet and fitness. (Losing's) horrible, whether it's against my kids or anyone. That's the mentality I was brought up in.
"It was a different atmosphere in the dressing room afterwards. We haven't lost many at Wembley. It's maybe the boost we needed and we go again for the season."
The Football Association has accepted Jose Mourinho's criticism of the Wembley pitch during Chelsea's Community Shield loss to Arsenal as a "disaster".
The FA responded by saying the pitch was not as "mature" as would be ideal. An FA spokesperson said: "In this instance it is simply that the pitch is less mature than we would ordinarily wish for football, given the summer concert season and the early start to the football calendar."