What has happened to Arsenal’s sleeve tradition?

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I never want to become one of these who moans after a game just for the sake of moaning. We know what these people are, very bitter angry young men. A quick look at Twitter and Facebook at half time saw the boo boys already putting out their agenda.

People blaming Arsene Wenger at half time for it being 1-1:

Don’t blame the time of year, blame the stubborn blind fool in the dugout. Wenger Out.

It’s 1-1 at half time, a decent Arsenal performance, and their equaliser was from a very debatable penalty. But some silly-billies just can not wait to moan can they. Sitting behind their laptop watching at home on their sofa. I guess having a go at Wenger stops them beating their wife.

I never want to become one of these people. So Let’s start with the positives.

A 3-1 victory keeps us up at the top of the table with the other 3 sides in the title race also winning over the weekend. Nothing gained, nothing lost.

4 point gap between us in 4th and Spurs in 5th as that lot up the road failed to go unbeaten for the season of autumn. We need to look upwards, not downwards.

Another 2 goals for Alexis Sanchez and a poachers goal by Theo Walcott – in fact all 3 goals were poachers goal – with Olivier Giroud coming off the bench to add another assist to his season statistics, things are good at Arsenal.

Even with playing Gabriel at right back having seen Mathieu Debuchy limp off, Arsenal were never in any real trouble. Another day, another referee, Arsenal would have been out of site at half time with Bournemouth struggling to keep 11 men on the field.

Now on to the moan.

What has happened to the old Arsenal tradition of the captain picking the sleeve length?

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It is fairly clear Theo Walcott is wearing short sleeve shirts, Nacho Monreal long sleeve. So what has happened to this tradition?

A few weeks ago it was raised that Arsenal players were no longer wearing the same sleeve length. It was justified when a club official said that all players were wearing short sleeve, but some players were wearing a long sleeve base layer.

Back in 2013, Mathieu Flamini created a massive furore within the club by cutting off his long sleeves to turn his shirt into a short sleeve one. He was allegedly given a dressing down by Wenger  and publically promised never to do it again.

Fast forward 3 years and the tradition is well and truly out of the window.

In the first half, Theo Walcott was wearing a short sleeve shirt with a base layer underneath.

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You can see above by the blue line that go’s around the cuff of the long sleeve shirt. Mohamed Elneny and Alexis Sanchez are both in long sleeve. Theo Walcott in short sleeve. At half time Walcott removed the base layer, exposing himself as wearing a short sleeve top.

It was not just Theo Walcott, Gabriel and Mustafi also wore short sleeve shirts (although you could make a case for Mustafi’s being rolled up.)

I for one am very disappointed that this piece of Arsenal tradition seems to be left in the past.

Of course, in the grand scheme of things, sleeve length does not win you the league. You would always prefer players to be comfortable if it means they perform. But it is part of Arsenal’s history, Arsenal’s tradition, Arsenal’s class. The captain picks the shirt length, and everyone else follows. It shows unity, togetherness.

To finish on a positive, Arsenal won 3-1.

Granit Xhaka was excellent.

Keenos

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