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The Shirt Fuse: Adidas unveils Arsenal’s 2019-20 pre-match, um... jerseys.

And, boy howdy, are they something.

It can be a difficult thing to be designer of a football club’s jerseys. These days, beyond the traditional home kit, manufacturers are increasingly desperate to find the style and color scheme to stand out and be noticed. And more importantly, be bought. With home, away, third, pre-match, training, special summer tour and just-in-case-aliens-attack kits now a must for every major club to drive sales, it isn’t hard to see how the options and creatively can begin to get a bit thin.

So with Adidas taking over, it was expected they would try to start the season with a big splash. With the release of the perfectly acceptable training kit behind them, it was time to release the Arsenal pre-match kit for 2019-20 and WHAT IN THE SWEET HELLS?!?!

... wha... what is this? What am I even looking at? It’s like someone knocked over a bottle of bleach on there only navy blue shirt and kept wearing it anyway. It’s like someone tried to teach 5 year olds how to tie dye. It’s a shirt worn by someone who encountered a blue Slimer. It’s a petri dish that would make even the most hardline anti-vaxxer rethink their beliefs.

What even is that, Adidas?!

The... creation is a joint project with Parley, a recycling company that makes clothing out of plastics recovered from the oceans. They’ve recently had deals with MLS and the NHL All-Star Game, so there’s a nice reduce/reuse/recycle theme to them. That said, I struggle to see how this shirt will sell. I’ll admit to being old, but c’mon. This isn’t the extra three stripes we were expecting, Adidas.

The one redeeming quality of the shirts, so far as I’m concerned, is that the template is also being used for Juventus, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. So, at least, we won’t be the only ugly dresses at the prom.

Even so, step up your game, please. The next three better be home runs or it’s going to be a long shirt deal.