KIT DETAILS – WHY THEY MATTER!

by .

Good evening, my darlings; how are we on this fine day?

England plays Brazil. Should be a fun match-up. Shame the pre-game drama is about a kit detail.

That said, I do want to weigh in on it because I live in this world.

Nike presented this take on the English flag as a fun design feature. It has caused quite the culture war.

What is amusing to me is that this went right to politics. The nationalists decried it, some bigots jumped on it, and the flag lovers of the country railed against the abomination.

The left-leaning football accounts, even the football kit specialists, decided that they’d go the other way and say it’s outrageous for fans to be bothered by things like… kit details.

Uhhhhh… have we all lost our minds here? The bad right shaming the country with gross comments. The left pretending that symbolism is now not important?

Kits are part of the culture. How a country is represented in design is consequential. Those are two factual statements. The only type of person who would disagree with that statement is the sort that doesn’t like football transfers. Kits are massive; pretending they are not is an unacceptable viewpoint.

Forget boring culture wars; let’s distil this to the most fundamental question: Does it look good?

It doesn’t.

If it doesn’t look good, let’s ask the next question: Is the design rationale worth it?

No, it’s not. I have to be honest, when I first saw it, I assumed it was an inclusivity play that I didn’t know about. Nike wasn’t upfront in the social post. I dug around, and it’s actually hommage to the 1966 training kit.

If your design language is so off, the majority of fans make incorrect assumptions, or they have to google it, you have made a bad design choice.

Don’t take my word for it, read what Craig Ward, one of my favorite brand designers had to say about it:

‘Former England Kit design alumni here 🙋‍♂️

I think Nike just need to get their story straight. If it’s a message about inclusion or intended to stir up a debate then own it. They’re usually pretty good at that. Don’t dismiss it as a ‘playful update’ – they also said it had been influenced by an old training kit, so the rationale should be clearer.

All the other thoughts I have are second guessing based on the lack of clarity around the intent.’

Back to it: Nike risked the anger of a very patriotic island nation… to respect the training kit of 1966. I have to be honest; I’d have much rather it was an inclusivity/charitable awareness initiative because at least you could defend the design (lack of) as a necessity for an accurate representation of a charity, movement, or organization. Purple flag is a dementia organisation over here, if that’s what it was about, and there was a donation aspect from the shirt, who would be cold hearted enough to critique?

So now for the marketing question: Who REALLY cares about 1966? The generation that really loves flags > is likely very patriotic > is highly likely to blow a gasket if you reimagine the fundamentals of a national flag. In short, the target audience of the flag was traditionalists, and they gave them a non-traditional design detail.

As you all know, I’m far from a traditionalist when it comes to kit design, but when it comes to flags, you have to be careful. You might get away with monochromatic or an abstraction, but changing one bar of the flag to purple made little sense and the key point here: it’s not beautiful.

National flags, in most countries, are really important. When it comes to England kits, our flag colors are not really represented. That is rare for national kits. The Adidas Italian away kit is an abstraction of their flag, same for Brazil, Portugal, Norway, Spain, Argentina, France… the list goes on. England is a white and blue kit. Our crest is three lions. So if you’re going to take liberties with the flag of any country… probably don’t do it with England.

It’s also amazing to me how many people pretend this is a uniquely British issue. Do you think if Adidas changed the green in the Italian flag to yellow, that would land? You think messing with the Brazil flag on a detail would go down well? Which country do you think would react differently to an alien colour in their flag detail? The people saying this is fine would be the first to hold a corporation accountable for cultural desecration if it happened to another country, so why do they look the other way when it’s England?

What is amazing about this boring culture war, though, isn’t whether some people on the left are deeply unpatriotic or some people on the right are horrendously nationalistic… it’s that no one is asking the simple question of: is it a nice detail to look at?

It is not.

This is a big miss for Nike. They’ve fluffed a detail on an otherwise beautiful return to top-tier kits. That’s a shame.

Unfortunately, details matter.

Ok, that’s me done.

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141 Comments
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NJ Gooner

Am I the first?

