Quick post today as I am writing this on airport wifi.

Arsenal released their new kit today and as some predicted there are two stripes on the sleeves: one red and one Obsidian. As with any news story about Arsenal these days as soon as it breaks, lines are drawn and people form factions. Some people are for whatever, some are against, some believe it’s the board’s fault, some blame the players, and some people believe Steve Bould will never work with Arsene Wenger because he’s got a problem with Arsene’s managerial style.

In this case the lines have been drawn over whether the second color on the home kit is blackish or bluish. And as usual, this is a religious argument. Arsenal have stated that the stripes or hoops are an homage to Herbert Chapman who invented the red and white kit and at the same time made the players wear socks with hoops on them believing that this improved visibility. And I love the idea of honoring that tradition with the players wearing socks with hoops.

What I don’t love is hoops on the sleeves and I don’t love the color of the bluish stripe, Obsidian.

There’s probably a grammar nerd who keeps cringing every time I capitalize Obsidian but I am doing that intentionally. Because Obsidian is the official name of that color, branded and copyrighted as it is by Nike.

I know that it’s a color that is vaguely similar to previous colors worn by Arsenal. I know that the Arsenal crest has blue in it. But Obsidian is not Arsenal blue, it’s Obsidian by Nike.

It’s a minor quibble. Just a few hexes difference in color from the various shades of blue that Arsenal have ever worn. But for me, the heart of the matter is that it’s a Nike color, not an Arsenal color.

We are The Arsenal and we will be The Arsenal long after the contract with Nike runs out. If we wanted blue stripes on the shirts and socks they should have been Arsenal Blue and not Nike Obsidian.

I’m sure that I will now be hammered by whatever side of this religious debate you all fall on, have at it, I’m defenseless as I will be flying this afternoon and then at a conference all day.


39 thoughts on “Obsidian

  1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1critic

    obsidian is also mentioned at the club’s official website. No arguments there.

    If arsenal go on to become invincibles again i am sure u will be ordering this kit through ebay.

  2. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Osita Osama Anahquenzeh

    Commercial interests should not supercede the core values of The Arsenal. And Nike is paying peanuts for this patented Obsidian colour that we will make popular come next season. I am waiting for Nike’s contract to run out so that The Arsenal can get what is due us!

  3. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1ace

    Kits don’t win matches. Anyway arsenal has the best home kit,so maybe a dash of obsidian to tarnish the kit a bit is good to remind us and the players that we are not perfect kit-wise

  4. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1LMG

    So the 2nd signing of our “two signings made before the Euros” has been unveiled today. I’m not saying its true, but was wondering what y’all think. If we are to make a record signing (this is at 16-18 mill supposedly), I would’ve preferred someone at another position imo

  5. Vote -1 Vote +1BayGooner

    Preface: The “you” here does not mean you, Tim, unless you take it that way. Its the plural “you.”

    I hate the word “kit” used for what is a uniform.

    There is nothing unifying or uniform about the practice — which started long before Nike was in the picture, and which started in soccer, not in America — of having three uniforms and changing each one of them every year.

    For no purpose other than to encourage people to buy each one at $75 a pop every year.

    You don’t like next year’s “kit”? Don’t buy it. It’ll be gone a year later. And its presence will not — I guarantee — affect how you view the success or failure of the team next season.

    No one has put a gun to your head. You can attend the matches and not where the latest kit.

    Its all so inane. What you should complain about is the club’s attempt — like almost every other soccer club on the planet — to lure more pounds out of your back account and into theirs.

    Are rising ticket prices bothering you? Then don’t buy a copy of this year’s shirt. You won’t miss the games by so doing, will you? If you wear red, you won’t look out of place.

    I think supporters complain about the colors because, like everything else about the club, they actually have no way of impacting the club’s decisions. But in the case of the shirts, you actually do. You can be a total Arsenal fanatic, and not spend thousands a decade buying every shirt the club offers you.

