The Kit Debate

By on January 15, 2010

I’m sure most of you saw an article on Sport.co.uk claiming Arsenal “could remove their trademark white sleeves from their home kit as they celebrate the 125th anniversary of the club in 2011 by replicating shirts worn by the club’s founding fathers.” With not much going on news-wise ahead of the Bolton match, except, of course, Cesc’s return from injury, I figured I would take this pre-match Friday to gauge my readers’ opinions on the kits…

Those who know me, know that I am a somewhat obsessive Arsenal kit collector. Having watched the club since 1997, it is my goal to acquire every kit the club has worn since I started following them-with Bergkamp 10 on the back of all the home kits. My collection currently numbers 23 kits and I am a little more than a half-dozen or so away from completing it. Needless to say, my wife isn’t too pleased that half of my closet is red and white. She also doesn’t understand how my 3-year old has become infected with Gooner-itis and has started his own kit collection.

Personally, I am a hard-core traditionalist when it comes to football and Arsenal. I like our home kits to have white sleeves and our away kits to be blue and yellow. Arsenal and Nike’s kit experiments in recent years have not sat well with me. Though, to be honest, I have eventually gotten used to the kits. The win in Milan certainly helped me get used to the white away kit from 2007-08.

But when it comes to home kits, I really wish the club would push Nike to keep it simple. Red body, white sleeves, and I like when the kit is ringed like the old ’71 kit. Since I’ve been watching the club, my favorite has been the ’98-’99 home kit,  but I wish the club would stick with something more like our 2006-08 home kit. At first, I wasn’t too sure about the gold stripes, but for the first time in a long while, the home kit was right besides that and I even began to like the gold stripes and see them as a touch of class. Like many, I wasn’t very happy with the new home kit. There’s just not enough white to it, but I have come to accept it.

But, as for the possibility of a new anniversary kit, I’d rather not see another experiment like 2005-06. Don’t get me wrong, I ended up really liking the redcurrant kit, but I would much rather see the club celebrate it’s entire history on such an anniversary by going back to the standard type of Arsenal kit. What about you guys? What kind of kit would you like to see Arsenal wear for the club’s 125th anniversary in 2011?


  1. Villa

    January 15, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Totally agree would love to see the old solid yellow with white sleeve. Its bold and speaks volume that we are here to play football and not to show off kits.

    But hey like you said anything the club wear I will buy and support 100%

  2. zeki

    January 15, 2010 at 11:52 am

    I think something differant will be good.
    I think we should have more white then red. Example: White top, red sleeves, with two red stripes somewhere on the white part of the shirt!

  3. D B

    January 15, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Barcelona style – but red and white vertical stripes instead, with fluorescent yellow and navy blue away kit.

    would look the dogs b******s !

    anybody agree?

  4. bergkampisgod

    January 15, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    The current home strip does not have white sleeves

    We should wear red body white sleeves at home

    The club have said we will go back to solid white sleeves with the next shirt

  5. Simmo

    January 15, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    How can you be a traditionalist if you have a cutoff point as to when “tradition” starts? We didn’t always have white sleeves. A traditionalist would want us to celebrate our 125th in similar kits to those we had in our first year.

    • ArsenalStation

      January 15, 2010 at 12:50 pm

      Traditionalist doesn’t mean originalist, simmo. Traditionally, Arsenal wear red body/white sleeve home kits. Originally, they did not. Considering that we have been wearing the red/white combination for most of the last 80 years, I would say that is the tradition.

  6. gtbear

    January 15, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    I think the first Emirates kit was the best for a long time although I liked the Red Current, would have been better with just a Gold Cannon and the AFC Balls instead of the modern crest.
    Best Away kit has got to be Anfield ’89

    Just Keep it simple is all I say

  7. king gooner

    January 15, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    db are you taking halucinatory,mind bending substances?lol.on a serious note,what about the trad 1930’s top or the 1950′ s way kit-very classy….

  8. james mc daid

    January 15, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    i agree simmo,that kit deserves another run out.

  9. Gandolf

    January 15, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Red shirts and white sleeves are what Arsenal wear at home. No one else (apart from Rotherham) wear shirts like that. It’s special and unique. I didn’t buy our current home shirt; we look like Charlton.

    Yellow shirts and blue shorts are what Arsenal wear away when there is a clash of colours. It’s what we wore when I first started supporting the club in the 1971 Cup Final. I didn’t buy our blue away shirt; we look like Chelsea. I didn’t buy our white away shirt; we look like Spurs.

    Nike specialise in innovation and novelty for maximised profits. They make us look like every other crap London club. Boooooooooo!

  10. TheProfessor

    January 15, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Luv the cannon n AFC badge,simple n it’s a beauty!

