Friday saw the official reveal of the new Arsenal second strip, which will be worn for the first time by the club’s women’s team against Crystal Palace on Sunday – with the men also wearing it against Palace, next Wednesday. We asked Johnathan Rudland of the Arsenal Shirt Project for his early thoughts:
This future iconic kit has been created by adidas in memory of the 1971 double-winning team. The stripped-down cannon from the Arsenal badge has created a unique shirt, which I’m sure will have fans reluctantly reaching into their pockets, despite recent events.
Yellow was introduced as Arsenal’s second choice in 1968 after the FA banned navy shirts and the 1971 FA Cup final saw the shirt enter Arsenal folklore. It has since become the away shirt colour of choice for most fans and this shirt again doesn’t disappoint. Although a little lighter than our traditional shade of yellow, the ‘pearl citrine’ base, which is similar to the shades of 1983 and 1986, looks great on the players. The simple design shows rich heritage to the original shirt, with navy blue accents on the collar and sleeve cuffs, similar to 1971 if a little darker. A bold red piping finishes off the cuff on the shirt, which is also interwoven under the blue cuff, although this can only be seen on the player-spec shirt.
The bold matching yellow shorts, which were made famous by adidas in 1991 at The Dell against Southampton – Ian Wright scored a hat-trick on his league debut – were most definitely a surprise to all supporters. Once again, adidas brought these back to pair with the modern bruised banana shirt in the same fixture in 2019-20, which was a huge hit with the fans and now for the first time, an all-yellow away kit will be seen all season.
Finishing off the kit are a pair of yellow socks, topped with blue and red detail, with the AFC text in the familiar font which was first seen last season on the back of the shirts. Again, the shirts will have the same font and numbers, but with the subtle difference of the new Arsenal crest being replaced by the single right-facing cannon.
In particular, one detail I love is the “Arsenal for Everyone” logo inside the collar, as a reminder to the club’s commitment to equality for all. Another is the club’s motto, ‘Victoria Concordia Crescit’ (‘Victory through harmony’), on the bottom of the shirt, however this is only seen inside the player edition. However, I do hope this isn’t a decline towards the MLS adidas shirts, which have a distinct difference between both the player and replica editions.
Overall, I absolutely love this shirt and the way Adidas have shown respect towards the 50-year anniversary of our first-ever double-winning team. Unfortunately, the launch of this shirt does come amid some challenging times for the club, surrounding the recent clash between the fans and owners.
Thanks to Jonathan for that – anybody with an interest in Arsenal should check out his social media output on Twitter or Instagram. Incidentally, green returns as the primary goalkeeper choice, using adidas’s new template for the 2021-22 season.
As well as that, though, the yellow one will also be available – while Bernd Leno does prefer short sleeves, there is a chance that somebody else could be the Gunners’ number 1 next season.