    The whole thing us just ridiculous.

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1jeffers

      It’s always been a kit. It’s why you have a kit man. A uniform man would sound wrong…

      On the other hand I agree entirely with your argument on the ‘kit’ purchase.
      Aside from wether you are pleased with the aesthetics, the logo always starts to peel off after about 18 months, so you can’t even keep wearing it for future seasons. I made the decision a few years back not to bother buying, but unfortunately I always seem to get them as presents anyway!

      If you really feel out of place witout a ‘kit’ get one of the 70s retro ones. They are cotton, the labelling is properly sewn in and they last as long as you make them.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1BayGooner

        What is a “kit man”? We really are separated by a common language!

        Didn’t realize the shirts were of such shoddy quality.

        Here in the States, teams have cut the umbillical chord between the team uniform and the clothing they sell with the team’s logo and colors.

    1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1LMG

      meh, conversation going on with twitter peeps. Normally I hate this shit but I’m really bored today. Wanted to be as discrete w/o giving info away not to subject others to this kind of stuff

  6. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

    Right on Tim. I certainly won’t be buying it and I dislike the blue around the collar even worse–looks terrible and jarring. As far as the color, kudos to you for pointing out the evil Nike imperium’s corporate control, but since Arsenal take their money, they get their say, don’t they!

    It’s why we have to go on summer tours to places the Emirates flies to, as was just announced at Friday’s pre-Norwich press conference. What a world of corporate tie-ins it has become. Hats off to AW for resisting the corporate speak about how great it was to say simply it has advantages and disadvantages–fans get to see us but from a sporting perspective it is exhausting. He pulled no punches just so the announcement would go off in grand corporate style: bland and propagandistic. Top man–there’s only one Arsene Wenger!

  7. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1dano328

    What’s the reliability percentage on M’Villa? Who is the source of this? Anyone

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Caribkid

      The scup is on in real time saying that we have agreed to a contract with Yan M’Vila.

      Have no idea of it’s authenticity but is being reported on http://www.youaremyarsenal.com and the tweeter section of http://www.onlinegooner.com/ by @alexfortynine.

      I will say however, that the parties tend to be very reliable and are not the type to hype stuff. Youaremyarsenal has been getting so many hits the site is inacessible for now.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Caribkid

      No we don’t Dano. This would be a formidable pairing as Song certainly has the ability to provide assists and has shown last year, can also score goals.

      Our so called DM, Song, has as many assists as Arteta, Rosicky and Ramsey rolled into one. Would be logical if this transpires to a return of the 4-4-2 variation with a MF of Song, M’Vila, Arteta and Wilshere (if fit).

  8. Vote -1 Vote +1Martin

    I think if the hoops were thinner, like maybe the size of the collar, and further placed down the sleeve the new kit wouldn’t look so bad. Were they trying to match the hoops on the sleeves with the hoops on the socks? The long sleeve kit looks a tad bit better though.

    As is, the sleeves look like something of a Gordon Gartrell knock-off sewn by Denise Huxtable.

  9. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1ak47

    1- i like the kit, improvement on this year.
    2- its weedlands flag.
    3- robs from weedland.
    4- it would be cruel to put him centre on the official site as captain and then photoshop in lukas in sept.
    5 – do they represent our top three players/was it on purpose?
    6 – bring on the 2nd and 3rd.
    7 – would of been nice to see podolski in the video.
    8 – the retro ones are the best, when they start doing modern ones ill buy again.(2008 rvp11)
    9 – preferred the maroon background, gave it a historic early morning feel…. white title.

  10. Vote -1 Vote +1dano328

    Not that I would support selling Song at all, just wanted to get opinion. His assist have been vital, but that’s not his main job. Ive noticed like everyone that he plays much better when Mikel isn’t injured.

    If we can keep what we have, the competition would be darn good. Hope Jack has no issues next year. And Sanga, too. Might need another FB.