NJ Gooner

And I read the whole column before even commenting

NJ Gooner

I have to say Pedro, I love your posting and the podcast. But I have gone off the latter since Jonny Cochrane decided that he’s an expert on the Middle East. He appears to rank as one of those guys who thinks that canceling is fine. But when it happens to him or people he likes then it’s doxxing. No, it isn’t . It’s just still canceling. My point? Like Nike, you make your choices and you risk hurting the brand. Apologies if I got off theme. But this appears to be the only way to register my dissent.

NJ Gooner

And now I joyfully take my clean sweep

Kpankulu

Hmmm…the International break always throws up doozies…

Pedro

NJ, I value your opinion, thank you for sharing ♥️

China1

Agreed on most points Pedro but consider me guilty of thinking it’s actually a kinda cool flag That said I’m colour blind and my wife will tell anyone who’ll listen my take on design is dreadful I also think it’s kinda cool if their justification of the 1966 reference is genuine but without mentioning it no one would ever guess it in a million years Generally just a very poor decision for all these reasons from Nike. But worse than that is apparently the kit costs 138 quid WHY? They’re made in Vietnamese sweatshops for a couple of dollars apiece… Read more »

Siddeeq

Cochrane is doing great work.

Someone say to me ” i value your opinion, thank for sharing”

Useroz

I’d ask who approved it at Nike? There have to he agreed governance over Introduction of a new kit, with or without changes to the flag, no? In other words, anyone from FA also needed to be accountable for the issue?

Last edited 20 days ago by Useroz
China1

NJ respectfully (I mean that) what’s the objective to dissenting against who Pedro has on a podcast to talk about arsenal

If the objective is that Pedro should only have people on to talk about arsenal if they share your political views across the entire spectrum then he’s not going to find many people who fit the bill as we all generally have our own nuanced views about everything.

And what is the benefit of listening to people talk about arsenal if said people share your views on some unrelated stuff vs if they don’t?it’s by definition unrelated

Useroz

On Odegarrd after the Czech match

Meanwhile, Nettavisen gave Odegaard a 5 out of 10, writing: ‘Like the Norwegian team, started fresh, but struggled more and more in the first half.

‘Seemed to have a slight limp on one occasion. Controls the Norwegian team well after the break when we press on at the start of the half.’


A slight limp?? Time to withdraw and return to base if genuine …

Guns of SF

The kit should be traditional white. Why change anything. Who cares about them damn lefties lol

Marky Mark

China1 – there’s another comedian on the Pod as well Jacob Hawley in my opinion he’s pretty good. You’ve got Jonny risking it big time when anti semitic abuse is playing out very heavy in the media. I am afraid to say that maybe UK political parties and maybe Netanyahu are ramping up what is an ongoing historical issue for their own ends as well. Then you’ve Jacob who probably tells all sorts of jokes but thinks, you know what I’ll steer well clear of that. Doesn’t mean Jonny isn’t a great guy, but one comedian is probably making a… Read more »

Aitcho

I prefer this cross to the imperiaisric old one. Nicer colours, less Enoch Powel fan friendly. If the only people getting upset are old men who, let’s face it, get upset about everything from black people in adverts to politicians wishing people Happy Ramadan that’s a fair price for innovation. They’re a dying breed and not worth trying to appease. It’s precisely because we don’t get all precious about our flags, that we have global cool. Remember the dapper kits at the Olympics in 2012, punk Rock, rappers in Union Jack bullet proof vests? Style and innovation. Let other countries… Read more »

Guns of SF

Never mind the bollocks- Sex Pistols.
The kit is a kit

Aitcho

Southgate and the FA are being wimps about this. DFB have gone much further out there but are owning their pink kit. No doubt some older fans over there were upset about it too but old men don’t buy kits, they just moan when things no longer cater for their sensibilities. Just look at how all the oddball kits Arsenal seem to dump on us every other month sell out in seconds regardless of old fans opinions. In fact, probably a cute move by Nike to bring in a younger, more style conscious crowd into what can be seen as… Read more »

Guns of SF

nothing compares to our away kit. Someone dropped a lot of acid when making that shit

Chrispy

All I’m interested in is our players coming back unscathed and our competitors coming back injured.

