My Favorite Kit: Arsenal 2000-02
The Arsenal 2000-02 home shirt, not the most beautiful Arsenal kit ever, but easily one of note. Arsenal witnessed the birth of the Gunners’ Holy Trinity of the new millennium, midfielder Freddie Ljungberg (signed 1998) finally claimed a regular Starting XI spot, Theirry Henry, signed the year before, flourished as Arsene Wenger deployed him in a lone striker position. The final piece, French World Cup and Euro Title winner Robert Pires (Pictured Above) was signed to replace Marc Overmars as wide midfielder. The three formed a devastating attacking trio, combining for 100 goals from 2000-02 , and in 2001-02, they, along with the Dutch Master Dennis Bergkamp, led the side to their second Premier League/FA Cup Double under Wenger.
The teams that Arsenal fielded in these years were probably the most well rounded sides of the past decade, no leaks at any position. Defensive rocks in Lee Dixon, Tony Adams, Martin Keown and the ever present David Seaman. Notably: Dixon and Adams both retired after the sucessful 01-02 campagin, having served 14 and 19 years respectively for the Gunners, making these the last shirts they ever wore in the 2002 FA Cup Final.
Freddie Ljungberg – The oldest member of the 2000’s Holy Trinity
Often, I am not a fan of sponsors on kits, but this was one that just seemed to “fit” The “Dreamcast” logo was unimposing and matched very well, this was only the second sponsor in club history as JVC had just lost the contract in 1999 after 17 years of duty. Also, the was the last of the original “Victoria Concordia Crescit” – Victory Through Harmony. The club switched to the “modernized” badge in an attempt to stop counterfitters, but I wish they would have kept it similar to the original.
Most importantly, this shirt marked the end of an era, this was before the current superstars entered the youth ranks, this is when 90’s Arsenal was officially killed off and the new millennium began in North London. I will forever remember this kit, well, at least until we win another League/FA Cup Double.
This was the first in the “my favorite kit” series, be on the look out for more as you read JJB, I hope you enjoy! – J