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The new football season is well and truly upon us. City look like they’ve picked up where they left off from last season, Unai Emery has carried on where Wenger left off, and Mourinho has broken the record for the most consecutive nights in a hotel, beating the previous record of 182 days set by Alan Partridge at the Linton Travel tavern.

With that in mind, and as a follow up to our successful club badges blog, we look at the kits gracing the hallowed turf of the Premier League this season (and a couple of notable extras)…

 

Arsenal

I used to really like Arsenal, not just for the way they played but for the kits as well. I even owned the one-off burgundy shirt from their last season at Highbury, the one that harked back to their origins and very first shirt. However, in recent years I’ve been disappointed, and this season is no different. That being said I do like the away kit and the third kit is a nice colour, if a bit too smart/casual for the Emirates pitch. It’s the home shirt that disappoints me, and I’m not really sure why. A bit too much white? Or the faded red/pink banding around the sleeves? Or perhaps it’s just the fact that their mascot Gunnersaurus is a massive dinosaur t**t. You decide.

 

Bournemouth

Standard fare from Bournemouth for the home kit. There really is nothing more to say. Kudos points for going with a classic brand like Umbro though (let’s ignore the fact that they’re owned by some Yanks).

Not a fan of the away kit, not with that shiny and matte stripe pattern. Reminds me too much of those cheap, unbranded shorts your mum would buy you for PE, which never looked good next to a kid rocking a pair of official club shorts (usually Man United back in the Home Counties in the mid to late 90s).

 

Brighton

Pretty standard Nike kit really, looks like they’ve picked it off the shelf and then just dragged and dropped the club crest and American Express logo into the relevant places.

Not really sure what’s going on with the away kit. I like the shade of green, but they run the risk of looking like an outfield of goalkeepers.

 

Burnley

A nice trio of kits this; I really like the claret, sky blue and white of the home kit (although the blue poker chip might be a bit much), I like the silver and black of the away kit, and the third kit is clean and minimal. There’s a honeycomb pattern running through the home and away shirts (subtly so on the home one), can anyone explain why? and I can’t seem to find any reasoning for this.

However, as nice as they are, try to wear any to a Burnley nightclub where manager Sean Dyche is moonlighting as a doorman, and he won’t let you in.

 

Cardiff City

Generic Adidas design = check

Club crest = check

Sponsorship front and centre, courtesy of your mental owner’s business pal = check

Originality = try harder next year.

However, I am a fan of simply reversing the colours for your away kit, so well done for that.

 

Chelsea

Love them or hate them, I personally think that Chelsea are the best dressed club in London this season. There’s not much that you can do about the home shirt as you have to play by the rules (just ask Cardiff fans what happens when you don’t). However, in an effort to differentiate it from previous iterations, I like the way they’ve drawn out colours from the sponsor and worked them into the shirt in the form of subtle flecks. A nice example of working with the ubiquitous shirt sponsor logo, rather than against it.

As for the away kit although I do feel it’s missing a bit of texture, or even the flecks from the home shirt, it’s still a good-looking kit. It’s yellow after all, and all the best brands use yellow…

 

Crystal Palace

A half decent offering in terms of the home shirt. Palace are one of the few teams who can pull off stripes. I’m also a fan of the yellow trim.

However, I take issue with the away kit. Everyone lavished praise on Peru’s world cup kit, a similar offering, with it being pointed out that hipsters would purchase it in droves. I’m not sure there are any hipsters in Croydon. Maybe the local yoofs can wear it the next time they engage in a spot of rioting.

 

Everton

Again, brownie points for going with Umbro, and the repeating Umbro pattern around the cuffs is nice. Apart from that, I’d challenge anyone to pick this out from any other previous Everton kit. As for the away kit, ripping off Arsenal from last season is not the way to go, especially when you’re going to slap an Angry Birds logo on the sleeve. The only player I can imagine being absorbed in a game of Angry Birds on the team coach is Wayne Rooney, and he’s now left.

 

Fulham

Let’s ignore the big gambling logo on the front (in need of big money sponsorship fast? Approach a bookmakers or payday lender) and focus on the history. This year’s shirt harks back to the club’s successful late 1990s period, which saw the club rise through the lower leagues. I’ve always liked it when clubs look to their distant past for inspiration, and it’s nice to see Fulham referencing a time that most fans would remember. They couldn’t beat Wycombe in the 1997/98 Division Two season though, let’s remember that.

As for the away kit it’s all fine until they decided to use a dodgy gold/yellow/brown for the sponsor logo.

 

Huddersfield

Do Umbro only do one kit? It’s all a bit ‘meh’. Not entirely sure why they’re trying to emulate Bournemouth with their away kit, and as for the third strip, the starting eleven would be more at home working on the hard shoulder of the M62, rather than the Kirklees (or whatever they’re currently calling the stadium).

 

Leicester

A switch from Puma to Adidas this season for the Foxes, not that you’d really know it. A slight form of patterning on the home and away shirts, but apart from that this is exactly how a Leicester City shirt should look like. A bit dull? Perhaps. I bet Mr Lineker loves it. I do like the third kit though, got a 70s vibe about it.

 

Liverpool

Please forgive me, but I have to give credit to Liverpool. I do think that they have a habit of choosing the nicest shade of red in the Premier League; more along the lines of a crimson rather than a red.

However, any good work is undone by the away kit. Purple and Dutch orange, really? As for the third kit, I’ve never been a fan of a grey kit, ever since Gareth Southgate made 10 year old me cry for the first time as a result of a football match.

 

Manchester City

The home shirt is a disappointment. The button on the collar makes it look a bit like pyjamas. I also think it could have done without the two-tone blue on the sleeves.

