I have three Arsenal replica shirts.
The first to be acquired is a Bergkamp one, bought in 99 during my first visit to Highbury. I had a four hour connection between Tel Aviv and Montreal, so I went for an adventure on the Piccadily line: A long ride from Heathrow to Arsenal station, a walk around the stadium, a visit to the shop (at the time in which merchandise meant something to me), and another underground adventure back to the airport.
The second shirt is a Pires, purchased for Jo when we met in London back in February 2002 and I had my second and last visit to Highbury (you can guess who wears the shirt more). And the third is a Ljunberg, one of Jo parents' wedding gifts.
It's not a coincidence that these shirts were purchased: These are my favorite Arsenal players. But it seems as if football heroes are an endangered species.
First it was Bergkamp that retired.
Today I've learnt that Pires is leaving Arsenal for Villareal. I can't blame him for leaving, but I will surely miss him. Yes, lately he has become more famous for diving than his quality football, but no one can deny that the guy can play, play well, play attractively, and also score a lot. I will surely miss him.
I hope Ljunberg will last. But for now, best wishes to Robert Pires!
The shirt story ends, and now let's move to the boxer short story:
During my first Arsenal visit in 99 I bought Arsenal boxer shorts. They were made in England and they were great (they're still are, even if they failed their lucky charm duties during the Champions League final).
During my second Arsenal visit in 99 I got another pair, because the first one was so good. These turned out to be made in China. And they turned out to be shit! They fold, they fade, they're a disgrace. Truly unworthy of being next to my ass.
Now I'm not saying they're bad because they're made in China; I'm saying that it's a disgrace the Arsenal club lowers their standards and gets cheaper quality stuff sold at the same price.
And the point, again, is that it's all about the money; there's no real reason to support these clubs as seriously as some of the supporters out there do when they lose perspective of the fact it's just a game operated by money hungry companies.