Arsenal fans were thrown for a loop over the past couple of days regarding the fact that the Emirates Stadium was going to be unavailable to the public, either for tours or visits to the club shop. for a few hours on Tuesday afternoon.
Is it a signing? Is Tierney finally showing up? Is Saliba checking out his future home? Is Neymar in town?
Ok, maybe that last bit was a little over the top, but another flopping superstar happened to be in town, and that man was none other than the adidas-clad James Harden, who looked more out of water in a soccer stadium than he does in a NBA stadium in April and May, and was paraded around a ground that he has never laid eyes on, and probably won’t again. But, since his $300 million adidas deal probably requires him to do such things, he trudged along gamely, and faked a smile and hug with our youngest and most precious son Reiss Nelson that was awkward at best.
⚽ Kickin’ ball and shootin’ hoops— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) July 9, 2019
The Beard is in London - and he fancied visiting our home… so @ReissNelson9 and @adidasUK made it happen
Thanks for dropping by, @JHarden13 pic.twitter.com/Y8NJbVRuYI
The man who has made a living off of long range bombs failed to make them count at the Emirates, unfortunately.
One of the most lethal scorers in the NBA taking his talents to North London?— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) July 9, 2019
Shoot your shot, James Harden. pic.twitter.com/cw4jpzXP98
Like he does, Harden crumpled to the ground after he shot, looking for the foul, but in an empty Emirates stadium he didn’t find the whistle that he was looking for. If you look hard enough you can still find Harden wandering the North London streets begging for a call or replay with his hands out wide as he appeals to the random Londoners returning from their dinner of bangers and mash. Okay maybe that didn’t happen, but it almost did, and you know it.
On a serious note, Harden is one of the biggest names to represent adidas throughout the entire world, regardless of sport, and as an Arsenal fan, it feels good to be apart of a brand that actually represents top-level players and clubs. Even if the guy is a Sun Devil, you push that aside knowing that the brand he represents is one that is representing our new chapter.
There was a switch, as Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson took the penalty spot against Harden, who did his best David Ospina impression, failed to move from his spot and watched a beautifully curved in effort find the back of the net.
Free to experiment.— adidas UK (@adidasUK) July 9, 2019
Watch as @JHarden13 enters the Emirates and makes himself at home with north London’s finest, @ReissNelson9, and the Beast from the East, Anthony Yarde. #FreeToHarden #HereToCreate pic.twitter.com/oy2qTd2IvF
You might be thinking, what’s the point of all this? Why does a kit or jersey matter so much? Allow me to fill you in. And the answer is not just “It’s summer and nothing is happening”, although, sure, that’s part of it.
We as Arsenal fans will always remember the era by the kits that the squad wear, and will forever have a connection with them. I was given a 1998 Arsenal jersey by an old boss of mine that knew i was an Arsenal fan, it was the same kit worn during the year that Arsenal captured the double, and that shirt means the world to me. What is done in a specific shirt is portrayed forever, and this is just another step in how Arsenal defined the future that they have set out for themselves.
One of those kits that will forever be ingrained in the minds of Arsenal fans is the bruised banana kit of the early 90’s that was famously donned by the likes of Ian Wright (Wright, Wright, Wright), Anders Limpar, and Tony Adams. The early 90’s were a time of cups, titles, and the like, and adidas (smartly) has decided to not mess around at all and bring all of those memories back as soon as they could. And boy-oh-boy do they look awesome (even if a Sun Devil happens to be wearing it).
James Harden in our new away kit pic.twitter.com/qr3DRYccjB— Alfonso Cuarón ✊ (@M_Haynes01) July 9, 2019
The adidas news over the last week or so has been one of the more positive stories in the last couple of months, and has instilled a new level of optimism and hope in a fanbase known for it’s lack of those things. You may think that it might just another Arsenal kit that just so happens to have three stripes on it, and you would be wrong. The three stripes represent an era of Arsenal that you can’t take away, and hopefully provides another era of titles, legends, and memories.