Since the arrival of Nike as Arsenal’s kit manufacturer in 1994, two-tone blue change kits have been a periodical feature.
The 2009-10 example was a classy design, with a fine pinstripe adorning the all-navy outfit.
It had its competitive debut in a Champions League qualifier away to Celtic in August, with its first Premier League outing coming in the third game, against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
While Arsenal had often had navy socks on their away kits prior to that, there had been more than a few games against United with no sock change, with the 6-1 defeat in 2001 a notable exception as Arsenal wore yellow socks, while the hosts had sometimes changed to white socks against the Gunners.
In 2002-03, away to Roma in the Champions League, Arsenal had paired their home shorts and socks with their blue away shirt but the absence of red on the 2009 kit, apart from the crest, meant that such a look would jar – as would be seen in 2012, when the home alternative socks were used. However, on this occasion, a special set of white socks, trimmed in navy and blue, were provided – coupled with the default socks for the home and third strips, it meant that Arsenal had three white sets that season.
While Arsenal went ahead through an Andrei Arshavin goal, United came back to win 2-1 – a late Robin van Persie equaliser was ruled offside and Arsène Wenger was infamously ordered from the touchline. The other instance of this kit being mashed up would also end in defeat.
That came in November, away to Sunderland, who had black shorts and socks with their red-and-white-striped home shirts. Again, Arsenal had the white alternative socks and, while there was and is no rule against a shorts-clash, they donned matching white shorts, too – the only time these appeared in a game.
The overall look was similar to the 1-0 loss to Lens at Wembley in 1998-99 and, unfortunately for Arsenal, the scoreline was the same at the Stadium of Light.