5 classy Arsenal traditions that must return

Wearing Suits before a game

These days, players from all clubs stumble off the coach, oversized head phones on, in their tracksuits, carrying a little handbag filled with their moisturiser and other toiletries.

The players look scruffy coming off the coach. Unkempt. With their headphones in, they become distant for the fans, usually young fans, waiting for them to cheer them into the stadium.

Arsenal used to be known for their class.

Former Arsenal goal keeper Alan Miller, who was at the club for 11 years having joined as a 16 year old described about the respect that the club once commanded throughout the game;

“When I was elsewhere, the likes of Bryan Robson, Graham Souness, Mike Kelly all talked about THE Arsenal.”

 Arriving in a suit made an impression on the opposition. Other sides looked in awe when we turned up. It made an impact. The Arsenal had turned up.

These days all players wear tracksuits. We are no different to every other club. Your University 6th Football Team wears a tracksuit to a game. Arsenal players turn up to games looking like students.

On the other side, fashion has changed. Suits is no longer the thing to wear. A lot of offices have done away with suits. And when was the last time you wore a suit on a night out? Fans used to wear suits to games back in the day, they no longer. And surely if you are on a coach, travelling to a game, you want the players to be comfortable.

But then again, most away games Arsenal players stay in a local hotel the night before. The journey from hotel to ground is short, so its not like they are travelling 100s of miles uncomfortable.

When the players are travelling from London Colney to the hotel, whether by coach or flying, by all means wear the tracksuit. George Graham used to make players wear suits to travel at all times. This is perhaps a little dated and if you are flying thousands of miles to for a European game, you want to be comfortable for the long journey.

Who wears a suit when they fly? I have my flying clothes. They are baggy tracksuit bottoms and a hoody. Keeps me warm and comfortable. So yes when they are travelling longer than a few hours they should be comfortable, but from the hotel to the ground it should be always suits and no headphones.

The ones Arsenal have produced recently for FA Cup Finals have been smart. They look good.

Get the players back in suits, tell them to take their headphones off before getting off the coach, and phones away. Show about of respect to those who have come out to see you.

The Arsenal should be in suits.

Captain picks the sleeve length, and all players follow

A recent lost tradition is that of the captaining picking the length of sleeves he wants to wear, and then others follow suit.

It was a combination of Theo Walcott and Mathieu Flamini that eroded this tradition a couple of years ago, and this year we have seen the tradition go out of the window completely.

The sleeve length tradition is actually a fairly recent one.

The myth is that Herbert Chapman instigated the tradition of all members of the Arsenal team wearing the same length sleeves, but Arsenal never had a short-sleeved kit option until 1957, 23 years after Chapman’s death.

According to our friends over at The Arsenal History, the tradition began some time during the Bertie Mee era, which was late 60s.

It might be a fairly “new” tradition in the grand scheme of how long the club has been around, but it is a tradition that has been around for 50 years.

It is a tradition that needs to be enforced. It is one of those things that set us apart from the commoners.

Good Ole Arsenal

Back in the day, Arsenal used to come out to Good Ole Arsenal.

The tradition stopped in the late 90s when the players started to come out to Right Here, Right Now by Fat Boy Slim.

that tradition was stopped in 2006 when Arsenal tried to create a pre-game atmosphere song like Liverpool have with You’ll Never Walk Along. They picked the horrendous Elvis Presley song Wonder of You, which flopped. I wonder who was actually consulted on this.

Recently, Right Here, Right Now has begun getting played again as the players come out of the tunnel. Arsenal should go further back in time and return to Good Ole Arsenal.

It should be simple really, play the montage on the big screen, then Right Here, Right Now as the players are lining up in the tunnel, then Good Ole Arsenal as they come out.

The club should also start a new tradition and decide on a song to play after every game.

Having been to Chelsea away and heard their crowd go mental when they win a game and Madness is played, a similar thing needs to be done at Arsenal.

Currently the club has a “playlist” of a few songs that get played randomly after the game. Recently Sweet Caroline has been played and has really gone off, but for me this will always be associated with Eddie Hearn and boxing.

Personally I would love Gold by Spandau Ballet to be played at the final whistle. It is a great song, everyone can get involved, it’s lyrics are appropriate, and they are an Islington band and Arsenal fans.

The Cannon Badge

We all know that when the club changed the badge from what I tend to call the Victoria Concordia Crescit (VCC) one to the current cartoon badge, that a part of the club died.

Arsenal have had a few different crests over the years. The first Arsenal crest appeared “in or around 1888 and was “effectively a fancier version” of the Woolwich Civic Crest.

The concept of having the club crest on the club shirt is a relatively new one. 1967 seems to be the year that sides started to have their crest on the shirt. Prior to that date, it only tended to appear for FA Cup Finals.

The VCC badge only came into use in 1990 and was abolished in 2002 when, after a court case over merchandise, the club decided to rebrand the crest to something copyrightable. It was all about money.

Interestingly, Arsenal eventually won the case against the stall holder on appeal in the European Courts, so there was actually no reason for Arsenal to change the badge.

The west facing cannon was the first badge that Arsenal used beyond just cup finals. This was used for 22 years in its two different forms. Even though the club would also claim that they do not use this badge as it is not copyrightable and enforceable, they have recently taken action against the She Wore Shop to stop any merchandise being produced with this cannon on.

The club provided a trademark number which indicated that a version of the club cannon was copyrighted by the club.

So this brings me to the conclusion, if the west facing canon that we used for 22 years between 1967 and 1989, is trademarked by the club, why is it not being used as our badge?

Red and White / Yellow and Blue

Now I know that shirts is all about commercial income, and the likes of Puma or whoever manufactures the shirts need to make them different to the last to force people to buy the new ones – which now come out 3 a year rather than 1 a year – but it should be very easy.

The home kit should be red and white, the away kit yellow and blue. It is as simple as that.

With the recent invention of a 3rd kit, that is where Puma or whoever should experiment. This year, shirt sales have shown that the black and pink kit has been very popular.

Do what you want with the 3rd kit, but keep the home and away to the traditional colours.

Are there any traditions you wish the club would bring back? Comment below



5 thoughts on “5 classy Arsenal traditions that must return

    1. Glen

      Personally, I like the West facing cannon, with the 3 cannon balls AFC on the cannon balls. The new badge since 2002 is horrible.


  1. Charles Charlie Charles

    Sorry, apart from the FA Cup Final, I can see no need for a suit to worn before a match. Wearing a suit used to be a traditional thing for most people back in the day but times have moved on. No need to go back in time.
    On the subject of stadium music, sure, have some stuff playing before the game and at half time, but why do we have to be drowned out in the minutes before kick off when the crowd is at its most vocal?



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