Arsenal Goalkeeper Kits 2010-11

arsenal-g-black-10-11Never shy to mix it up when it comes to goalie kits, this season has seen Arsenal  sport four different colourways of the standard Nike zig-zag goalkeeping template introduced in 2010.

According to their website the standard home goalie kit is grey with black sleeves/trim. This is also the kit that is being marketed as a replica. However, out of data from 35 league and cup games this season (including the 2nd leg of the Carling Cup semi-final against Ipswich) the grey kit has only been worn 6 times – 5 at home and 1 away. A reversed version in black with grey trim (although this kit doesn’t feature contrasting sleeves) has been worn 6 times – 2 at home and 4 away.

arsenal-g-pink-10-11Then to make matters really interesting a more colourful set of goalkeeper kits have also been worn by Arsenal this season: a rather fetching jade interpretation, worn an incredible 19 times – 11 times away and 8 at home and finally last but not least a dazzling pink kit (with black shorts), only worn 4 times, 2 at home and 2 away.

So what’s going on at Arsenal? I’ve looked through the facts and can’t seem to see any pattern (eg cup games, away games, Europe etc) behind the choice of kit. Why hasn’t the jade kit been sold as the club’s primary goalkeeper kit this season when it is by far and away the most commonly worn strip? Do they select sombre colours or bright colours depending on the style of play of the opposition? Is it down to the individual keeper? And more to the point, do they really need four goalkeeper kits?!

Knowing the attention the Gunners put into their kits I find it hard to believe that there’s a complete lack of logic and consistency behind these goalkeeping strip decisions. There must be a reason behind the selections. Any theories?

41 Replies to “Arsenal Goalkeeper Kits 2010-11

  1. When I was a kid, in the good old days, almost every goalkeeper wore green.

    Then again I do have a damn good memory! πŸ™‚

  2. Okay, here goes the second attempt.

    As John said, the choices are bizarre, especially as the pink has been worn with the red home kit despite clashing most with it.

    Before a lot of away games, Arsenal have announced on the club site what kit would be worn, including by the goalkeeper, but often the actual kit worn differed from that announced.

    It’s odd that the black and pink kits both utilise different pairs of black shorts that only differ in trim and swoosh colour, but at the same time you can see why this is done.

  3. Arsenal have made some strange choices when it comes to the outfield kit this season, I have noticed.

    For instance, they have worn red change socks away from home when there hasn’t been a clash, at St. James’ Park and in one or two other matches. They wore the yellow and redcurrant away kit against Everton and Wigan, but wore the home kit at Birmingham.

    It doesn’t seem to follow any sort of logic, or pattern. And, I think it’s the same with the goalkeeper kits.

    The first time the pink goalkeeper kit was used was against Wolves at Molineux, when the outfield Arsenal players wore the red home kit. As Denis mentioned, surely this is a clash? Arsenal couldn’t really wear the black goalkeeper kit, as the Wolves goalkeeper was in black – but surely grey or jade would have been a better choice?

    Although, this isn’t a new thing with Arsenal. In 02-03, the yellow goalkeeper kit was often worn with the gold outfield kit, when they had black and grey goalkeeper kits which would have been better suited to pair up with the gold outfield.

    Denis Hurley made a couple of great posts in an old blog post regarding Arsenal and goalkeeper kits in recent years. I urge you to read them.

    Very interesting, Denis.

    As for the question about do they need four goalkeeper kits. No, I don’t think so. I think grey (home) black (away) and jade (third) would be sufficient.

    But, as Denis points out in that old post, having four goalkeeper kits isn’t a new thing for Arsenal.

  4. I forgot to say in my original post, superb illustrations as usual John. I love odd little articles like this, I hope we get more.

    Keep up the great work!

  5. Thanks Lebowski, I tried to copy and paste those links into a reply to this but the post was not coming up for some reason :/

  6. No problem, Denis.

    By the way, on the subject of Arsenal having four goalkeeper kits. I noticed Barcelona also have four goalkeeper kits this season. They are also a Nike team, and it’s the same zig-zag design.

    They are…

    Black –

    Jade –

    Grey –

    Also, according to the Barcelona official online store, they have a yellow one described as the away goalkeeper kit. Although, I don’t think they have worn it this season.

    I notice Valdes, when wearing the jade kit, usually wears it with the black home goalkeeper shorts, as opposed to the standard jade shorts. Also, Valdes seems to wear only the black and jade kits. Where as in the cup, Pinto plays in goal and always seem to wear the grey kit.

    My point is, it could be because of clashes, but I think it’s down to personal preference, which links back in with maybe a possible reason for Arsenal’s choices with keeper kits.

    I don’t know, but it’s interesting…

  7. Of course, sorry Denis – you have raised this very topic before which unfortunately got a bit lost in the old Fulham thread. As Lebowski said check out the link

    What I find so strange is, as Denis pointed, Arsenal publicise what kit they will be wearing prior to the event (although this isn’t always right). No other club to my knowledge does this so they clearly take great care in kit choices. So why the odd selections?

