No matter what else has happened this year, I think we can all agree that adidas absolutely killed it with their first Arsenal kits in 25 years. All three are varying degrees of awesome, but my favorite by far is the updated “bruised banana” kit. This shirt, as you no doubt know by now, was based on the football shirt equivalent of a joke that started out super unfunny then hung around long enough that it has now circled back to become funny again.
Widely reviled when it was first released in 1991, and always included on lists of “worst kits of the 90’s”, the shirt has actually come back into vogue now, and adidas’ update of it is, in my opinion, the best Arsenal yellow shirt in well over a decade.
Now, adidas is going all in with it. News came out today via the ever-reliable Footy Headlines that the company is releasing not just an update to, but a direct reproduction of, the original bruised banana kit. For reference, here’s the original:
And here’s the Footy Headlines “leak” from this morning:
⚠ BREAKING: Spectacular Adidas Arsenal Bruised Banana Kit Remake + Retro Collection Leaked: https://t.co/wXBMmVAY4S— Footy Headlines (@Footy_Headlines) November 27, 2019
So yeah, this isn’t a tribute. It’s a direct reproduction, with original sponsor branding and crest and like the original, it’s amazing. Also amazing: the other Arsenal retro products being released at the same time. My dirty little secret as an Arsenal fan is I’ve always disliked the current crest; it looks like someone just mocked something up with clip art in 10 minutes and called it good. It’s super boring. I love anything that has the older crest on it, and all the retro products, including the shirt, have that crest and just looking at it makes me so happy.
What doesn’t make me happy is adidas’ timing with this release. According to the story, these products are “set to be released shortly, in January 2020 at the latest.” adidas does this with new MLS kits as well - they announce the arrival of new stuff in November or December, but then don’t release it until January, because apparently holiday shopping...isn’t a thing?
I get these things all have lead times, but maybe adjust your schedule so that these amazing things can come out in time for holiday gift giving? Even in January, though, these are amazing shirts and tracksuits, and I’m really happy adidas is taking Arsenal’s history (and theirs!) so seriously and paying it tributes like this.