Arsenal fans waking up this Friday morning will be quite happy after last night’s 3-1 Europa League semi-final first leg win over Valencia at Emirates Stadium.
It leaves them well-placed to reach the final but, if they are to reach the final for the first time in 19 years, they will do so in what is, in our view, a poor-looking kit.
Due to the large amount of white on the Gunners’ home shirt, Uefa consider it to clash with Valencia’s regular jersey and last night the Spanish side wore all-navy. They will of course be in white at the Mestalla next Thursday.
That means Arsenal’s navy change shirt will be worn and, ordinarily, there would be a shorts-clash to solve but, this season, to mark their centenary, Valencia’s home kit is white shirts, white shorts and black socks (it caused Manchester United to wear red-black-white there in the Champions League).
As a result, Arsenal can wear their navy/red marl-patterned shorts but they must change their socks and, as they did at Brighton & Hove Albion in the league in December, the red home alternative set will be used:
It’s quite a jarring look because, even though there is red on shirt and shorts, it looks darker because it’s quite fine and mixed with navy.
In the modern era, Arsenal have worn navy as an alternative since the mid-1960s, with yellow chosen in 1968 when the FA outlawed navy due to the possibility of confusion with the black of the match officials.
Since those regulations were relaxed, a number of different sock colours have been used with navy Arsenal shirts: