What happened to the long sleeve soccer jerseys?


“The players are so much more taken care of and cared for now. Shin guards have changed dramatically, boots have changed dramatically, the technology that goes into shirts has changed dramatically over the past 10 years.

The current generation of young players have grown up with base layers as standard, so they are unlikely to consider a change in habits.

Jimmy Martin has been in charge of Everton’s kit for 31 years, the longest serving in the leagues. He and Darke are both part of a WhatsApp group of kit men, used to sharing knowledge and news between clubs. Unfortunately, it has a unique name: “The Kit Men”.

“I’m like the grandfather because I’ve been doing it the longest, so some of the younger ones come to me if they have problems,” Martin says.

“I know all the kit men in the Premier League, most of the kit men in the lower leagues. And I know exactly what a player looks like when he walks through the door. I did all my homework on this player.

Has he ever been ordered by a manager or his club to use base layers as standard? “No, we have never been told anything like that. We have everything in stock, if they want an underlay they can have one, there are no questions to ask.

“They feel better in it, you have to have it these days.” It’s not like years ago, if they would come to me and say “I want this” I would just tell them to get lost.

“I wouldn’t have had players in underlays, hats or gloves. Or coaches, but everything has changed now. ”

What about his long sleeve outfit, James Rodriguez, why is he sticking to the old shirt style? “He wears it just because it’s cold, it always has an underlay underneath,” says Martin.

Ham-ez alone is unlikely to cause the long-sleeved revival. Several English clubs no longer even bother to make lines. You can buy the Manchester United long sleeve home shirt, but not their dazzling third stripe. Liverpool only sell short sleeves. This rarity means that the long-sleeved versions will remain collectable. “If a million short sleeves are made, it looks more like a thousand long sleeves, then they always end up being a lot rarer,” says Doug Bierton.

But if you can get your hands on an authentic player’s jersey, or the holy grail, a number worn in a match, now you have a new problem – how to present it.

“If you have Zinedine Zidane’s jersey from the 2002 Champions League final, this is it, you have it,” Bierton said. “It’s the shirt. But now if you wanted Messi’s Champions League final shirt, it’s not really the real one, full because there are those anonymous sleeves as well.

“You would hang this shirt next to a picture from that game. And you would have a short sleeve shirt but a photo of him wearing long sleeves. What is happening here?”

Aesthetics are also disturbing with John Devlin. “When you see a team launch a new kit, the promotional photos are posted,” he says. “Three out of four players wear a baseman, I just think I’m maybe old, maybe I’m overwhelmed, but that doesn’t suit me.

“This is not the kit. It’s an undershirt. It does not seem correct.

Traditionalists have an uphill struggle. For many years, Arsenal had a rule. The kit man and the captain decided if it was a long or short sleeve day and the rest of the team followed suit.

“When you watch this you realize how great it is when the team looks uniform,” says Devlin. “The clue is in the word.

“Players have to look great and when you have base layers, especially when you have teams like Blackburn Rovers that have different colored sleeves, you start to think, well, where does the base layer come in?

“Celtic, do they have hoops on their underwear?” They don’t. Should they have?

“It’s starting to look messy.”

Arsenal’s leg tradition has fallen apart in recent years. On Sunday, their players wore a mishmash. All had short sleeves, some braved the cold, others opted for underwear:


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