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How new Arsenal bruised banana kit was nearly scrapped as Adidas reveal what’s to come

Arsenal's new 'bruised banana' away kit was close to being scrapped for the 2019/20 season

Arsenal’s new ‘bruised banana’ away kit was close to being scrapped for the 2019/20 season (Pic: GETTY)

The Gunners wore the iconic strip, more formally known as the ‘Italia’ template, for away matches between 1991 and 1993.

And after leaving Puma behind to rejoin Adidas in a five-year kit deal worth £300m back in July, the latter became keen to bring back their retro design.

Unai Emery’s side got off to a winning start in it on Sunday, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s strike earning them a 1-0 win away at Newcastle on the opening day of the new Premier League season.

But according to football.london, Adidas were close to delaying the bruised banana kit for a later date in their new partnership because work on the design started so late.

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“Obviously there’s huge pressure… I can’t think of any other club where there is such an association with a previous sponsor”

James Webb

Adidas only began sketching ideas for it in February 2018, which is a brief amount of time considering they have already started planning designs for the 2021/22 campaign.

The bruised banana went through a number of iterations and Premier League regulations would not allow Adidas to simply reproduce an updated version of the previous model, but James Webb – the man who designed Arsenal’s new strips – told football.london “we would have been naive not to do it”.

Webb then added: “Obviously there’s huge pressure… I can’t think of any other club where there is such an association with a previous sponsor. When Adidas came back there were going to be huge expectations.

“The bruised banana for one blew up on social media but equally the home jersey as well, everyone was doing their own adaptations. There were conservations in the street before the deal was signed.

READ MORE: The £245m Arsenal XI that highlights the strength of Emery’s squad

Arsenal have brought back their classic 'bruised banana' away strip after rejoining Adidas

Arsenal have brought back their classic ‘bruised banana’ away strip after rejoining Adidas (Pic: GETTY)

The Gunners wore the 'Italia' template between 1991 and 1993

The Gunners wore the ‘Italia’ template between 1991 and 1993 (Pic: GETTY)

“There was huge emphasis on trying to nail the product in the first season. Hopefully we’ve done that.”

Adidas are desperate for their new association with Arsenal to be ‘the envy of world football’ and Webb accepts they will not be able to rely on past glories.

“Season two, season three we’re going to have to come up with new stories. We can’t just lean on the past,” he said.

The 2019/20 version of the bruised banana actually stretches back further than the past 30 years, nevertheless, with the blue flashes on the kit taking their shape from a lightning bolt that juts out of the coat of arms on the Royal Arsenal Gatehouse in Woolwich.

And it is believed that art deco fonts at Highbury and the Emirates also inspired design decisions.

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Aubameyang's strike meant Arsenal got off to a winning start in their vintage kit at Newcastle

Aubameyang’s strike meant Arsenal got off to a winning start in their vintage kit at Newcastle (Pic: GETTY)

Arsenal will hope their vintage kit can help improve their away form in the 2019/20 campaign.

They got off to an impressive start at St James’ Park on Sunday, but their 1-0 win over Steve Bruce’s Magpies incredibly saw them equal their clean sheet record from the entirety of last term.

Emery’s men only lost three games at home in the 2018/19 season, with the Spaniard turning the Emirates into more of a fortress than it has been in recent years.

Yet they were beaten eight times on the road, winning a mere seven games and letting in 35 goals.

Original article: https://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/798113/Arsenal-news-Adidas-bruised-banana-kit-inside-story-Premier-League

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