Tag Archives: France

4,500 retro national team kits for sale

Unwilling to pay the £64.95 for the official England kit? Following the trend of wearing old school retro kits from the 80s and 90s? think new kit designs are just rubbish?

We have followed the success of the She Wore Shop (exclusive Arsenal merchandise) site and The Arsenal Shirts (real old school Arsenal shirts, signed and match worn) with a new venture, Retro Kits.

We have brand new England Shirts, used England items, National shirts from all round the world and finally classic shirts and kits from club teams. We have around 4500 items to add to the site, so it is still very much a work in progress.

With shirts available from £10, we are sure we have something that suits you.

England, Brazil, Argentina, France, Spain, Nigeria, Holland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Wales, Columbia, Canada, USA, Cameroon, Iran, Kenya, South Africa, Tunisia and Zimbabwe are amongst the collection we currently have available, with thousands more shirts still to be process and up loaded.

If you can not see the shirt that you want, it does not mean we do not have it. drop us an email at shewore@gmail.com letting us know the country, year and size and we will you know what we have.

SheWore

Highbury Classics Volume 3 – The day when Arsenal played France

Last week I was running a coaching session for children and put them into a small sided game. One team were given orange bibs and named Holland. The other set of bibs were coloured pink so I thought – Juventus (who else wears pink?!).

One kid noted, ‘but league teams don’t play international teams’. Fair point but then I thought; there was that time when France came to Highbury for a friendly in the 1988-89 season. The kids were fascinated to learn that this once happened, as well as being confused with one kid pointing out “But Arsenal have so many French players how does that work?”Arsenal v France

Of course in 1989 we had no Frenchmen in the squad. Our sole overseas players were Ireland’s David O’Leary and Niall Quinn. Every other player was eligible to play for England.

It’s my understanding that this game came about because France were playing Scotland in a vital World Cup qualifier and wanted some experience against a British team. From our point of view it was a game worth playing because we had no European football due to the ban on English clubs between 1985 and 1990.

That night in February 1989 Arsenal played in the yellow away kit which became immortalised a few months later with the title win at Anfield. With no away fans and the game being a friendly, the Clock End terrace was closed off, however, the North Bank made up for it with passionate vocal support. Despite being just a friendly the game did have a competitive edge to it, and beating a team like France carried plenty of kudos in our eyes. Three years earlier they had made in to the semi final of the 1986 World Cup and were one of the best teams of the 1980s; though by this point were a declining force.

From kick off it was clear that the French had better technique and moved the ball around very well. But George Graham’s team had great organisation plus an attacking edge and we won the game with two goals of quality. The first came about when Paul Merson scuffed a shot on the 20 yard line which was the opposite of quality; luckily, the ball rolled to Martin Hayes who smashed it past the great Joel Bats and into the top corner.

Later in the second half, Perry Groves made a great run down the right wing and crossed the ball into the box. Niall Quinn stretched out his long leg and with a beautiful touch softly chipped the ball over the head of the stranded Bats.

Despite being a friendly with a lower than average attendance, the goal celebrations from the players and the crowd were no different to any other game. Beating France mattered as we had no other opportunity to prove ourselves against the best overseas teams. The irony is that in recent years it’s been easier to field an Arsenal team versus England than it has against France. In the last couple of years the breakthrough of Wiltshire, Gibbs, Chamberlin and Walcott has slightly redressed the balance of English players.

Highlights of this game from 1989 can be found on youtube and I certainly recommend giving it a watch as a unique moment in Arsenal’s history. Put it this way: will we ever play France again?  

Matthew Bazell

TOS

The Arsenal and Me – Hashim’s Story

I almost became a Chav. I actually thought that Zola was the best player ever to play the beautiful game. I knew about Chelsea players more than the likes of Wright, Lee Dixon, Kevin Campbell, Merson, Bould, Alan Smith, George Graham etc. for the sole reason I grew up surrounded by Chelsea fans and watched some of their matches and only the odd Arsenal game.

