Stunning artist's impression (NOT) of Messi in the new AFC kit....that'll sell the buggers
I can visualise a couple of alternative design brief scenarios:
The design brief from Arsenal to Nike every season possibly reads: Arsenal place great emphasis on tradition and so do the fans - so be sure to spin that big time when you pad out the marketing spiel with some unecessary verbal diarrhea. Basically you can call anything traditional so long as it's been done before or related to something that's been done before. Never mind that it was crap the first time, and that the fans hated it, so long as its been done before or we can pretend it's been based on something that's been done before we should be on a winner.
Whereas Nike bosses brief to their design team maybe reads: So long as we can conviince a few directors or commercial people, who pretend to understand Arsenal traditions, that the new design will sell they'll buy into any old crap. Especially so if you can work some buzz words such as 'Chapman', 'tradition', 'homage' or 'historical' into the marketing blurb they'll go for it. With a back catalogue of shirts that stretches over 125 seasons we should be able to find something the suckers will go for. It's all pretty American now at Arsenal so mabe go for a NFL style shirt with that thick banding on the sleeves, then chew through their old kit designs to find something that we can pretend influenced the whole shooting match. Naturally the production costs should be minimal so forget fancy collars and stuff. Then pray their bloody team wins something because that's what actually racks up the sales.
What clearly happened though was that this season the designer happened to be a Manure fan and could only design Manure kits, so did just that.
Compulsory wear for all Arsenal's blue collar workers
Personally speaking, as much as I appreciate the design of the whole kit I have a major problem with the new shirt. Because the navy blue is so dark it looks almost black at a distance and that makes it look way more like a Manure shirt than an Arsenal top. I could live with it quite happily if it wasn't for that discusting blue collar. I'll concede that the blue collar works for the overall kit design but not on the shirt alone if you want it to look like an Arsenal, which I do. We are not a blue club, we've never been a blue club, we're not even a blue and red club, we're a red and white club. Minimal blue trim adds emphasis to a design and has worked well on some past shirts but that blue collar means I won't be buying the shirt. Blue collars are just so not Arsenal. Look at a head and shoulders shot of the players in their posed marketing photos and tell me who they play for - you'd never ever know by the head shots.
Who's this then and to which team has he been transferred?
And an obvious but important thought for all the parents out there. Whatever you do don't pre-order a shirt with a name on it if there is the slightest chance they won't be at our club next season. Be aware that last season the Club shops were selling shirts throughout the summer per-printed with Nasri and Fabregas.
And I'll offer this clue to the marketing department at Arsenal: if you want to sell loads of shirts win the f*cking league - then the colour and design won't matter at all.
So what's worse?
(A) Being potentially screwed over for a new kit every season
(B) The crap designs unrelated to the traditional Arsenal kit colours that they come up with?