    Best home shirt design got to be the cup double, redcurrent strip n 1st emirates strip (retro n classy with the gold stripes)

    but I wouldn’t mind buying a limited edition Woolwich strip for next season…

    • ArsenalStation

      January 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm

      I agree, Prof. and Gandolf. I own replicas of the late-60s/early-70s home kit in long sleeves and a s/s late-70s/early-80s home kit. Both are so simple that they are timeless. Even my three year old loves his 71 home shirt.

      Letting the designers in ruined the kits. I mean, how many times have you watched Premier League Archives or seen old highlights and thought, “How could they have worn that ugly kit?” Our banana kit comes to mind. Kits have lost their timeless quality in the last 20 years and it’s not just because of the sponsors, but the designers.

  11. Tommo

    January 15, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    It’s got to be crisp and simple. Red body white sleeves that stop at the shoulder and a white round collar. No funny design bits. Plain White short ( long ) One thing I might like however is the blue and White hopped socks we used to wear in the fifties. ( because the red dye used to run in the wash.)

  12. Ted Harwood

    January 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    For me, solid red with all-white sleeves and a white collar is what I want. I don’t want any other trim colors, no black, no yellow, none of that. One thing I would like is a polo collar, but that’s a minor thing. I think the home kits in 1971 were the absolute finest the club has ever had.

    As for the away kits, yellow and blue is usually my favorite, but I rather like the navy ones we have right now, too. I have an intense dislike of the white ones, only because I keep confusing us with the spuds at the bar.

  13. ArsenalStation

    January 15, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    The thing is, and I think many of us feel this way, with things in football changing and, especially, at the club with the move from Highbury, it would be nice for our kit to remain the way it’s supposed to be.

  14. Ben Donnelly

    January 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Most gooners will agree the white kit was a no-no, home kits should certainly be red bodied with the white sleeves. I personaly loved the red and white hooped socks and the bruised banana away kit but a yellow and blue hooped away top would make my day, alternatively an illuminous yellow away might be good for player vision in the same way barca have done with their current pink.

    • ArsenalStation

      January 15, 2010 at 6:12 pm

      Really, Ben? I think that Barca’s pink kit is disgusting, just like Chelsea’s neon kit was.

  15. cesc's mullet

    January 15, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I think we’re due for a new home kit next season and hopefully it will return to the traditional all white sleeves red body that most fans prefer. I think the club and Nike’s recent “experiments” with new colors and designs have everyone a little nervous about what an Anniversary kit might constitute. Hopefully it will be simple like the 05-06 last Highbury kit, but coupled with a return to what has been our traditional home kit as well.

  16. CORY

    January 15, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    the kit could b polkadotted…..as long as it finally has that beautiful star above our crest (champo league winners)

  17. Simmo

    January 15, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    UEFA doesn’t allow the stars thing anymore. It’s been replaced by a badge of honor for clubs that have won it at least 5 times or 3 consecutive times.

    And we wouldn’t be having this debate if Chapman didn’t buck “tradition” and made our sleeves white. I don’t see what’s wrong with paying homage to the first shirt in your club’s history.

  18. ArsenalStation

    January 15, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    What kits do you guys own? Like I said above, I own 23 kits but my favorite is a 1998-99 long-sleeve home kit with Lextra BERGKAMP 10 and the hologram champions sleeve patches.

    I also have a 1996-98 short-sleeve home kit with the same Bergkamp lettering and number with the hologram sleeve patches that say 1997-98 Champions.

    I am also about to finish my 2005-06 home kit with BERGKAMP 10 in Lextra gold lettering. I also have a 1999-00 Dreamcast shirt with THE LEGEND 6 on the back.

    What kits do you guys have? Anything unusual or even just your favorite, post it…

  19. Am

    January 15, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    I actually like this home kit the most, although I know it will change again.

    For away kits i prefer the away kit of last season.

    I actually love all our kits, some have to grow on us more.

  20. Block19er

    January 16, 2010 at 10:25 am

    The kits for the next 4 seasons have already been decided upon.

    I recon that the reason we have the kits that we do this season is so that we can return to a very traditional Arsenal kit.

    Red shirt with proper white sleeves and a very plain yellow shirt with blue shorts.

    It’s also the anniversary of the ’71 double so the kits will I’m sure be very similar to that season.

    Arsenal WILL exploit the huge marketing potential.

    • ArsenalStation

      January 16, 2010 at 10:33 am

      I really hope so, clockender.

  21. jonathan

    January 21, 2010 at 2:53 am

    Every time i look at the arsenal online club shop, they never have any home kits in my size. I really wanted the long sleeve kit, and its probably not ever gonna happen. I wish they could somehow keep more stock.