PUMA Football has revealed the Arsenal 2018/19 away jersey. The North London club adds a radical dash of red to their classic blue clash shirt.
The new change jersey is dark blue and red with white accents. A high-cut v-neck collar brings a vintage touch, as hints of PUMA’s Formstripe can be seen on the shoulders in red, with white Cats above the pattern.
The sleeves have unique red and blue heather-marl flecked stripes. A red diamond cut pulse pattern can be seen across the chest, like on the home jersey. Another white PUMA Cat is placed on the right breast, across from the Arsenal crest.
The shorts have the heather red and dark blue pattern return on the body, with a blue waistband and white PUMA Cat, and navy blue socks with solid red trim and white PUMA Cat completes the kit. Women’s Super League champion Arsenal Women will also have an away kit that features the same design as the men’s team. Emirates returns as the main shirt sponsor.
Arsenal’s famous red shirt with white sleeves is one of the most distinctive soccer jerseys in the world. But few fans understand and appreciate the revolutionary idea behind it. Soccer365 takes a look at who designed the jersey and why the classic look was adopted.
Former Arsenal coach Herbert Chapman is remembered as one of the most forward-thinking and innovative tacticians in the history of the game.
In the 1930s, his bright idea to play with three defenders while the rest of organised soccer was lining up in a 2-3-5 formation was ground-breaking, and would be copied by all and sundry, creating what became commonly known as the ‘WM’ system.
But his genius and propensity for thinking outside the box stretched beyond the realm of the tactics board.
Chapman made the decision to switch from the less distinctive, darker, all-red shirt worn from the club’s inception to the eye-catching colors that are now synonymous with their name in 1933.
The reason behind the change was that he wanted his players to be able to identify one another more readily and even in a quick glance through the corner of their eyes. The theory behind this line of thinking ran that, if the players could spot their team-mates a fraction of a second quicker, they’d be able to pick them out with a pass ever so slightly more rapidly.
In a high-stakes, fast-paced fixture, every split-second counts – although, generally speaking, soccer wasn’t played at the breakneck speeds we see in the Premier League today.
The folklore surrounding the manager’s decision to have his side wear those particular colors, in that specific orientation, states that Chapman once noticed a spectator wearing a white shirt under a red sleeveless sweater in the stands at an Arsenal game. Struck by how vividly the fan stood out from the crowd, a lightbulb flickered on in his mind.
Chapman also determined that the Gunners should no longer wear plain black socks, and insisted that blue and white horizontal stripes would be a better option.
If an Arsenal player in possession had his head bowed, his focus trained on maintaining control of the ball, he needn’t look up to identify a team-mate in red and white at the risk of being dispossessed. Instead, he could keep his gaze low and look for those distinctive, striped socks and send a pass in their direction, safe in the knowledge that no opposition in that era would be wearing anything similar.
Although the color and pattern of their socks has changed over the years, Arsenal have worn red shirts with white sleeves and shorts ever since Chapman decided they should do so.
The only exceptions being the 1966/67 season when they reverted to all red, but the change proved unpopular and the north Londoners’ white sleeves and shorts returned for the next campaign.
And in 2005/06, Arsenal decided to mark their final season at Highbury by wearing a commemorative redcurrant shirt which resembled the jersey worn by the Gunners in their first ever term at the ground in 1913.
As soon as that campaign ended Arsene Wenger’s men were back in their customary colors ahead of their move to the newly-built Emirates Stadium.
Umbro, adidas, Nike and Puma have taken a turn designing the Gunners’ jerseys over the years but they have all stayed true to Chapman’s blueprint.
Whether or not the distinctive sleeves have played a part in the success the club has enjoyed over time is debatable; it’s likely that such gifted players as Thierry Henry, Ian Wright and Dennis Bergkamp would have led them to major honors with a potato sack on their back.
But one thing is for sure, the classic look has made absolutely certain that Arsenal have always looked uniquely stylish.
Arsenal F.C. was founded in 1886 by munitions workers at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, in southeast London. These men built weapons that would eventually be used in war, and gave Arsenal both its nickname -- The Gunners -- and its now-famous cannon logo. Arsenal entered the First Division in 1904 and have been relegated only once, in 1913.
Though Arsenal’s history extends back to 1886, the club as we know them today appeared in 1913. That year, after bankruptcy a couple of years prior, the club was moved to north London, started playing home matches at Arsenal Stadium (better known as Highbury), and took on the official name ‘The Arsenal.’
In 1925, Arsenal signed star manager Herbert Chapman to a record-breaking salary. Chapman, with his innovative tactics and eye for young talent, transformed Arsenal from a good club to a great one. Despite his premature death in 1934, his vision saw Arsenal win five titles and two FA Cups in the 1930s -- their most successful period until the Premier League era.
Following their success, Arsenal underwent what some club historians call ‘a long sleep,’ with little success in the league or cup competitions in the middle decades of the 20th century. Save for the famous 1970/71 team that won the league and FA Cup ‘double,’ Arsenal were consistently good, but not great.