Aitcho

Guns SF
I don’t think it’s being revisionist to say, that as iconic as it’s become, bruised banana wasn’t used as term of affection when it first came out.

I remember Saint and Greavsie digging it out and most of us kind of felt they had a point. That’s why they go for so much now, nobody bought one back then.

The acid drop kit may grow on us and youngsters who have it now might be classic kit OGs in 2050

Redblooded

Who has some information about the saka situation. We need him for the mancity game

Al m

Good article. Spot on

Bob N16

Obviously the design matters but I’d say any of the Arsenal kits which we won something in, become ‘classics’ from a nostalgic point of view. e.g. Charlie George FA cup 1971, The invincible home shirt, the bruised banana etc.

Our current away kit will undoubtedly be popular ‘through the ages’ if we win something this year!

Felix

Tend to agree Bob

I know our home kit derived it’s colours from borrowing kit off Forest, but anyone know the origins of the traditional way blue and yellow?

China1

Not a fan of OG bruised banana but I do like the modern one myself Marky yeah not saying I advise Johnny to make such jokes in the current climate, it’s definitely risky. I wouldn’t do it myself. But then if someone at work tells me their pronouns are zee/zim I will oblige begrudgingly to avoid getting the sack over it in spite of thinking it’s nonsense. What I can say is I (for the most part) love China and Chinese people. Married one and have a half Chinese kid. I still laughed at a horrifically racist joke Ricky Gervais… Read more »

Bob N16

Am liking the black away one!
Not sure about the blue in the home kit

comment image

Batbite

Since when is England an island??

Jonnygunner

Aitcho….sweeping statement there to completely ignore a huge demographic of this country that remembers hard struggles from the past . The very struggles that have empowered you in this day and age to be able to speak freely.

Jonnygunner

Sid is a sleeper cell.

Aitcho

Bob N16

The kits are nice. Always annoys me when the 3rd kit is the one with the old school cannon. I still find the new badge plain ugly.

Siddeeq

Jonnygunner shows his true colours, very nice. I sniffed you out from the word go.

Aitcho

Jenny gunner
I’m sure Nike have done their due diligence. The people in the past also had the benefits of exploiting the colonies, now they struggled and still do as a result.

Now the old folk just moan about things not being the way they like and want it to be forevermore.

I’m not sure a red Cross or union jack represent struggle

Fred

Interesting take Pedro- there are left and right issues at play. I think Nike got themselves into a woke position, purely for financial reasons – the like of which Owen Jones (vehemently anti-Israel) promotes, for whom Jonny Cochrane is a disciple of. Nike are naturally concerned that they don’t alienate certain powerful sports washing countries and did not want to use the flag of St. George, long associated with the Crusaders and the far-right in this country. So they came up with a ludicrous premise about ‘66, in order to conceal an international team’s legitimate flag. The politicians in this… Read more »

Jonnygunner

As I did you Sid. You are Xenophobic without a shadow of a doubt. You want every white person to be apologetic for just being born white. People can get along Sid- you should try being less abrasive, but it wouldn’t suit your agenda.

Whiteydagooner

Pedro ..a great post, kit design comes directly from an evolution of the beating heart of a club or country. Not a focus group playing with pentel pens after a brain storming session. At art school one if the first things we were taught is that Design Must have Intention. This has none whatsever..except a weak attempt to seek attention.

Colney Gooner

Nice kits and good to see blue on the home shirt, a possible nod to when we played with blue hooped socks.

Siddeeq

“”You want every white person to be apologetic for just being born white””

Loool, gaslighting. Very typical.

Jonnygunner

You’ve used ‘gaslighting’ in two of your recent posts Sid…is that your get out of jail card whenever you’re challenged?…and loooool of course.
I see you Sidney…clear as day.
I’ll go back to all things Arsenal now,but you..you are rather more than ‘just’ a snide poster.

