Wooooooah, what to make of the latest Arsenal kits?
You know I globally renowned for having exquisite taste in sporting apparel, but I can’t help but think this batch of kits really were a ‘fuck you very much’ parting gift by the designers over at Puma.
We’ve gone for a home kit that for me is quite a weak red. It feels washed out, like a blood-red Topman t-shirt from back in the day that you’ve gone into the sea with then left out to dry on your €25 a night hotel balcony. I really don’t like the washed out red on the sleeves, it’s meek, there’s no strength there. I also don’t immedietley understand the thinking behind the pattern running through the shirt. Is it a hat tip to the lightning strike of the 1995 shirt? Like… what is it?
The teal away kit is kind of fun. But it’s basically a Barca away kit. It doesn’t feel very Arsenal at all.
Then there’s the other kit, that looks like it was inspired by the physio’s clobber. It’s boring, it’s really dark and I’m just not interested in it.
There is no cultural relevance to any of the shirts, and there’s nothing groundbreaking that’ll live on forever.
I mean, let’s be real here folks, if you’re over the age of 15 and you’re buying a replica shirt, someone needs to have a serious word with you. It’s not an adult thing to do. It doesn’t suit your body. The material brings the sweat to the surface, so it’s not a pleasant experience on a sweaty train.
Seriously, if you’re bitching about this kit because you wanted to buy one, grow the fuck up. They’re for the small people.
Back to design…
Look at those cool as fuck kids just hanging around on olive oil barrels just shooting the shit about something low-key like the ‘is a Calippo a type of sorbet?’… in my mind, it is. It’s poor man’s sorbet, but sorbet it is.
Back to the shirt. Nike have ripped off our bruised banana kit, and the whole world is losing their fucking shit over it. You’ve even got Brexit Dave from Kettering wearing one. What a unifying moment of kit design glory.
How long have we been begging for that shirt to return? Football kits these days are an event. The big brands are desperate to make them acceptable fashion attire. To be honest, you can roll into work in a ‘soccer’ shirt here and no one bats an eyelid, do that in the UK and you’ll get the same look as you would wearing an ‘I’m with stoopid’ tee.
Anyway, if you want to make football shirts acceptable in mainstream fashion culture to sell me more, we really need to be doing a better job of design. Revisit the past and steal is my view. Or do something so future, people can’t ignore it.
There’s another great interview in GFFN from the author of a new Unai Emery book coming out (Here).
We’ll get a couple of the worries out the way. In defending the poor rep Emery had with the French press, the author had this to say:
‘He’s really interesting. I’d pay more attention to interviews, rather than press conferences. He speaks really openly. But if you really want to understand what he’s trying to transmit, you have to interview him in Spanish a few times a year, to really understand who he is.’
Language keeps on cropping up.
Here’s something I touched on in yesterday’s post regarding how he’ll implement his ideas, and the perils of getting it wrong.
Unai Emery arrived to Paris after his failure in Spartak Moscow, where he tried to impose his ideas very suddenly, which failed in part due to cultural differences.
When you first arrive to a club, you need to adapt to the club’s philosophy, the place where you live, and the player culture. It’s a different place, a very international club marked by Arsène Wenger.
You have some managers who ignore what was in place before and instil their own ideas. Then you have guys who are more focused on the continuity and who aren’t as brutal. Unai Emery is more in that logic. He used to have a very fiery attitude, and could sometimes go all out.
For example, there was a game he was losing 2-1 with Almeria with one man down, where he decided to put on a striker for a defensive midfielder. He told his team that they were here to win, but in the end they lost 3-1. Today he wouldn’t necessarily do the same thing. He’ll try to understand where he’s arriving. In regards to the culture of the club, how they work etc.
He’ll insist on videos — both team and individual footage. But he also knows that if the players don’t subscribe to what he’s saying or doing, he won’t persist with it. Similarly to how Benjamin Mendy used to not watch Marcelo Bielsa’s video sessions. Mendy used to fall asleep watching them, to which Bielsa told him, “There’s no need to watch them. The day you’ll be interested, you’ll watch them.” Eventually, that’s what happened. If he forced him to watch it, he would have never developed any interest for it and wouldn’t be invested in it.
So we can expect Emery to be in a form of continuity. He’ll definitely work on high pressing because he loves that. He’ll focus on using the whole length of the pitch, with particular focus on the full-backs. I’d say his trademark is the involvement of full-backs when attacking. His other trademark is set pieces, which he didn’t really succeed with at PSG. But at Sevilla he worked on that extensively. At PSG, he wasn’t able to do the same. Maybe because the players didn’t follow what he had to say on it or didn’t find it useful. But if he has players who love to study the game, along with a few strong characters in the dressing room to help with his message, things will work really well from set pieces.
Emery has such a tough job ahead of him, he has to deal with the legacy of Wenger, which was very much a ‘do as you please’ culture… but he also has to make us competitive. The manager is under a time constraint, he needs to impress the board, the crowd and the players. He can take things slowly to avoid hurt feelings, but if things start poorly, he’ll be in trouble.
I think part of why we’re seeing the club hire in older talent that has familiarity with the board is that the club know they need to bring in players they own. They need to reset the culture with authoritative figures in the dressing room that know what it takes to play at the new highest level. If the club make Ramsey captain, you have him sorted. If they bring in a new centre-back like Sokratis, you gain a leader, but you also start bringing in the attitude of Dortmund which Sven controls. Lichtensteiner might not have it in him to play 50 games next season, but if anyone thinks a 5 time Serie A champions won’t come with a presence, they’re gravely mistaken.
Emery needs to implement his ideas quickly and he needs to build the culture out in his vision. It’s a tough balancing act for sure, but if the club bring in enough new faces to stamp out the familiar feel of comfort that Wenger imprinted on the squad, they should be well on the way to a new Arsenal.
Finally, EDDDDDDIIIIIE Nketiah made an assist and scored a cracker for Scotland.
Arsenal: U18s: 16 games – 15 goals U21s: 27 games – 18 goals First team: 127 minutes – 2 goals
England: U18s: 2 games – 4 goals U19s: 12 games – 11 goals U21s: 3 games – 2 goals
His record reads like PEAK Franny Jeffers. I’m so excited to see where his career goes under a proper coach, because you know under Wenger he’d be benched for the next two years making 6minutes of open play, then he’d go on loan to WBA, then he’d retire to make adult movies with his page 3 girlfriend.
We have HIGH hopes for Eddie, he looks like he’s built for the top of the game.
RIGHT, listen to our timeless podcast because it’s so damn good you’d eat it if sound were edible.