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My Favourite Kit: Arsenal 2002-04

By Ethan Dean-Richards

I’ve never been that interested in kits – as good a way as any to start a piece about favourite kits. My own team, West Brom, wear striped shirts and frankly there is not much you can do with stripes – except maybe drop a big red house onto the front of them. But I do derive some strange pleasure from visualising one strip: Arsenal’s (home shirt) between 2002 and 2004.

It was this big: Thierry Henry celebrates for Arsenal in 2003

Of course there is a basic formula for Arsenal kits – red middles, white peripherals – and yes, 2002/04 did pretty much adhere to that formula. I make no claims to the contrary, but the clean, simple contrast of red and white always carries an air of class for me that’s enough to place any Arsenal kit high on my list of things that are aesthetically pleasing (alongside pretentious modern art etc).

Something though, did make the 2002/04 version particularly special.

All kits develop an inextricable link with the teams that play in them and we all remember that Arsenal team as A Bit Special, so by association, the design gets credit.

Yet the sleek, simple elegance of Arsenal’s white sleeves – no longer tainted with the blue lines running down them that had plagued previous efforts – combined with the sharp white shorts and socks – which somehow made Patrick Vieira appear more languid, possibly with the aid of the thin red stripes that ran down them – genuinely appeared to compliment their mercurial passing style.

Arsenal’s modern, sleek, slimming effort was a great kit because it – complete with fancy new badge – complimented the modern, sleek, er … slimming football they played during their vintage Wenger years.

You can still picture now Patrick Vieira in his prime, strolling imperiously along the Highbury turf, sliding a pass to Thierry Henry as he eases into fifth gear before slotting the ball into the net for another perfect goal. And a small part of that perfect image is the kit they’re wearing.

NB: I am not in love with Patrick Vieira and do not regularly fantasise about that Arsenal team. Repeat: do not.

Ethan is editor of the Offside’s West Brom Blog. Check it out, and follow him on Twitter. He’s also striking out on his own, at surrealfootball.com (not up and running quite yet)

My Favourite Kit: Denmark 1986, Hummel

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By Ollie Irish on September 8th, 2010 in Arsenal, Featured, Kits & fashion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
comments

26 Responses to “My Favourite Kit: Arsenal 2002-04”

  1. Tinez says:

    this kit is nothing special.

  2. The Belgian says:

    it’s not the aesthetics that make the kit special
    the kit is a symbol for the team wearing it at the time

  3. OffsideSarah says:

    Its crazy how loose that kit is – they’ve become so much tighter in the past few years. Even if you look at Henry in his France kit – its like a wetsuit. So, Ethan – do you think the loose and flowy look is more slimming on Henry than the tight and tawdry one (please note the additional sports bra-look on the back of France kit)?

    I do think Arsenal do bright yellow better than most other clubs – Chelsea and Lyon were both yellow-fails. Though, Barca did it well…

  4. OffsideSarah says:

    I will say you have much better taste in kits than Ollie – whose “best Euro away kits” post ruined his credibility on the topic.

  5. Ethan says:

    I liked Barca’s yellow one, in the end.

  6. Jesus says:

    Hated the kit when it first came out because of the badge. But I will always remember this kit with great fondness for the sheer memories it evokes. That Arsenal team were more than just a bit special, they were club legends.

  7. Monty says:

    although a beaut of a kit that is this seasons is a CLASSIC Arsenal kit… looks amazing and the yellow away strip…. magic… I’m a little biased obviously but I do think we have one the most iconic colour kits in football… when looking back you could always tell The Arsenal apart.. even in black and white telly days.

    just finished reading Eddie Hapgood’s autobio from his days plaing in the 30s and he talks about how wherever in the world he went the red and white of Arsenal was known to all.

  8. Julian H says:

    Funny, am an Arsenal supporter and have always thought that West Brom’s kits are pretty tidy.

    This one (for us) wasn’t bad, better than most of Nike’s efforts. Fairly decent cut, although the white lines always struck me as somewhat pointless.

    For the first time ever since Nike took over the production, I’m actually very happy with both this year’s Arsenal kits.

  9. Peter says:

    The advert doesn’t get in the way, if anything it enhances the kit. The company simply being called O2 and thats it is perfect as well as them having no proper logo.

  10. TC says:

    “I’ve never been that interested in kits” – no kidding, that’s because you have ZERO taste! That kit is awful to be frank!

  11. arseman says:

    Anyone remember that dreadful blue gradient away kit we had in 02-03? *shudder*

    I loved the home kits between 98 and 2000, where the white ran all the way down the sides.

  12. J says:

    2010/11 Arsenal’s kit is my fav.

  13. Ethan says:

    TC – Frank? I thought you were TC?

    I like Arsenal’s new one – gloriously simple.

  14. aravindvr says:

    This one was in vogue tht time.
    But the best one is home kit 2004-2005

    http://www.colours-of-football.com/colours03/eng/arsenal/arsenal_1.html

  15. baggees says:

    that ‘big red house’ still gives me nightmares, its like someone came and pissed on your chips…can we keep the sponsorship money, take the logo off and just get one big red house shaped exec box for adrian chiles to sit in…and smile..its worth asking…

  16. Bruno says:

    this kit was shit. too big and large

  17. Wasim says:

    love the kit :)

  18. CFC_Jay says:

    ……that kit always makes me think it looks like something ‘Orko’ from He-Man would wear…….it really is uncanny, lol!!

    http://www.poeghostal.com/2010/08/review-orko-prince-adam-masters-of-the-universe-classics-mattel.html

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  20. Tom Jones says:

    The O2 logo tuins a perfectly decent looking shirt.

  21. Montesquieu says:

    The shirt looked okay, but the material was horrendous. Unbreathable and extremely heavy.

    Arsenal’s best kit of the Nike Era has to be the 1996-98 one, hands down.

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