Pierre

For me , it is all about what/who is inside/wearing the Arsenal kit rather than what pretty patterns are on the outside.

Siddeeq

Sleeper cell
Snide poster
Abrasive

Thats Sid in a few words

Kan

I’m not English neither am I white but I have a lot of affinity with the English even if many of the things they historically did in my country still rankles till date.

I was one of those immediately incensed by the desecration of the Cross of St. George. I immediately saw it for what it was. Another front in effacing Christian symbols wherever they appear for the sake of wokeness.

I am not sure Nike would dare take such creative license with the flag of any of the countries with the crescent moon.

jwl

From twitter –

Confirmed: Arsenal fixture changes for April –

Wolves vs. Arsenal
Saturday, April 20
KO 7:30pm (Sky Sports)

Arsenal vs. Chelsea
Tuesday, April 23
KO 8pm (TNT Sports)

Tottenham vs. Arsenal
Sunday, April 28
KO 2pm (Sky Sports)

OR if Arsenal reach the Champions League semi-final, which the first leg would be played on Tuesday, April 30:

Tottenham vs. Arsenal
Saturday, April 27
KO 12:30pm

Richard

Good job we are playing a mid table team on the 23rd, so we can rest key players for the NLD 😄😄😄

allezkev

Nice well balanced post Pedro, at the final analysis the England shirt is vastly overpriced and if you buy it’s on you.

China1

Fred my first suspicion was that it was Nike being woke, but I really want to believe their explanation which was far more interesting even if a stretch If you’re right tho it was then doing the same shit my company does as per my photo I think where we’ve gone wrong in recent years is the objective shouldn’t be ‘to include’ rather ‘to not exclude’ People shouldn’t be included in anything just for the sake of it. Rather they shouldn’t be excluded if they have something to offer and are willing to engage. And certain countries like the UK… Read more »

IMG_6391
Northbanker

The debate on flags and kits needs to go through a new arc. Let’s get rid of the blue altogether and introduce white and red as our base colours and get symmetry with our flag Bring back a style similar to 2006ish (not sure exactly when) with a red cross on the shoulder

Northbanker

And while we’re on symmetry Pedro – your point on Italy – correct me if I’m wrong but green doesn’t feature anywhere in their kit – the blue shirt is most bizarre

China1

Kan mate out of interest are you Chinese? I live down the road from the site in tanggu where the British ships rolled in and opened fire. A curious thing when my half English half Chinese son went to the fort in tanggu where it says the British opened fire. He didn’t know what to make of it. Likewise the downtown parts of Tianjin which are former British colonies. I told him history is history and today is today and tomorrow is whatever we decide to make. He’s neither a British aggressor who should be sorry nor a Chinese victim… Read more »

Northbanker

Sid’s posts are getting weirder, even if you didn’t think that was possible. He needs sectioning to keep society safe.

TheLegendaryDB10

Excellent post by Pedro and really well said. I am no nationalist by any stretch, but a countries flag is a countries flag. Would anyone dare change the French flag, the Italian or Spanish flag, the US flag, or even the Chinese flag? Not in a million years. You just know that there would be an uproar. So why on Earth should we roll over and accept the change to our flag? I also think the ’66 explanation is a dishonest excuse peddled by Nike and the FA. (And shame on the FA for going along and backing this.) I… Read more »

Positive Pete

JWL- expect the suds game to be a 12.30 on the Sat .All being well.Not too bad by my reckoning if that occurs.Have 3 full days off after the chavs.But zCL a little closer.

allezkev

I wonder how much truth there is in the online Alexander Isak links to Arsenal?

Good player, Premier League proven but a bit brittle on the injury front, would he be worth a notable upgrade on the £63m Newcastle paid? I can’t help feeling that there’s better value out there…

Last edited 20 days ago by allezkev
Positive Pete

Bloody typos.Suds lol.Spuds of course.

Positive Pete

As for Nike & their kit fiddling.Glad to see the back of them for ours.Yanks who don’t give a monkeys for tradition.