    We need to speak to the Arsenal kitman!!

  8. Nitpicking as usual, but generally the pink, jade and grey shirts have had non-contrating necks, though the pink did have a black neck on occasion

  9. Were the away goalie jerseys designed as a back up in the event of floodlight failure.

    Denis could this become a trend in the gaa now that a certain Kerry footballer has his own fashion column.

    John I wouldn’t be a fan of focusing on goalie jerseys personally.why not devote mire time to some European kits instead.

  10. Given that most people following GAA think Galvin is gay for liking fashion, I doubt it CiarΓ‘n!

    I don’t mind focusing on GK kits I have to say, often a subject that doesn’t get any attention, bar a cursory mention of Jorge Campos whenever a paper does a feature on the worst kits of all time

  11. You are right, Denis, Arsenal do announce which outfield and goalkeeper kit, on their website and it’s often wrong.

    I remember before they played Birmingham at St. Andrews, they posted that the Arsenal keeper would be wearing black. They obviously didn’t check with Birmingham, as the Birmingham goalkeeper usually wears black as the first choice.

    Fabianski ended up wearing the jade kit.

  12. I think it’s a rule, Denis. It’s something I’ve noticed more in the past three or four years really.

    I know it wasn’t an issue at all at one time, but a friend of mine, who’s a referee at a very very low level, told me two or three years ago that there was a concern when both goalkeepers are wearing the same colour and one goalkeeper goes up to attack from a corner in stoppage time.

    Then again, he is a friend who likes to talk rubbish at times, so take that with a grain of salt. But, it does make sense.

    I often take a look at goalkeeper kits when I’m at live games or watching on TV, and I seem to usually see the away goalkeeper wearing a change kit, if the home goalkeeper kit has the same colour.

    So, it may not be a ‘rule’ – but maybe a “gentleman’s agreement” or whatever you want to call it. Or you could call it just being sensible.

    Although, you do sometimes see both goalkeepers wearing the same colour these days. But, as far as I have noticed, it’s very rare.

    Generally speaking, it seems to me that both goalkeepers can’t wear the same colour. But, one of the goalkeepers can wear the same colour as the referee.

    Again, this may not be a rule as such, but maybe just what has become accepted as the done thing in the past few years.

    I don’t know really, but that is my theory.

  13. Having done a bit (not extensive by any means!) of research last night, there does seem to be something to this, any games I checked had goalkeepers in different colours.

    The PL kit rules state that goalkeepers must wear colours that “distinguish them from other players” – this presumably covers opposing goalkeepers without expressly saying so.

    It does seem a bit heavy-handed though, as first of all it’s so rare that goalkeepers do go up for corners and secondly, it’d be fairly easy to know who’s trying to keep the ball out. I’d liken it to cricket, where teams often have the same colours, but there is no confusion as one side is batting and the other is bowling

  14. You make a good point, Denis, but personally I think it’s better to have both goalkeepers wearing different colours, just to be on the safe side.

    Also, most teams Premier League teams seem to have three goalkeeper kits these days, so changing isn’t really a problem.

    I do recall one Premier League match this season when both goalkeepers had the same colour kit, so it does happen. It was Birmingham versus Chelsea.

    Although, I have a theory why this happened.

    Chelsea’s outfield players wore the bright yellow/green third kit that day.

    Birmingham’s change goalkeeper kits are green, and yellow. Chelsea other goalkeeper kit is bright yellow. So, I think there was concern with the other goalkeeper kits of both teams clashing with the outfield Chelsea players, which would have been a big problem. And, I think the best option was to have both goalkeepers clashing as, like you say, it’s not ”really” a problem.

    Chelsea’s goalkeeper, I suppose could have worn the orange kit, which they have had for a while now. But the referee that day, wore a bright orange shirt, and maybe he didn’t want to clash with a goalkeeper.

    I don’t know. Maybe I’m reading too much into it.

    I think like a lot of things with kit choices, there may be rules, but the rules are vague, and I think it often comes down to how fussy, or on the flip side, not-really-bothered some match officials are.

  15. Arsenal are not the only team to publicise kit choices before games. My club, Manchester City, has released a list before each of the last two seasons detailing against which opponents each kit would be worn.

    I’m pretty sure that both lists have been correct to date. I was a little disappointed that City didn’t wear black shorts against Villa as they did against Wigan and Leicester, but I suppose that has to do with the relaxed short clash policy as has been commented on.

    My word I’m a kit geek!

  16. From Law 4: Each goalkeeper must wear colours that distinguish him from the other players, the referee and the assistant referees.

    It covers all levels of the game not just the Premier League.
    It’s very rare that refs make someone change unless the clash with the outfield players.