The away shirt is slightly more successful, however. It’s minimal and, like Fulham, harks back to their recent past and their 1999 play-off final win. Nice to see city referencing the last time they were successful without the riches of their Abu Dhabi sugar daddy.

 

Manchester United.

Got to be careful what I say here, the studio is predominantly of the red half of Manchester.

Does the home shirt need the black halftone? Personally, I think not, although it has grown on me over the course of the first few games of the season. It’s just a shame about the Chevrolet logo, although what do you expect with the Glazers in charge?

As for the away kit, hats off for referencing a part of Manchester’s footballing history, with the pink a nod to Manchester evening news ‘Football Pink’ newspaper which was heavily read amongst the United faithful. This forgives the fact that it looks like the laundry lady has got a red sock mixed in with a white away kit.

As for the third kit, can you really criticize it when it’s made out of reclaimed ocean plastic and helping to save the planet ? Probably not, but I bet Mourinho would give it a go, the miserable git.

 

Newcastle

Got to say it, I like the kits this season. The home shirt is simple and stylish, and I like the colour palette of black and white, with the blue and gold pulling out the same colours to be found in the badge. And the away shirt is nice, despite the fact that it has a slight Freddie Krueger look to it. Quite apt given the horror show that Newcastle is at times under the reign of Mike Ashley.

 

Southampton

If someone from Southampton could kindly explain why the stripes come to such an abrupt end underneath the collar, it would be appreciated. And whilst you’re at it, why are the stripes shaped to run around the Under Armour logo?

Also, I can’t abide yellow and blue for a football kit (with the exception of Chelsea this season), reminds me too much of being battered 5-1 by Loudwater Combined Primary School in the final of the 1997/98 High Wycombe and District Schools Cup. Bad times.

 

Tottenham

A half decent home shirt ruined by a big, red logo (and not for the first time on this list). Not sure about the half tone towards the bottom, hard to tell where Harry Kane’s top half ends, and his bottom half begins. Above the half tone though it’s a classic look that could fit into any era. Much like Harry Kane, to be honest.

As for the away kit, dark blue and light blue is, in my opinion, the gold standard in football shirt design. Even Barcelona agree, using it for their training kit, which Spurs seem to have replicated here.

 

Watford

Watford are going all out this season when it comes to living up to their nickname and fielding a team of oversized hornets each time they grace Vicarage Road. Also, the big red FxPro logo could be considered a bit much, but it does pick out the red stag in the badge. Quite a menagerie going on at Watford, what with the stags, the hornets, and a headless chicken in the form of Isaac Success, a £12.5million purchase who’s scored one goal in two seasons.

As for the away kit, it’s not too bad if a bit generic. I’ve seen it suggested that a monotone logo might work better, but you don’t touch the badge. Ever.

 

West Ham

I’ve a soft spot for West Ham, and I’m not really sure why. Maybe it’s the bubbles or my love and admiration for Danny Dyer (the man can rock a waistcoat better than Southgate, and behind the bar of the Queen Vic to boot).

This season, my fondness for the club extends to its kits. West Ham fans may have had plenty to moan about in recent years, but they can’t complain about this year’s colour choices. They’ve gone subtle with the home shirt, with the blue nicely offsetting the claret just around the cuffs. I also really like the choice of blue for the away shirt with claret detail, and the third kit is eminently wearable. So, all in all a decent effort this season, meaning that the ‘ammers can look good whilst they smash up the gaff.

 

Wolves

In my opinion, the pick of the bunch. They’ve always had one of the best badge and colour schemes in football, and this season they’ve marked their return to the Premier League with home and away kits that are classy and stylish. The sponsor is a bit in your face, but at least it’s a big ‘W’ and complements the colour scheme on both shirts.

Extra points too for not going with a monotone badge on the away kit.

 

Notable mentions…

 

Aston Villa

At first glance they’re a couple of tidy kits; claret, blue and white is nice, and the simple reversed out colours for the away kit is clean and minimal. However, dig a little deeper and there’s a lot more going on…

The home shirt has strong nods to the Villans heritage with William McGregor, founder of the Football League and the man who shaped Villa in its early days, featured on the back collar, and the cuff carries 12 stripes, signifying the founding members of the Football League.

The away shirt again references Villa successes of the past, taking elements of the white strip that the team wore to European Cup victory in 1982. When you’re still trying to reclaim your place at football’s top table, why not revel in past glories.

 

Sunderland

Sunderland have moved towards a more traditional-looking outfit as they face life in the third tier for only the second time in their history. Gone are the hideous pinstripes of their calamitous season in the Championship, as the club looks to forget recent failures and build anew.

The lack of black on the home shirt is made up for on the away shirt, with a black and red palette, with emphasis on the black. All rather menacing and sure to strike fear into all the clubs in League Two, with the exception of Wycombe of course.

 

Wycombe

F**k me, where do I begin?

First off, a Wycombe kit should be easy; the dark blue and light blue is great, and I love the quarters. Keep it simple, keep it clean, and you’re onto a winner. If you want to take it further then take a leaf out of Villa’s book and work in some nice touches that mean something to the club.

No, let’s not do that, let’s go with this monstrosity. Let’s make the logo bigger and whack a massive strangulated duck in the middle. Yes, I know it’s a swan, but the club can’t even get that right. For centuries Buckinghamshire has been symbolized by a royal swan with its wings raised. And did anyone take into account the sponsors logo? Clearly not.

Also, a special mention for this season’s goalkeeper shirts. It would seem that Wycombe’s PR strategy relies solely on having a 17 stone behemoth up front, and goalkeeping shirts that fun the risk of bringing on a seizure.


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