You may remember that back in May I reviewed a football for this blog. You probably don't, but such is life.
If you do, you would remember that Soccerpro asked me to give an "honest, unbiased opinion" on the blog and in return, I could keep the product they sent me. To me, it seemed a fair offer, so that was exactly what I did: I wrote an honest review - that it was a good football, and in return I had a lovely football to play with until I kicked it on the neighbour's roof, never to be seen again. You see, my volleying is less Robin van Persie, more Jonny Wilkinson.
Nevertheless, having struck up something of a rapport, Trevor from Soccerpro offered to send me another product - this time Arsenal-related and thus, more relevant to the blog.
I chose a navy Arsenal jacket (pictured below) which looked like it could keep me warm on a winter afternoon at the football.
Now, at this point, I'm reminded of an article I read in the paper last week. It was about whether celebrities would be endorsing political parties, and most interesting was the view of Max Clifford: essentially, he said in terms of PR endorsing a party was a very bad idea for any celebrity because it was a sure-fire way to alienate half your fans.
Similarly, I'm somewhat worried that whatever review I write of this jacket, it will annoy some people. Nonetheless, my views do that usually so I'll press on.
In terms of looks, the jacket is relatively stylish. (Now I may betray a bad fashion sense). Navy suits most people and the contrasting light blue stripes provide a nice, well, contrast. The cannon on the sleeve is a nice detail and the Arsenal badge shows it is clearly an Arsenal-related garment.
Earlier in the year, I suggested that Arsenal shouldn't play in navy - it was a complaint about the new away shirt. But this wasn't suggesting that Arsenal garments shouldn't be navy; merely, that Arsenal home shirts should be red and away shirts yellow. I happen to find navy a very nice colour - perhaps because it suits my dashing complexion.
And this jacket very much underlines that: the strong colour is one of it's best attributes. Indeed, the reason the jacket is only 'relatively stylish' is because of two quibbles I have: firstly, I'm not sure the two stripes on the sleeve work; and secondly, is it really necessary to have an Arsenal jacket emblazoned with a massive Nike swoosh?
These must be qualified though. Ultimately, the jacket is very comfortable and very warm. Would I wear it for a big night out? Absolutely not. But for a freezing day at The Grove in winter, this thick jacket is perfect. And with this season's away shirt the colour it is, no-one will doubt your allegiance.
What's more, whereas it's rather difficult to roll up the sleeves on a long-sleeved replica shirt, it is easy to do so on this jacket, and this does give one a certain Gallic charm - well it makes me look like Mathieu Flamini (though I don't know if this is a good thing).
But this is the point with this jacket - whilst in abstract, on the shelf it looks good, put on it looks much, much better. That cannot simply be down to my good looks: this jacket is snug, well-fitting and generally comfortable.
Anyway, this fashion blogging doesn't suit me - back to football tomorrow.
Keep the faith,