TheLegendaryDB10

Fred

If you think that they decided to change the colour of our flag to avoid offending some sportwashing countries, why bother even putting it on the shirt in the first place then?

Makes the decision to have it on the shirt even more ludicrous.

I think it was some woke attempt at promoting their message and someone thought that distorting a flag would be a great way of pushing their agenda.

Makes you wonder what next?

TheLegendaryDB10

Positive Pete

You can edit your post by clicking / pressing on the little cog on the bottom right-hand side of your post. 🙂

Northbanker

Allezkev – Isak is potentially the type of player that would fit brilliantly into our system as he is mobile and skilful and works hard for the team

But as you say he is prone to injury and won’t be less than 85m. I don’t want our club to be bailing out others clubs FFP issues unnecessarily

BUT prefer to Gyökeres who was a journeyman in English football until he joined a pub league in Portugal

I hope we have a cheaper project in mind who is staying under the radar while all this white noise is being made

allezkev

NB, it’s the injuries that worry me re: Isak, not the talent, arguably we should try to move away from players with fitness issues as Man City have.

Like you I’m hopeful that the club are encouraging the many rumours whilst working on an attacking option that’s gone under the radar.

China1

Edu said our summer transfer planning is already done so it will be very nice if that means we make quick work of signings

Northbanker

Last year they did exactly that – the transfers of Rice, Kai and Timber were clearly all negotiated and agreed from a player perspective so it was a case of agreeing the fee with the club that remained. Sometimes though that makes you a sitting duck for the club to then play hardball over the fee

Josip Skoblar

Great post, Pedro, with some sensible comments.

Wengaball

This is not a right or left issue.

Some things should be left untouched. A national flag is one of those things.

I say this even though the St George’s Cross has its origins in violence (the Crusades, St George being the patron saint of soldiers) and I absolutely abhorr war and violence.

But it’s part of England’s national identity and that must be respected.

Last edited 20 days ago by Wengaball
Press Box Gooner

So Nike has changed the colour of the flag on the latest incarnation of the England shirt as a consequence of being inspired by the hue of the training kit worn by England’s 1966 World Cup winners.

Seems they have overlooked the fact that England wore red shirts in defeating West Germany in the final. Due diligence my arse.

vieira

People have also to remember when considering Isak, he has an excellent year with Odegaard in Bask land, that year was a break out season for both of them and this will be a huge advantage if he was to come to us. I would not be too concerned regarding his injury.

Guns of SF

The black kit is great. Always a fan of black shirts.

Tom

White gate, kit gate, how can South gate deliver with all this adversity.

Alexanderhenry

Is the kit design supposed to signify ‘inclusion’? Why?

The best advert for inclusion is the make up of the England team itself.
Our national team is more inclusive and diverse than most other comparable nations and has been for a very long time.

There’s your statement right there: the players

We don’t need to virtue signal with our kit.
And yes, it should bear at least some resemblence to the flag including a red St George cross.

Tom

“Someone say to me ” i value your opinion, thank for sharing” ”

I wouldn’t go as far as saying I value your opinions Sid, but I’d rather read your posts, even the most nonsensical ones, over some of the pandering, circle jerk brain farts often on display around here.

For a Putin loving racist bigot with a hefty dose of male chauvinism sprinkled on top, you’re OK.
Mostly because you admit it.

I can’t say the same about this Jonny character, who’s definitely still in a closet.

Northbanker

Pedro – fair enough although it is an away kit and is only slightly green. Don’t think it takes away my point on their home kit but great that they haven’t forgotten their flag altogether

Northbanker

Henderson is not available tonight which makes the England team a little more interesting

Nijajoe

Rodrigo of Madrid is in the mixer. Better than Isak.

Useroz

Rice shouldn’t have been made available. Best to withdraw after the first game asap.

Tenerife Gooner

How much does Domestic Violence increase on International Weekends.

Youdaman

Walker off with a hammy
👀

Useroz

Amongst recent links to striker/forward personally would prefer Rodrygo to Gyokeres and Isak, assuming all three would have not dissimilar price tags.