  11. Vote -1 Vote +1merkin

    The way Song has been playing this year it is something of a waste to have him at DM. Apparently Song agrees, based on the Nowich match when he played everything except DM. In fact no one seemed willing to track back, including Vermaelen!!

  12. Vote -1 Vote +11NilToTheArsenal

    Obsidian, schmidian. The only reason I bought a shirt this year (my first since 2007-2008) was for the return of Titi. I do buy t’s and polos on occasion to support the club, but I’ve never enjoyed having the sponsor splashed across my chest. The Nike logo on everything is enough already.

  13. Vote -1 Vote +1xJane

    I’d rather see Arsenal Blue rather than Nike alchemy.

    Cover for / partner with Song is a good idea and maybe more importantly, signals the manager’s intent to complete our business early rather than late.

    That said, are we a bit short on the wing with the departure of Benayoun? And do we really think that Rosicky has found the fountain of youth? Jack’s (and Diaby’s) return will go a long way but I’d still like to see a better option than Coq and Jenks, especially given Gibbs’ fragility.

  14. Vote -1 Vote +1Gooneryank

    I’m not buying the new shirt for two reasons. Dislike the obsidian hoop and the shirt I bought this year was a bit of crap. The decal crest really pissed me off. I’ll keep wearing my 2003 Henry home and the gold away with Sega on the front ’till they fall to pieces.

  15. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Bunburyist

    I understand what you’re saying, Tim, but I’m in the “not such a big deal” camp. Besides, “Obsidian” sounds so cool. Like an Egyptian god of serpent fangs or something. Could see Marvel coming out with an Obsidian series in a few years.

    As for the M’Vila rumors, well, I’ve never seen him play, but he comes highly recommended, and I for one think we need a little more bite in midfield. Song has decided he’s no longer interested in sitting deep, or else he’s been given free reign, or I don’t know what, but he’s been very inconsistent in this second half of the season. Some sublime assists, and some ridiculous defending. If M’Vila is competition, or else a partner, I’m for it.

  16. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1jaymin

    it’s the drapeau tricolore on Arsenal sleeves. At last. God I hope we are sponsored by Puma soon.

  17. Vote -1 Vote +1Alfred

    I couldn’t care less what shade of blue it is. I think the shirt is fine but not much more than that, just meh..but fine.

  18. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Caribkid

    Kinda don’t care about the kit at this moment. more interested in getting better players and coaches so we can start being competitive again. if we do, they can play naked for all I care or wear re-cycled kits :)

  19. Vote -1 Vote +1m

    Nike forced the white away shirt on us. Compared to that, obsidian is just poor taste. Really, freaking white?

    Oh, and a healthy Diaby alone doesn’t add enough depth.

  20. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Greg

    Tim, as your resident grammar nerd, feel free to capitalise what the Hell you like

  21. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1T-Town

    Tim and most of you guys are fucking anti-corporate communists. Nike is great. They already ARE bigger than Arsenal as measured any way you like, including market value. I also want to mention than the US is the greatest country in the world EVER. Don’t talk crap about Nike. Nike will be here long after the EPL is shut down for remodeling.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      I think Alex is “joking on the sly” as we say around my house, meaning that he’s making a serious point couched in humor.

      Of course Nike is bigger than Arsenal. For Arsenal to get anywhere near the size of Nike we’d have to employ a lot more slaves.

      As for whether Nike will be around longer: Nike was founded in 1978 — Arsenal 1886. And of course, I’ve never seen huge multinational corporations with massive market share go out of business. Not once, today.

  22. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    The shirt looks like crap with that obsidian stripe. Color sticks out like a sore thumb. Color has no historical context for us. Kit colors should either be warm or cool and this is so blah.

    Vertonghen is talking up Sp**s and talks seem advanced so you can scratch him. Clearly he’s insane if he thinks Sp**s are a traditional club.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

      Apparently the color is RAF ‘inspired’ as in the days of Spitfires. is that buzzy little spitfires?

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