Kevin Henning picks out the 5 best and worst kits coming to a ground near you very soon.
1. Rangers home
Rangers begin life at the bottom wearing quite simply, one of the best kits I have ever seen. A clear nod to a ’70’s design, Umbro have given Bears fans exactly what they’d have wanted. Sponsors Tennants have gone along with having their logo reduced in size which helps the purity of this kit. Fans of lower league teams will look forward to watching their sides host a powerhouse of football wearing a strip that oozes class.
2. Liverpool home
When it was announced that Warrior were to take over the supplying of Liverpool kits, fans of other clubs mocked the Scousers and warned of what a company new to the English game would do to the tradition of Liverpool kits. What they’ve actually done is returned to a simple kit which displays all the hallmarks of the great Kop sides. The badge has gone back to the simple liverbird, the strip has no unwanted flashes or piping and the 96 lives lost at Hillsborough have been remembered in a dignified manner on the backs of the shirts. A glorious arrival for Warrior.
3. Everton away
An example of Nike getting a kit absolutely spot on. Moody and menacing but stylish and simple, Toffees fans will enjoy watching the Goodison outfit on their travels this season. Black combined with gold, this is the perfect antidote to the garish pink used recently for Everton’s alternative colours.
4. Chelsea away
This white with sky blue sash will have Chelsea looking fresh and ready for a title challenge. It could be passed off as a City away kit given the colour combination but could well be the most feared kit at Eastlands this season as the West Londeners build their squad. A continuation of the progress made under Roberto Di Matteo will surely see Chelsea pushing all the way.
5. Manchester City away
Umbro round off a series of fantastic kits for Manchester City by continuing to give the supporters what they want. City fans are apprehensive at best regarding the impending Nike deal. Umbro have gone for another of City’s traditional away colours with this stylish maroon effort. One slight complaint is that had Umbro used this as the away kit two seasons ago, when the home socks included maroon turnovers, the first and second choice kits would have matched perfectly.
1. Cardiff City home
For obvious reasons, this had to be included. The Bluebirds’ new Malaysian owners have decided to rip up the tradition of the club in the hope of attracting support from international markets. Am I missing something here? A Welsh club’s owner changes the colour of the kit to try and sell more shirts in Asia, but simultaneously ostracises the local support who have kept the club going for 113 years. I may be preaching to the choir here but my instinct would be to simply buy the new away shirt and keep the Cardiff City Stadium bathed in blue.
2. Manchester United home
Possibly the worst kit in Premier League history, this shocker from Nike was thought to be an internet prank when pictures of it were first leaked. The American sportwear giants have tried to claim that the gingham shirts are a tribute to the industrial revolution in and around Manchester but they are kidding nobody. Surely the tea-towel look was inspired last October when rivals Manchester City arrived at Old Trafford and wiped the floor with the Reds.
3. Liverpool third
A dark grey shirt with yellow badge and sponsor, orange collar, white sleeves and flashes of light grey? If Warrior got the Liverpool home kit exactly right, they have done their best to balance things out with this horrific outfit. When trying to promote a company as leading kits manufacturers on foreign soil, why try to be clever? Surely Scousers of the red persuasion would have been cock-a-hoop with a simple copy of the home kit with all yellow embellished by red badge and sponsors.
4. Arsenal away
This psychedelic hooped effort from the Gunners could well be the reason that RVP decided he wanted to leave the club and who could blame him if it was? Promoted under the tagline “Purple Reign”, the only reign that this could signify is the end of Arsene Wenger’s should he lead the club to an eighth successive trophy-less campaign. The less said about Wojciech Szczesny’s accompanying all pink goalie kit the better.
5. Derby County home and away
This could actually be quite a nice kit if only Kappa and buymobiles.net realised that Derby County are more important than themselves. If anybody at Pride Park has passed these kits, they should be led to the boardroom and given a thorough beating. This is the complete opposite of what Rangers sponsors Tennants have allowed Umbro to do. Kappa have managed to design a buymobiles.net t-shirt with added Derby County badge.