In the late 1980s Arsenal experienced a surge that coincided with the establishment of the Premier League. Thanks to a rock-solid defense of Tony Adams, Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn and Steve Bould, Arsenal won six trophies from 1988-1994.
In 1996, Arsene Wenger was appointed manager, and the Frenchman’s tactical nous and focus on attacking play ushered in a period of Premier League dominance. With the help of world class talent like Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira, Arsenal won three Premier League titles and three FA Cups in his first eight seasons in charge.
Since Arsenal moved into their new stadium, in 2006, known as The Emirates, silverware has largely eluded the Gunners. Though Arsenal has notched three more FA Cups and consistently qualified for Champions League soccer, they have not won the League title since 2003/04. As of 2017, Wenger remains in charge after 22 seasons, the longest-serving manager in the club’s history. Many wonder how much longer he will be in his post.
Arsenal is a club with a deep, rich history. The same club colors and basic shirt design (red with white sleeves) since at least the 1930s. Thirteen top-flight titles, and plenty of domestic and international trophies to boot. Some of the greatest footballers to ever grace the grass: Henry, Bergkamp, Vieira, Adams. For nearly 100 years, from 1913 to 2004, the club’s Arsenal Stadium, nicknamed Highbury, was a key part of that tapestry.
With great success, though, comes expansion, and starting in the 2006/07 season, Arsenal began playing its matches at Emirates Stadium, a 60,000-capacity ground that remains one of the modern jewels of the game. Arsenal has spent the last decade trying to write a new chapter in their storied history in this new stadium.
According to Arsene Wenger, the choice to build a new stadium was the ‘biggest decision in the club’s history’ and the process started way back in 1997. It took seven years to figure out a location and get local council approval, but in 2004 ground broke on what would become -- and is still named -- Emirates Stadium. The entire project was completed at a cost of £390 million, with £100 million of that recouped by the club in a sponsorship deal that gave Emirates, a Dubai-based airline, long-term shirt sponsorship and stadium naming rights.
The new stadium increased seating capacity from 38,419 to 60,432, but early on it was seen by many hardcore supporters as lacking the same character as Highbury. So, in 2009 and in reaction to fan suggestions, the club made over the Emirates in an effort to ‘Arsenalize’ the stadium. White seats in the shape of Arsenal’s famous cannon logo were inserted among the red, and ‘The Spirit of Highbury,’ a shrine depicting every Arsenal player who competed there, was completed.
Though Arsenal have yet to replicate their Highbury success in the new stadium as of the 2017 season, Arsene Wenger and his brand of attractive, flowing football continue to delight Emirates crowds 10 years after its opening.
For a club that has been around, in some form, for 131 years, and won 13 top-division titles, you don’t have to look too far back in time to find the majority of Arsenal club legends. That’s because despite their spurts of success over their long history, namely in the 1930s, Arsenal’s peak came in the 1990s and 2000s. This period saw the Premier League take the world’s stage, and Arsenal, with its once-in-a-generation talent, captured the imagination.
While it’s difficult to pick just five, let’s take a look at those Arsenal players who stand above the rest.
Even the most casual soccer fans will recognize Arsenal’s famous jersey, that bright red strip with white sleeves. Worn by soccer legends ranging from Thierry Henry to Dennis Bergkamp to Martin Keown, the red-and-white home shirt has been in nearly continuous use since the 1930s. Since then, it has had many imitators, but none to rival the original.
With a famous jersey comes great sponsor responsibility, and as of 2017, Arsenal have had just four front-of-jersey sponsors since they debuted their first back in the 1982-83 season. (Compare that to Chelsea, who have had 11.)
JVC, the Yokohama, Japan-based electronics company responsible for developing VHS video technology, held the shirt sponsor for 18 seasons, from 1982 to 1999. JVC's shirt sponsorship remains of the longest in English history.
Following the JVC partnership, Sega, another Japanese company, took over for a brief three-season window. The video game manufacturer had a short run, but thanks to Arsenal's continued success in the 1990s, the club and its jersey exploded in popularity during these years.
For the 2002-03 season, O2 took over and held the sponsorship for the next four seasons. A British telecommunications giant, O2’s branding ploy came at a perfect time. Arsenal, long one of England’s most successful clubs, pulled off one of the most famous runs in soccer history, when they went the entire 2003/04 Premier League season undefeated, with 26 wins, 12 draws and 0 losses. The team became known as ‘The Invincibles,’ among them Henry, Robert Pires and Patrick Vieira.
In 2006, Arsenal and the Middle East airline giant Emirates signed the largest club sponsorship in history, worth an estimated £100 million. That gave Emirates naming rights to Arsenal’s new stadium (Emirates Stadium) as well as the shirt sponsorship for the next eight years. This collaboration has made the Dubai-based airline almost synonymous with Arsenal, despite the company also sponsoring super clubs like Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain, A.C. Milan and Olympiakos.
In 2012, a new sponsorship deal worth £30 million a year was signed to secure Emirates’ naming rights through 2019. That also extended stadium naming rights to 2028. It looks like this famous sponsorship-club collaboration won't be ending anytime soon.