Arsenal kit: 'Future, Forever, Victorious'... or just very tight?
Dramatic scenes on the banks of the Thames as new Puma kit launched with holograms
Arsenal unveiled more than just a new striker last night. Not only were fans treated to the sight of Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez freshly flown in from Barcelona, they also got to see him dressed in the Gunners' long-awaited new Puma kit.
After a 13-year association with Nike came to an end, Arsenal's new kits have been designed by the American sportswear manufacturer and were revealed for the first time last night.
The somewhat overblown kit launch on the banks of the Thames involved a lightshow in front of the London Eye and a projection in which a hologram of Arsene Wenger, apparently walking on water, hailed the "coming together" of Puma and Arsenal.
It was, he said, a "big moment" for the club and declared: "Together we are stronger". Puma also revealed its inspiration for the designs, announcing that it had identified three core values at the heart of the club, summarising them with the meaningless motto: "Future, Forever, Victorious".
In a less abstract marketing event, players Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini appeared in the three new outfits at a special event at Puma's flagship store in the West End.
In the run-up to the launch there were concerns that one of the kits would be an all-white number, like that of arch rivals Spurs, but glimpses of a lilywhite kit turned out to be part of the launch, with the plain shirts turning red, yellow and blue at the appointed hour.
The home kit turned out to be identical to the one worn by Thierry Henry in a photo leaked on Twitter by sprinter Linford Christie last October. It is traditional red with white sleeves and red epaulettes. The away kit is yellow and blue while the third kit features diagonal blue stripes.
The relatively simple designs have gone down well with the fans, and more than 80 per cent said they liked the shirts in a Daily Mirror poll.
But while Puma believes that the kits' values can be summed up by the words "Future, Forever, Victorious" a better word to describe them might just be "tight". And much of the reaction on Twitter focused on the designs' figure-hugging shape.
Pretty cool that Arsenal have been brave enough to become the first club to wear a kit made entirely from paint. pic.twitter.com/XuoSgjjYWa
— Nick (@StapleNick) July 11, 2014
It doesn't matter how nice the design is if the Puma Arsenal kit can only be worn with Spanx.
— Römesh Ranganathan (@RomeshRanga) July 11, 2014
Hey @Arsenal, how much will it cost to personalise one of your shirts with 'THIS VERY TIGHT KIT ALIENATES THE FAT' on the back?
— RGSOAS (@RGSOAS) July 11, 2014
The riverside launch also attracted plenty of comment, although some of the reaction was mixed.
Had a ridiculous dream last night that Arsenal signed Alexis Sanchez and then Wenger appeared on the Thames and started talking to me
— Culann Davies (@CulannDavies) July 11, 2014
— the cartoon gooner (@mycartoonself) July 11, 2014
— Theödöra (@Ms_T_P) July 10, 2014