Arsenal mocked for purple kit, Szczesny forced into pink
Gunners' purple kit highlights royal connection but what about the keeper who hates pink?
ARSENAL have unveiled their new away kit for next season and one can only feel sympathy for the players, particularly goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who will be forced to wear a shocking pink outfit at away grounds up and down the country, despite having made it abundantly clear that he is not keen on the idea.
But it's not just the Gunners' keeper who will face ridicule judging from the reaction to the black and purple tops that will be sported by the outfield players.
The new kit was unveiled on Wednesday accompanied by a series of promotional pictures of stony-faced Arsenal players included Theo Walcott, who is rumoured to be considering leaving the club, and Jack Wilshere. Unsurprisingly, striker Robin van Persie, who has announced that he will not sign a new contract and wants to leave Arsenal, was not one of the models.
There was much mockery and a welter of jokes about purple-loving pop legend Prince on internet message boards and fans forums while even the press made fun of the Gunners. "Arsenal will be rocking a sort of comedy Gothic chic, that blends the Addams Family with something one or two hapless souls were wearing back in the day," scoffed the Mirror.
Others even suggested that Van Persie had decided to leave after seeing the new kit. And on a more serious note, it was pointed out that the away kit will still clash when Arsenal play West Ham and Aston Villa who play in claret and blue, meaning that the Gunners will be forced to wear their third strip for those matches.
However, Nike insisted that the colour scheme was designed to highlight Arsenal's royal connections in the year of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
It had no explanation for the pink goalie's kit. But it is hard not to pity poor Szczesny, who made it clear that he was not a fan of pink in an interview with The Guardian 18 months ago, when he took a dig at the shirt he had to wear with a previous away kit and suggested that Nike would never have made previous Gunners keepers wear the colour.
"It's embarrassing," he said. "I mean, you just wouldn't see David Seaman or Jens Lehmann wearing a pink shirt, would you? I think Lehmann would have burned it."
Even before that he had tweeted his distaste for the top and after seeing the Arsenal kit for last season was moved to comment: "Had a photo shoot for the next season kit! Really liked it and NO PINK!! Happy days!"