That Bloody Arsenal Shirt

What were they thinking?

The design process leading up to the release of a new football shirt takes 18-24 months with various committees and focus-group sign-offs required along the way.

How on Earth then, did this bloody Arsenal strip slip past the security guards, let alone the quality control people at Adidas?

Arsenal, Adidas, Blood, Away, Shirt, 2020-21
Arsenal’s 2020-21 away shirt is inspired by the old marble-halls of Highbury’s East Stand

Already dubbed the “Raspberry Ripple” and the “Patrick Bateman,” Arsenal’s new 2020-21 away shirt will upset purists as much for the use of white as the garish print.

Arsenal have worn white change kits at various points in their history including the 1960s, 70s and Nike’s designs for both the 2007-08 and 2009-10 seasons, but blood stains or not, fans most closely associate the shade with North London rivals Spurs.

Arsenal, Adidas, Blood, Away, Shirt, 2020-21
Closer inspection reveals that each shirt is slightly different

Colours are hugely important to fans and we are territorial about their use.

It’s the reason Barcelona fans protest whenever there’s a rumour of a white shirt. It’s the same reason why Tottenham fans won’t wear red and can’t stand sponsor’s logos being placed on their shirts in that colour.

In our minds, we think of Arsenal in red shirts with white sleeves, and depending on your vintage, your memories conjure up Charlie George, Ian Wright or Robert Pires in various incarnations of the club’s yellow away shirts.

Sometimes we think of Dennis Bergkamp in navy blue or Sylvain Wiltord in gold, scoring to clinch the 2001-02 title at Old Trafford.

Arsenal, blood, 2020-21, away, shirt, Adidas
“Girls, I’ve got THE perfect Hallowe’en costume!”

Adidas’ new design will be paired with shorts in maroon and white socks to leave a close overall resemblance to the 07-08 kit which coincided with a fairly forgettable season at the Emirates after Thierry Henry left the club.

Officially, Arsenal’s new away shirt is inspired by the marble-halls of Highbury but has been compared to ice-cream and Christian Bale’s blood-stained plastic raincoat from the 2000 film American Psycho.

Arsenal, Adidas, Blood, Away, Shirt, 2020-21
The bloody away shirts are clearly Hector’s cup of tea. Apologies . . .

Maybe this is a “bruised banana” for the modern age, we’re all just being old gits, and Mikel Arteta will inspire an Ian Wright figure to step forward and redeem the way we feel about these shirts with a string of dazzling performances on the road.

Otherwise, we can see these featuring in another disappointing away defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion and the shirts being described as a disaster by fans.

Time will tell.

Arsenal, Adidas, Blood, Away, Shirt, 2020-21
The kit is finished off with maroon shorts and white socks

The best thing we can say about these is that on closer inspection, each shirt is slightly different meaning that for reasons of sustainability (and perhaps cost), Adidas have reduced material wastage by cutting the kits from one continuous line of cloth.

We give 10 out of 10 for the link to Highbury and for the idea of using a marbled pattern.

As for the execution?

Well, it looks like there’s been one . . .

What do you think of Adidas’ new Arsenal away shirt?

Arsenal, Adidas, Blood, Away, Shirt, 2020-21
Sweating blood for the cause?

đź›’ You can shop for this & all this season’s new releases at Kitbag.com. đź›’

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