It was difficult to watch any Arsenal matches back then. We didn’t have that coverage to such matches easily. You know the technological problems of a 3rd world country like Kenya in the 90s and I was just 5 yrs old then! I had never heard of a mobile phone back then let alone the internet or cable television, imagine! Most of the information about the EPL came from reading the daily newspapers which will be a day or two late!

I only read about The Arsenal signing the likes of Bergkamp, AW, Petit etc. in the papers. I also read about the 1998 double in the papers though I had watched just two matches that campaign one against Southampton I remember! At least I was ten back then and running away from extra tuition and Madrassa classes to just go watch football would earn one a thorough beating.

Good thing though that was a world cup year and everyone watched the world cup. I came to know more about Bergkamp, Petit and Vieira from just watching the world cup matches. We later signed Henry and Davor Suker; Croatia and France top scorers in that tournament. Sadly, I didn’t get to watch them play for The Arsenal as I had now moved to the upper classes and needed to concentrate a lot more on my studies. Thanks goodness I only read about the 6-1 loss to Utd in the papers!

In Feb 2002, I joined a national school in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya for my secondary school education. It was there that I met Ian Kipchirchir, a devoted Gooner and my transformation to a fully pledged Arsenal fan was complete. He sneaked a small portable radio to school and we would listen to the 5 o’clock BBC live commentary every Saturday and the midnight sports news in midweek just to know how The Arsenal had fared. It was risky as it would lead to 2 weeks suspension if we were caught but who cared!

I could now watch more games when I was on holiday or not in school. It was now easy to catch the matches at the local joint as many people now had cable television coverage. I became completely engrossed in football and The Arsenal. I didn’t want to miss a single match. I would stay late into the night or walk long distances just to find a place to watch The Arsenal play. What a team we had then.

The years 1996-2005 were great years. The squad was complete. It was composed of players with great technical ability and just sheer physical strength. It was a great blend of players who complemented one another very well. It didn’t matter whether we lost key players because they were adequately replaced. The desire and passion to win was just vivid and add to it the panache in the overall team play. Winning was the only thing.

The years that followed that very successful period were very difficult as the club underwent many changes. The summer of 2005 saw an overhaul of the squad. The old guard was replaced by unproven precocious players and saw the shift from big, tall players to small, technical players. This came just after the greatest achievement for the club and English football; going the whole season unbeaten and just before moving to the new stadium. I really thought we would dominate English football for years to come after such an achievement. I was wrong…

The approach the club took their after was not the best at least in my opinion. Trophies were replaced by the ‘top four trophy’, returning injured players became LANS which was the biggest flaw in AW’s management in that same period, average players became overpaid, signing quality players became a taboo, the young players would be killed if better and proven players were signed, the cups lost their importance, more players became susceptible to injuries and would be sidelined for longer periods leaving the squad even thinner, change of formation and we started selling our star players without adequate replacements or completely fail to replace them.

In a nutshell the winning mentality was gone. Excuses for poor performances became the order of the day. Most players were average and/or not suitable to play the Wengerball. Players started being played out of position. Same tactics were used regardless of opposition and most players were almost similar to one another with absolutely no squad depth. For eight consecutive seasons our capitulation was just as similar as the season past yet nothing was done about it. Mistakes were never learnt and have never been even this 2013/14 season.

We always dither in the transfer market. Indecision and penny-pinching takes the better of our manager in the transfer window and still refuses to address the glaring problems of the team. 9 seasons since we last won a trophy the squad still has one 2/3 players short more notably a super striker and a proper winger. OG is a good player but we will never win the league with him as our main striker even if he were to stay fit the whole season. By our own standards he is not the best out there. Can we do better? Absolutely…

This season we can win the league but let us not deceive ourselves that this already thin squad can sustain a title challenge. Let 2007/08 be a great lesson. We must sign another striker and he should be better than what we have. Hope we win something this season. The whole team and the fans deserve it.

That said it is easy to brush aside the overseas fan base just because we’ve never stood on the terraces of the North Bank at Highbury nor been to the Grove but we share the same passion. We win we bask in the same glory; we lose we share the same pain and angst. I am Arsenal and always will be…

Hashim

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