  17. Off topic – I’m watching Southampton versus Manchester United live on TV…

    Does anybody else think United are only wearing a change kit because they always have at Southampton in the past? πŸ˜›

    I mean, surely the red sash on Southampton’s white shirts this season wouldn’t have caused clash with United home kit?

    It seems a little odd, as United don’t ever seem to wear a change kit unless there is a clash.

  18. Great minds think-a-like, hey John? Or, fools never differ, one of the two! πŸ˜‰

    It’s an interesting one. I think they are only wearing a change kit because they always have done in the past. But, I suppose, an overly conscientious kit man (or whoever decides which kit is worn) could think the red sash might cause a problem.

    By the way, John, regarding your recent Tweet.

    Good luck with that, I would be very interested to find out what’s going on, also.

    One more thing, maybe I should have listened more at school, but where is the pun (that you didn’t intend) in that tweet? I read it four or five times trying to find it! πŸ˜€

  19. Hold on…

    Is it ‘bottom’ and the ‘arse’ of Arsenal?


    I think the penny has just dropped!


  20. the law now is that goalkeepers must wear both diffrent colours from each other and both sets of outfield kits(and not forgeting the 5th set of kit i.e the refs) …………….yet however refs are told by fifa no less to allow the game to start if both sets of gks are in the same colour if none of the other kits clash and no change of gk colours (2nd and 3rd kits)are to hand on either side that still do not clash. hence why top level clubs are having loads of gk kits often in arsenals case more than outfeild kits!
    p.s check that fulham link(4) i,ve think i,ve solved the reason arsenal had 4 gk colours as long ago as 92-93 season!

  21. I miss keepers wearing the same shorts and socks as their team mates. Very little about most current keeper kits identifies what team they play for.

  22. Really, Les?

    I always thought it looked horrible, and was glad when it started to change to goalkeepers having a proper kit.

  23. I was surprised to see Manchester City wearing their home kit against Birmingham tonight. They usually wear a change kit when playing teams in blue, and according to that link Nick posted, the club announced they would wear the white kit at St. Andrews.

  24. Surprising to see Manchester City wearing their home kit against Birmingham last night – they usually wear a change kit when playing teams in blue, and according to that link Nick posted, the club announced they would wear the white kit at St. Andrews this season.

  25. I know Lebowski, crazy wasn’t it? Whats the point of having three kits if you then go ahead and wear a colour that questions visibility on the pitch?! They should have worn white, especially as they claimed they would do so on their site. I shall investigate further…

  26. Me too Lebowski – while I think the players would’ve been able to tell each other apart, I sure had difficulty. I simply don’t understand why we didn’t wear all-white, or even white/black/white, or white/black/black. It was just baffling, surely one of the worst kit clashes in recent years?

  27. Everton wore their home kit at Eastlands, but at least they had blue shorts and socks, lessening the clash (they’ve worn their home there every season from 2005-06 on, bar last season).

    The worst for me is still Tottenham and Blackburn at WHL in 05-06. That is, if we’re talking football – I could find worse ones a lot easier in Gaelic or Aussie Rules

  28. I think the marketing men at Arsenal missed a trick by not promoting the pink shirt more and donating proceeds to charity. My initial thought at seeing it was that it was a charity strip.
    Remember that situation at Old Trafford in 00 where Bosnich wore a bright yellowish GK shirt with a hint of green and it clashed with Arsenals Sega away shirt so then had to wear a sort of plain Umbro cream polo for first half and the kit men at united managed to locate a 95 GK shirt for 2nd half. Bizarre situation with a club of Man United’s stature and marketability

  29. I remember that Manchester United/Arsenal match in 99/00, David – it was bizarre.

    Quite why Bosnich wore that 1995 goalkeeper for the shirt for the second half is beyond me. Surely they had the grey away goalkeeper kit from that season somewhere?!

    Also, another thing from that match, Arsenal wore navy socks, even though Manchester United wore black socks. It always bothered me when Arsenal did that at Old Trafford.

  30. The following year, 00-01 when United won 6-1, Arsenal wore yellow socks, but in 01-02 and 02-03 their away kits had navy socks too (gold and blue respectively) and they didn’t change.

    In the 2003 FA Cup game at Old Trafford, United wore white socks

  31. Yeah, Denis, I think Man United just gave up on Arsenal bringing change socks with them for that FA Cup match in 03, and changed to white socks themselves! πŸ˜›

  32. To be honest, David, I thought the home shorts and socks with the ‘Spiderman’ away shirt at Roma looked terrible.

    I would have thought Nike would have provided Arsenal with light blue (the same light blue as on the body of the shirt) change shorts and socks for the 02-03 away kit.

  33. I’m with David on this one actually, after that game in Rome and Henry’s hat-trick, I remember hoping that they’d wear the white shorts and socks permanently with that kit!

  34. Did Arsenal ever mass produce the pink GK jersey? I would have loved to have got one, but alas, cannot even find the teamwear version!

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