After two decades with Nike, London’s Arsenal have gone German. Today the Gunners unveiled their 2014-15 home and away jerseys from Puma, the sportswear company founded in Germany. This switch comes on the heels of an up-and-down, and-then-up-again 2013-14 Arsenal season. After a fast start that had many prognosticating their Premier League title chances, they fell upon a dip in form in which they had to fight just to get a top four spot to play in the Champions League. After accomplishing that, they went on to win the 2014 FA Cup final, their first trophy of any kind in nine years.
It was quite a drought for Gunners fans, but is Arsenal FC now balanced on the precipice of a new golden era? Many are hopeful, especially considering their latest signing, Alexis Sanchez. The ex-Barcelona forward is coming off an impressive World Cup (his Chilean team fell in that memorable penalty shootout to the hosts Brazil). He’s a hot commodity and he will be coming into this season with high expectations to fill up the net for Arsenal, especially considering last year’s monster acquisition, Mesut Ozil, didn’t have the quality season many expected. Now this Arsenal team has a spectacular 25-and-under corps, featuring Sanchez, Ozil, Jack Wilshere, and Aaron Ramsey. Even younger are the 21-and-under potential stars Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Yaya Sanogo, and 17-year-old Gedion Zelalem. The future is well-stocked at Arsenal.
But what does this mean for Puma? With a club team roster that is short on household names (Bundesliga’s Borussia Dortmund and the EPL’s Newcastle are the most notable), Arsenal brings notoriety throughout Europe, and a pre-existing, significant American fanbase. It’s a ginormous catch for the Cat, but did they fumble the execution? You be the judge.
The home jersey comes in classic Arsenal red with white sleeves. Puma is calling it High Risk Red, if cool color names are your thing. It’s a mostly safe play that doesn’t stray too far from recent Arsenal shirts. Nothing to really critique or praise with this version. Of course the Gunners’ crest is featured on the left chest with a white Puma logo (where we’re used to seeing the Swoosh) embroidered on the right.
Empire Yellow runs along the middle of the away jersey, but a dark blue enters the picture on the shoulders and sleeves. There’s no collar and more blue than last year’s away shirt, which gives it almost a dual-color look. On these 100% polyester shirts, Puma features dryCELL heat transfer technology that keeps the wearer as cool as possible.