Rodrygo might become less than happy with Mbappe lively to join. He looks a versatile option that could comfortably play across the front three…

TheLegendaryDB10

Chilwell just can’t shoot. 3rd attempt now and he still can’t shoot on target.

Subbing him off in the 2nd half is a requirement if we want to score.

Logie Bear

Northbanker, Pedro:
For what it’s worth, Italy play in blue as that was the colour of the House of Savoy, which was the royal family in place when they played their first match in 1910.

You could also ask why the Netherlands play in orange, when that’s not in their flag. Well, that’s also because of their royal family being he House of Orange (honestly!)

Yea you can tell I’m a bit bored, hate these interlulls, especially at this stage of the season!

Madhu

How come Saka is not in squad. Hope everything is right with him

Josip Skoblar

This Brazil team is a bit meh.

Josip Skoblar

Well played Rice!

Josip Skoblar

Brazil had a great chance!

Richard

Very impressed with Pickfords’ distribution in the first half.
Never seen him play the ball out as quickly, accurately, and creativity before.

Rich
Bob N16

Madhu, Saka precautionary release from squad – ‘minor muscle issue’.

TheLegendaryDB10

Madhu

Saka is “injured” until the International friendlies are over.

We need him fit more than England does right now.

Rich

United should move Heaven + Earth to tax Southgate away from the English National Team before the Euros.

The FA should be as generous as to not demand any compensation.

TheLegendaryDB10

That goal by Brazil is way offside.

Is this not going to be reviewed by VAR???

TheLegendaryDB10

And they ate trying to justify the dodgy goal with some supposed high end graphical display which still shows both Brazil players being offside.

This is absolute nonsense.

Hermes

Well without Saka and Kane, England’s attack is no more.
At least Rashford seems interested.

Samuel

Another game, another L for England. Its a beautiful day isn’t it boys? 😀

Emiratesstroller

England were bang average in absence of Saka and Kane.

The left side of defence with Maguire and Chilwell is not remotely of international quality.

Tom

Rice, Bellingham and Bowen England’s stand outs, Pickford good to.
The in crisis Brazil deserved it on chances created.

What a terrible record England has vs Brazil.

Rich

Kai Havertz scores again 🎶🎶🎶..

S.V.

Havertz scores against France.

aus sieben Metern mühelos

TheLegendaryDB10

It’s so nice to see Kai score for Germany.

You can tell that his confidence is building up, and the fact he scored a goal today can only do him even more good when he comes back from International duty.

A virtuous circle in full action which is nice to see for once.

Tets has really rejuvenated him which just shows that he really knows what he wants for the team.

Madhu

Thanks Bob and DB10. as long as he is alright. Hope Rice gets tested against Belgium he played the whole game today.

Nigel Tufnel

Kev, Northbanker, I don’t see what you do in Isak. Nothing I’ve seen makes me think he could be anything but a giant step backwards for us as we are one of the best teams in the world. Anybody we consider adding must work/press like a demon all over the pitch and combine well with teammates, like Jesus, Havertz, Trossard already do. Isak is a simple traditional striker with pace. Needs to be fed, and doesn’t win the ball back for counters. Sure, he did thrive with Ødegaard feeding him that season in a more open league… but who wouldn’t?… Read more »

Rich

Via Squawka:

“Kai Havertz’s last five games for club and country

⚽🅰️ vs. Newcastle
⚽🅰️ vs. Sheffield United
⚽ vs. Brentford
❌ vs. Porto
⚽ vs. France

Four goals, two assists.”

Aitcho

I hadn’t really watched Havertz in much more than highlights before this season. He looked silky and clinical in those. Goes to show.

His career also includes international level shit housing by the looks of it. I don’t know if he’s spent his career to date committing and winning snidey fouls but to see him bringing the same agent of chaos he does for us to the French is amusing.

It’s only chaos for them, he knows what he’s doing. Spikey little git on the quiet.

Taking bets next season, what comes first, 5 yellows or 10 goals?

Last edited 19 days ago by Aitcho