Arsenal won the first trophy of the 2017-18 season on penalties after an entertaining Community Shield clash at Wembley, Sead Kolasinac's header cancelling out Victor Moses' opener and the knives are already out for Chelsea manager Antonio Conte.
Television pundits including club legend Frank Lampard and former Chelsea manager Glenn Hoddle are both in agreement that Conte must approach the board for funds to buy players if the Blues want to retain their title.
Both were guests analysts on BT Sports coverage of the Community Shield match and they agree that Chelsea are three or four players away from putting up a credible fight in all competitions.
Lampard said: “ Chelsea have got almost half of what the Arsenal squad is. If we're talking about quality, I still think Chelsea have that quality, but when Conte was at Juventus he used to do the same thing in the summer. He used to push the club to buy more players to move forward.
The performance was average, rusty in the first half, only glimpses in the second half. It's not a tactical move, but I'm sure Conte can go to the board and say he needs more players. They need another central midfielder, and they need cover in the wing-back roles.”
Hoddle will not condemn Chelsea on the back of the Community Shield loss to Arsenal but will rather hope that Conte uses the set-back as aspringboard to get his title defence on track by bringing in players before the end of the transfer window.
“The result isn't bad for Conte as he can now go to the board and say we need to strengthen. I think they need to develop another system. Conte needs to come with a 4-3-3 or go back to something different so that they're not readable.
“He was given a bonus for winning the league, but there's something not quite right there. This is a good result for Conte. In the middle of the week he can go to the board and say, "I don't have a bench to call upon".
“Arsenal would have a stronger bench than Chelsea when everyone's back. If you want to contend for the league, they'll have to strengthen.”